The Utah Utes (8-3, 6-5 ATS, 5-6 O/U) meet with the Colorado Buffaloes (1-10, 2-9 ATS, 7-3 O/U) in the Pac-12 season finale on Friday night. The Utes' title game hopes were diminished in a road loss at Oregon. The Buffaloes were clobbered by Washington in their previous action. Utah collected a 28-13 home win against Colorado last season.
Utah Dips to 6-2 in PAC-12 Play
The Utah Utes have a slim chance to reach the PAC-12 title game. They need to win this game and hope for help from three other squads in this final week. The Utes had their four-game winning streak snapped in a narrow 20-17 road loss against Oregon last week in a bout that had the Ducks favored by only one point. Utah is now 6-2 in conference play with the only other conference defeat occurring against a ranked UCLA squad. The Utes have covered in one of four conference road bouts.
Cameron Rising is looking to rebound from a disastrous performance. The junior QB only had 170 passing yards and tossed three picks against the Ducks last week. Rising has accumulated 2395 passing yards and a 19:7 TD-to-INT ratio on an offense that prefers to run. The mobile QB has added 378 rushing yards.
Tavion Thomas only managed 55 rushing yards last week. The junior RB has surpassed 100 yards on two occasions this season and has posted 687 rushing yards. The Utes have a deep receiving group led by Dalton Kincaid. The senior tight end has made 22 catches in his last three clashes and has logged 748 receiving yards while Devaughn Vele has posted 588 yards. The Utah offense has eclipsed 40 points in two out of their last three games.
The Utes defense continues to excel. They held the Ducks to 346 total yards and have conceded 20 or fewer points in four consecutive bouts. The unit struggled against UCLA and USC but has been fairly consistent most of the season. The pass defense is 50th while the rush defense is marked 24th. Utah dipped four spots to #14 in this week's AP top 25. The Utes are scoring an average of 37.3 points, landing them 16th. The defense is conceding an average of 20 points, good for 24th in the FBS.
Colorado Remains at One Victory
The Colorado Buffaloes conclude a rebuilding season in this one. There haven’t been many bright spots in what’s been a rough year. The Buffaloes' lone victory occurred in a 20-13 overtime home decision against California. Colorado has been dealt several blowout defeats because they have the worst defense of any power conference squad. They lost by 38 points against USC two weeks ago and were 30-point dogs in a 54-7 road loss against Washington last week. The Buffaloes have only covered the spread twice all season.
J.T. Shrout has not been able to find any sort of groove. The sophomore QB has only surpassed 200 passing yards in three of nine games played and has 1220 passing yards and a 7:8 TD to INT ratio on the season. Owen McCown hasn’t played since October due to an injury and has 600 passing yards and a 2:2 TD-to-INT ratio.
Deion Smith recorded 111 rushing yards against Arizona State but hasn’t been productive in most games. The junior RB has 390 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry while Alex Fontenot has collected 304 yards on 5.2 yards per carry. The receiving core has three players with 300 yards led by Jordyn Tyson. The freshman WR had 470 receiving yards but will not play due to injury. Montana Lemonious-Craig is second in team receiving with 333 yards. The Colorado offense has only collected 30 points once all season.
The Buffaloes' defense has not been able to contain anybody with the exception of the win against California. They have surrendered at least 40 points nine times this season and allowed 575 total yards in last week's defeat to Washington. There is no strength. The pass defense is pegged at 111th while the rush defense is 131st. Colorado is posting an average of 14.9 points, ranking them 127th. They are squandering an average of 42.8 points, pegging them 131st in the FBS.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Utah Utes have posted several blowout wins this season. They defeated Oregon State by 26 points, Arizona by 25, and Stanford by 35. The Colorado Buffaloes are horrible. There is no other way to say it. This squad has the worst defense of any power conference team and has been the subject of several ugly losses. Their last three defeats have been by 38 or more points.
Furthermore, the Utes' prolific offense will feast. They have one of the best rushing offenses in the FBS, averaging 205 rushing yards per game and Colorado is 131st in the country in rush defense. Colorado has a weak offense as well. They have registered 17 or fewer points in three straight games and are playing without their top receiver Jordyn Tyson. Their best chance will likely be on the ground however the Utes rank 24th in the FBS in rush defense.
Full-Game Total Pick
The over should deliver. The Utes offense will propel this over. They have scored at least 42 points in two out of their last three games. This is one of the best offensive squads in the country. They rank 19th in EPA/play. The Buffaloes' defense has made the over a reliable play. The unit has surrendered 55 and 54 points respectively in their last two games.
In addition, the Utes will control most of the scoring however Colorado will contribute a bit. They have averaged 21.3 points in their last three home clashes. The over is also 6-1-1 in the Buffaloes' last eight games following an ATS loss.