PAC 12 College Football Betting Preview: #22 Washington State Cougars at #10 Colorado Buffaloes

#22 Washington State Cougars at #10 Colorado Buffaloes
Folsom Field – Boulder, Colorado
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Opening Line: Colorado -3 1/2
Current Line: Colorado -5 1/2
Opening Total: 60
Current Total: 58 1/2
Opening Money Line: Colorado -200 / Washington State +170
Current Money Line: Colorado -240 / Washington State +200

Colorado and Washington State lead their respective divisions in the Pac 12 as they meet Saturday in Boulder.
Colorado and Washington State lead their respective divisions in the Pac 12 as they meet Saturday in Boulder.

At the beginning of the season, if someone had said Washington State and Colorado would be the biggest game in the Pac 12 in a weekend that features Cal-Stanford and USC-UCLA you would have thought they were insane. Yet, both teams are 8-2 and atop their respective divisions in the Pac 12. Washington State is 7-0 in the Pac 12 North a game ahead of rival Washington. The two teams play in the Apple Cup next week to likely decide the North title in Pullman. Colorado leads the South Division at 6-1 over 6-2 USC and 5-2 Utah. Colorado plays rival Utah next week in Boulder. The Buffaloes are bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.

Colorado is 5-4 against Washington State all-time. The Cougars are 2-1 against the Buffaloes since Colorado joined the Pac 12 in 2011, Washington State won 27-3 in Pullman last year.

Washington State is coached by Mike Leach. After an 0-2 start, the Cougars have won eight straight games. Washington State has a home loss to Eastern Washington 45-42 and a road loss at Boise State 31-28. The Cougars have home wins over Idaho 56-6, Oregon 51-33, UCLA 27-21, Arizona 69-7, and California 56-21 last week. WSU has road wins over Stanford 42-16, Arizona State 37-32, and Oregon State 35-31. The Cougars were 17 point favorites against California and the total was 78. Washington State is 6-4 ATS and the total is 6-4 this season.

Colorado is coached by Mike MacIntyre. The Buffaloes have road losses at Michigan 45-28 and USC 21-17. Colorado has won four straight games. The Buffaloes have a neutral site win over Colorado State 44-7 in Denver. Colorado has home wins over Idaho State 56-7, Oregon State 47-6, Arizona State 40-16, and UCLA 20-10, plus road wins at Oregon 41-38, Stanford 10-5, and Arizona 49-24 last week. The Buffaloes were 17.5 point favorites against Arizona and the total was 61. Colorado is 9-1 ATS and the total is 4-6 this season.

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Washington State is outscoring teams 44-24 this season. The Cougars are #8 in scoring nationally. Washington State averages 519 total yards per game including 386 passing and 133 rushing yards. The Cougars are #9 in total offense, #2 in passing but #112 in rushing nationally. On defense, WSU allows 389 total yards per game including 272 passing and 117 rushing yards. The Cougars are #114 against the pass but #20 against the rush. Washington State is +10 in turnovers with 20 takeaways. The Cougars average 76 penalty yards per game and opponents average 73 per game. WSU is 85/163 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 53/142. The Cougars have forced 17 sacks and allowed 23 this season. Washington State is 50/58 scoring in the red zone with 45 touchdowns and opponents are 21/27 with 17 touchdowns. The Cougars have scored four defensive/special teams touchdowns and allowed four as well.

Quarterback Luke Falk has completed 73.9% of his passes for 3,610 yards with 33 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Back-up Tyler Hilinski has thrwon for 245 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception.

Running back James Williams has 82 carries for 515 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus 40 catches for 282 yards and a touchdown. Jamal Morrow has 75 carries for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 42 catches for 420 yards and 4 touchdowns. Gerald Wicks has 71 carries for 403 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 24 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Gabe Marks has 68 catches for 709 yards and 12 touchdowns. River Cracraft has 53 catches for 701 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Tavares Martin, Jr. has 54 catches for 587 yards and 7 touchdowns. Kyle Sweet has 18 catches for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. Robert Lewis has 20 catches for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. Isaiah Johnson-Mack has 30 catches for 217 yards and a touchdown. John Thompson has 16 catches for 150 yards. Three defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Colorado is outscoring teams 35-18 this season. The Buffaloes are #34 in scoring and #9 in points allowed nationally. Colorado averages 465 yards per game on offense including 261 passing and 205 rushing yards. The Buffaloes are in the top forty in all three categories. On defense, Colorado allows 308 yards per game including 176 passing and 131 rushing yards per game. The Buffaloes are #11 in total offense, #10 against the pass, and #29 against the rush. Colorado is +7 in turnovers with 20 takeaways. The Buffaloes average 52 penalty yards per game and opponents average 58 per game. Colorado is 79/174 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 51/163. The Buffaloes have forced 29 sacks and allowed 24 this season. Colorado is 40/46 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns, and opponents are 10/12 with 10 touchdowns.

Quarterback Sefo Liufau has completed 67.3% of his passes for 1,535 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 102 carries for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. He missed two games and most of a third earlier in the season with an injury. Steven Montez has thrown for 957 yards with 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 47 carries for 220 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Phillip Lindsay has 168 carries for 937 yards with 13 touchdowns, plus 37 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Evans has 80 catches for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also has 6 catches for 98 yards.

Shay Fields has 40 catches for 710 yards and 8 touchdowns. Devin Ross has 48 catches for 543 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bryce Bobo has 40 catches for 494 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also threw a touchdown pass. Jay MacIntyre has 2 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown. Kabion Ento has only 4 catches for 115 yards but two went for touchdowns. Three defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Washington State is 7-0 ATS after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 9-1 against teams with winning records, 7-1 after scoring 40 points or more, 6-1 against teams with winning home records, 11-2 after a cover, 5-1 in November, 16-5 after passing for 280 yards or more, 12-4 in conference games, 15-5 overall, 10-4 after a win, 5-2 after rushing for 200 yards or more, and 7-3 in road games. The underdog and road team are 5-1 ATS in this series recently.

Colorado is 6-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-0 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and after allowing less than 170 yards, 4-0 after scoring more than 40 points, and after a straight up win by 20 points or more, 8-1 on grass, 7-1 in Pac 12 games, after a win and after a cover, 5-1 at home, 13-3 overall, and 6-2 against teams with winning road records.

While both teams still play huge rivalry games next week to decide the division titles win or lose, the winner of this game will still be alive for a playoff berth or at least a trip to the Rose Bowl. This will be a battle between Washington State’s explosive offense and the Colorado defense which is among the best in the country. I think this will be a very close game but Colorado wins at home with temps in the 20’s and perhaps some snow.

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