Utah-Colorado Betting Preview: Can the Utes Right the Ship vs. the Buffaloes?

Utah-Colorado Betting Preview: Can the Utes Right the Ship vs. the Buffaloes? article feature image
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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Utah Utes guard Sedrick Barefield (0).

After a robust Saturday slate filled with 150 games, college basketball presents a limited 10-game Sunday slate while the NFL takes center stage.

Even with limited options, the Pac-12 provides an opportunity for the savvy bettor fan to quench their thirst for college hoops.

Let’s take a closer look at Utah hosting Colorado.

Betting Odds: Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Utes

  • Spread: Utah -3.5
  • Over/Under: 147
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPNU

Colorado (10-6) has struggled mightily after starting the season 8-1. The 77-70 home loss to Washington was the Buffaloes fifth loss in their last seven games. They are 7-9 overall against the spread, but just 2-6 in their past eight games.

Utah (8-8) bounced back after two consecutive conference losses by crushing Washington State 88-70 at home. The Utes are 2-2 in the Pac-12 including an impressive 96-86 road win at Arizona State.

They are 6-2 at home and 3-1 ATS in their four conference games.

This young Buffaloes team has been challenged by injuries this season. Leading scorer sophomore McKinley Wright (12.9 ppg) re-injured his left shoulder against Washington last Saturday and did not return. His status is questionable for Sunday’s game.  Colorado’s only senior, Namon Wright, has missed the past three games with a foot injury.

The Buffaloes allow their opponents to shoot 50.9% from on 2-pointers, ranking 198th in the country.  In their four Pac-12 games, Colorado opponents have shot an obscene 57.3% from inside the arc.

The Utes are a much more efficient offensive team ranking 30th overall and second in the conference with a 55.2% effective field goal percentage. They are also prolific from deep, shooting 40% in Pac-12 games.

Senior guard Sedrick Barefield (15.4 ppg) is an explosive scorer with a season-high of 33 points against Nevada on Dec. 12. Freshman forward Both Gach is shooting 50% from 3-point range (5-of-10) over his past three games.

The Huntsman Center has always presented problems for Colorado, having lost its past six games in Salt Lake City. The Buffaloes have lost their past three road games by an average of 12.7 points. Colorado has played poorly on both ends of the floor in conference games, which is a major concern against an efficient Utah offense in its own building.

Colorado’s poor play and Wright’s injury will allow Utah too much offensive freedom.  The Utes will move to 3-2 in the conference with a comfortable home win over the Buffaloes.

The Pick: Utah -3.5