Minnesota vs. Colorado College Football Betting Odds, Pick: Why the Value Lies in the Under

Minnesota vs. Colorado College Football Betting Odds, Pick: Why the Value Lies in the Under article feature image
Credit:

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado RB Alex Fontenot

College Football Week 3 Odds

Saturday, Sept. 18
1 p.m. ET
Pac-12 Network
Minnesota Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-110
48.5
-115o / -105u
+115
Colorado Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-110
48.5
-115o / -105u
-135
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Colorado comes off a heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M and hosts a shaky Minnesota squad fresh off of a narrow win against Miami (OH).

With both teams sitting at 1-1, this will be a matchup to see who can get back to a winning record.


Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota started its season off with Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State, and nearly kept up with the Buckeyes the whole game. Leading 14-10 at the half, the Gophers ended up losing 45-21. Worse yet, they also lost running back Mohamed Ibrahim for the rest of the season due to an Achilles injury.

Scrambling to replace the loss of Ibrahim’s production, the Golden Gophers escaped last weekend with a narrow victory over the RedHawks. Winning 31-26, I came away with more questions than answers while trying to figure out this Minnesota team.


Golden Gophers Offense

As previously stated, the Golden Gophers took a huge blow by losing Ibrahim. Touted as one of the best running backs in the Big Ten going into this season, he’ll be sorely missed.

Not all hope is lost though, as last week’s game showed that Minnesota may have someone to fill most of the gap.

Next man up, Treyson Potts had himself a game vs. Miami (OH), as he rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll be looking to build on that success on Saturday vs. Colorado.

With a new face at running back, the same can’t be said at quarterback.

Tanner Morgan returns for his fourth year to continue his rollercoaster of a career with Minnesota. After breaking out in 2019, Morgan’s production dropped off a cliff last season. He dropped 15 points in passing grade to 71.6, which was 58th among qualified quarterbacks.

Can Morgan turn back the clock and play like the 2019 version of himself? It’s hard to tell through two games so far. He started the season throwing for 205 yards and one touchdown against a weak Ohio State defense. Last week, Morgan didn’t have to do much as Potts ran wild. Morgan ended the game with 112 yards and two touchdowns on 8-of-17 passing.

Boasting a rush rate of 69%, Minnesota will once again be relying on Potts to continue his hot start against a Colorado defense that ranks in the top 10 in Rushing Success.

The experienced offensive line will need to step it up as they currently rank 104th in line yards and 95th in Rushing Success.


Golden Gophers Defense

The Golden Gophers brought nearly everyone of significance back, but even with more experience, they haven’t earned better results.

With Minnesota ranking outside the top 100 in Def. Rushing Success, Rushing Explosiveness, Line Yards, Power Success Rate, and Stuff Rate, it’s safe to say it couldn’t get much worse.

They’ll need to find answers — and fast — on how to stop opposing offenses as they go against a Colorado unit ranking in the top 30 in Rushing Success and Finishing Drives.

If Minnesota wants to avoid getting put away early, it’ll need to generate more Havoc. In two games, the Minnesota defense has a total of two pass breakups and two interceptions. The Gophers haven’t forced fumbles and have zero sacks.

They’re simply allowing opposing offenses to execute their game plans with no fear of disruption.

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Colorado Buffaloes

Oh Colorado. You broke my heart more than any woman in my life. In the midst of watching my Colorado +17.5 ticket against Texas A&M, I placed a live money line bet on the Buffaloes that would’ve covered my bar tab later that night. They sadly did not win as Texas A&M escaped with a 10-7 victory.

Even though they lost, I still came away impressed with how fundamentally sound they looked. With a narrow loss against top-ranked A&M and a dominant performance in Week 1 against Northern Colorado, expectations continue to be high going into this matchup.


Buffaloes Offense

The Buffaloes’ offense can be summed up with one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, “Run Forrest run!” Boy do the Buffaloes love to run the ball, and they do it successfully.

After rushing nearly 50 times in their opener against Northern Colorado for 295 yards and four touchdowns, the Buffaloes again pounded the ground attack against A&M. They attempted 37 rushes for a total of 173 yards and one touchdown.

A majority of last week’s ground yards came from the quarterback position, with Brendon Lewis leading the charge with 76 yards.

Lewis hasn’t been asked to do much through the air in two games so far as his season totals sits at 23-of-40 for 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

This makes sense as Colorado has been a heavily rushing dependent team this season. It certainly shows in the numbers as the Buffaloes rank 29th in Rushing Success.

While Lewis led the team in rushing last game, running back Jarek Broussard leads the unit with 145 yards and two touchdowns.

Colorado will lean on its running game again against Minnesota as the Golden Gophers rank near the bottom in all Def. Rushing metrics.


Buffaloes Defense

Speaking of rushing, good luck on this Colorado defense. Boasting a top-10 rank in Def. Rushing Success, it hasn’t been easy for opponents to pound the rock on the Buffaloes.

While the Def. Rushing Success has been dominant, the Def. Passing Success has been respectable as well.

Ranking 24th, the Buffaloes have improved in limiting the air attack. After giving up nearly 250 yards via passing vs. Northern Colorado, the Buffaloes limited Texas A&M backup quarterback Zach Calzada to 183 yards and one touchdown.

Passing shouldn’t be too much of a worry in this matchup as Minnesota boasts a rush rate of 69% and an average passing attack. If Minnesota does decide to lean heavier towards the air, Colorado will need to step up its Pass Rush as it currently ranks 116th in Def. Pass Rush.


Minnesota vs. Colorado Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Minnesota and Colorado match up statistically:

Minnesota Offense vs. Colorado Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 95 10
Line Yards 104 17
Pass Success 46 24
Pass Blocking* 61 116
Big Play 86 67
Havoc 76 58
Finishing Drives 17 26
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Colorado Offense vs. Minnesota Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 29 98
Line Yards 41 106
Pass Success 121 109
Pass Blocking* 58 84
Big Play 66 96
Havoc 15 126
Finishing Drives 35 103
* Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 51 64
PFF Coverage 117 56
Middle 8 44 95
SP+ Special Teams 12 103
Plays per Minute 123 88
Rush Rate 69.6% (8) 68.5% (12)

Data via College Football Data (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF & SportSource Analytics.


Minnesota vs. Colorado Betting Pick

Minnesota opened as a -1 favorite and money quickly moved the line to +2.5. With a horrific display on defense so far, it doesn’t surprise me that the wise guys are all over Colorado and its rushing attack.

We project Colorado as a -1 favorite on a neutral field so with this one being a home game for the Buffaloes, the value is all gone for me. Instead, I will have my attention set on the total.

Minnesota loves to run the ball. Colorado loves to run the ball. That means the clock will run, and that’s exactly what we hope for when betting an under.

The total may very well come down to the battle of Finishing Drives. With Minnesota highly ranked on offense and Colorado on defense in Finishing Drives, we will be rooting for empty trips past the 40 with the ball in Minnesota’s hands.

The total opened at 50.5 and has been bet down to 48.5 as of writing this. I grabbed a 50.5 at the open and would bet this down to 49.

Pick: Under 50.5 (-115)

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