Colorado vs. Arizona Odds, Picks: Expect a High-Scoring Affair (Oct. 1)
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayden de Laura (Arizona)
- The Colorado Buffaloes head to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats in Saturday night Pac-12 action.
- The Buffaloes have had a tough go at it to this point and enter this matchup as 17.5-point underdogs.
- Read on for Alex Hinton's full betting preview and pick for Colorado vs. Arizona.
Colorado vs. Arizona Odds
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch had quite the rebuilding job when he took over last year. Arizona went 0-5 in the COVID-19 shortened season and also went 1-11 in Fisch's first season.
Arizona enters this week 2-2 and has already surpassed its win total from 2021.
Arizona will now welcome Colorado to Tucson on Saturday.
While Arizona appears to be on the upswing, Colorado is in a free fall. The Buffaloes come in at 0-4 after a 45-17 loss to UCLA last week in Boulder. The Buffaloes are 0-4 ATS this season and have a 31.5-point average margin of defeat.
Colorado is a 17.5-point underdog in this one, which is quite the swing after it beat Arizona 34-0 last season.
Colorado leads the all-time series 16-8 and has won nine of the 12 meetings in Tucson. Arizona has won eight of the past 12 meetings, but has dropped the past two.
This year's matchup features two of the worst defenses in the country. Are we in store for a shootout?
It is difficult to be as bad on both sides of the ball as Colorado has been this season.
Colorado ranks 129th in scoring offense and 126th in scoring defense. It has been outgained by 206 yards per game and by three yards per play. However, at least offensively there were positive signs last week despite the loss.
Head coach Karl Dorrell turned to true freshman Owen McCown — the son of Josh and nephew of Luke — for his first career start.
The true freshman went 26-for-42 for 258 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also added a rushing touchdown.
This week, McCown gets a favorable matchup against an Arizona defense that is 126th in Passing Success Rate.
Colorado will need to clean up its pass protection after the 175-pound McCown was sacked five times. Colorado is 108th in sacks allowed while Arizona is tied for 100th in sacks.
The teams grade out as nearly a push in that area, but Colorado's offense will have advantages in Line Yards, Havoc and Rushing Success Rate.
However, Colorado still needs to find a way to boost its own rushing attack. The Buffaloes' season high is 136 yards on the ground, and they are averaging 102.8 yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry.
Leading rusher Deion Smith has 175 yards on 5.8 yards per carry. Charlie Offerdahl has ascended to the No. 2 back after the injury to Alex Fontenot.
Colorado enters the week with the nation's worst run defense, allowing an average of 323 yards per game and 7.0 per rush. The number is slightly skewed because Colorado has faced the nation's top two rushing teams in Air Force and Minnesota.
However, that also means it has not been tested by a potent passing attack. Colorado is seventh nationally in passing yards allowed (144.5), but ranks 125th in Passing Success Rate and 129th in coverage.
Last season, Arizona averaged 17.2 points per game, and it has already increased that number to 29.3 points per game in 2022.
A pair of transfers have boosted the Wildcats' attack this season.
Washington State transfer Jayden de Laura is second in the Pac-12 with 287.3 passing yards per game. He is coming off of a 401-yard performance against Cal, is completing 59.7% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdown passes.
He also seven interceptions, though. De Laura threw three picks each in Arizona's two losses to Mississippi State and Cal.
His top target has been UTEP transfer Jacob Cowing, who has been electric working out of the slot. He leads the team with 28 receptions for 386 yards and six touchdowns.
Sophomore Dorian Singer has been productive with 23 receptions for 287 yards, but is still looking for his first touchdown this season.
Running back Michael Wiley leads the team with 210 yards on six yards per carry and has also been a touchdown machine. Wiley has three touchdowns this season and has scored in eight of his past 10 games dating back to last year.
Arizona ranks just 80th in Rushing Success Rate, but it should find success against Colorado's last-ranked run defense.
Arizona will also have advantages in Havoc and Line Yards.
While Fisch has improved the Wildcats' offense, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on defense. Arizona is 108th nationally in scoring defense and is allowing 34 points per game.
In particular, it has struggled to defend the run. The Wildcats are 121st in Rushing Success Rate and 125th in rushing yards allowed, surrendering 228 yards on 6.1 yards per carry.
Last week, Cal's Jaydn Ott went for 274 yards and three touchdowns.
Arizona also struggles defending the pass and allowed three touchdowns to Cal's Jack Plummer.
The Wildcats rank 118th in Line Yards and 117th in Finishing Drives. If Colorado crosses the 40-yard line, it will have a good chance of putting points on the board.
Colorado vs. Arizona Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Colorado and Arizona match up statistically:
Colorado Offense vs. Arizona Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Arizona Offense vs. Colorado Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||36||103|
|Seconds per Play||26.4 (67)||23.4 (19)|
|Rush Rate||50.2% (86)||43.2% (118)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Colorado vs. Arizona Betting Pick
Arizona has scored 30 points in three of its first four games this season. It will have a good chance to score 40 against a Colorado defense that has allowed at least 38 points in every game and 40 points in each of its past three games.
Arizona's offense plays at one of the fastest paces in the country, as well.
Colorado's offense had a little more juice with freshman McCown under center last week, and it scored a season-high 17 points.
McCown should have success against Arizona's secondary, while Colorado may be able to get its ground attack going as well.
Arizona has allowed 20 points in all four games this season and 28 points in each of its past three games.
In a matchup with two porous defenses, and due to Arizona's tempo, I expect this game will have 60 or more points.
With a total of 57, I will be targeting the over, and I would play it up to 61.5.