Colorado 2018 Betting Preview: Up-Tempo Offense Won’t Solve Defensive Woes
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Steven Montez.
Colorado 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +500000
- To make Playoff: +25000
- To win the Pac-12: +8000
- To win the Pac-12 South: +1000
- Win Total: 4.5 (over -150, under +120)
All lines as of Aug. 15. Always shop for the best line.
Colorado 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 4.3
Bet To Watch
Colorado Under 4.5 wins (+120)
There were plenty of signs that a drop was coming for Colorado last season after losing stud defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt to Oregon and plenty of defensive talent to the NFL following a strong 2016. The Buffs are rolling with the punches in 2018, entering the season 123rd overall in returning production.
Darrin Chiaverini takes over play-calling on offense and he wants quarterback Steven Montez to run an up-tempo attack. That shouldn’t be a problem for Montez as Colorado ranked in the top 20 in plays per game during 2017. Grad transfer Travon McMillian comes in from Virginia Tech to replace Phillip Lindsay in the backfield.
The defense — which is led by defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot — is still looking for answers after Leavitt’s departure. Colorado fell from 24th to 105th in defensive efficiency from 2016 to 2017. JUCO help is on the way in the form of cornerbacks Mekhi Blackmon and Delrick Abrams and highly rated defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson.
Colorado will play five conference home games and only one of them against the upper echelon of teams in the Pac-12 (Utah on Nov. 17). In nonconference play, the Buffs take on old Big 8 rival Nebraska. There are opportunities to win games on this schedule, but the Buffaloes will need their defense to improve from their 112th adjusted sack rate in 2017.
We project Colorado as a favorite in only three games (Colorado State, New Hampshire and Oregon State), so it is hard to financially back five wins for the Buffs. I like under wins 4.5 (+120), and will look to take advantage of game-total overs when the Buffs go up-tempo while the defense is a work in progress.
What else you need to know about Colorado
Colorado is 0-6 ATS after a bye week since 2011. The Buffs will host Chip Kelly and UCLA on Sept. 28. The Bruins are expected to be favored by a touchdown.