Colorado vs Washington State Odds, Prediction: Friday Pac-12 Betting Guide
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado head coach Deion Sanders.
Colorado Buffaloes vs Washington State Cougars Odds
It's time to take a look at the Colorado vs. Washington State odds and make a prediction and pick for Friday, November 17.
College football in the month of September can be a bit of an optical illusion, and no teams better illustrate that than Colorado and Washington.
These two teams combined to win seven of their first eight games, with the Buffaloes and Cougars reaching as high as No. 18 and 13, respectively, in the AP Poll. Since reaching their highest rankings, Colorado (4-6) and Washington State (4-6) are a combined 1-12, with both teams needing a win here to keep their slim bowl hopes on life support.
In a battle of two Pac-12 programs looking for their first sign of positivity in over a month, which will keep its postseason aspirations alive?
Another week, another loss. Colorado dropped its fourth consecutive game to Arizona last week on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
If nothing else, Deion Sanders’ team doesn’t look like it's thrown in the towel on the season, as the Buffaloes are hanging close, covering the spread in their last three contests.
The second week of moving new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to the booth and Sean Lewis to the field worked early. Colorado built a halftime lead and Shedeur Sanders was only sacked three times – tied for the season low – but it ultimately wasn’t enough.
The run game and offensive line are still huge issues for the Buffaloes. Colorado is last in the nation with 2.3 yards per carry and has allowed the second-most sacks (49).
Despite the poor line play, Shedeur Sanders has continued to put up impressive numbers in the passing game. His 314.4 yards passing per game trail only Michael Penix Jr. in the Pac-12, and his 26 passing touchdowns are tied for the fifth most in the country.
But their rushing struggles aren’t an offensive-exclusive problem for the Buffs. Their defense struggles just as much with it.
Arizona running back Jonah Coleman, who had only rushed for over 100 yards one time this season entering last week, rushed for 179 yards on just 11 carries against Colorado. The Buffaloes have allowed five teams to rush for over 200 yards on them this season.
More relevant to this game and Washington State is the Colorado passing defense, which has fared better.
After allowing 300-yard passing performances in three of their first four conference games, the Buffalos have kept the opposition below that mark in their three most recent games, albeit against more balanced or run-heavy offenses.
Not all that dissimilar to Colorado, the wheels have fallen off the Washington State wagon following a 4-0 start to the season. The Cougars have dropped six in a row, most recently scoring two late touchdowns against Cal to make the three-point loss appear closer than it actually was.
The offense lives and dies with quarterback Cameron Ward. Ward threw for over 300 yards for the sixth time this season against Cal, but he also turned it over four times, including two fumbles that the Bears returned for six.
Ward’s play has been inconsistent this year, where yes, he’s passed for over 300 yards a half-dozen times, but he’s also passed for fewer than 210 yards on three occasions, all games in which the Cougars lost by multiple scores.
By design, Washington State relies heavily on their quarterback, with an offense that has the second-fewest rushing attempts in the conference. While their Success Rate (28th) demonstrates their effectiveness as running the ball, it’s just not something they dial up often.
Like Colorado, the Cougars defense struggles against the run, where five of the last six opponents have rushed for at least 174 yards. Fortunately, Colorado has no interest in running the ball, so it will be the Washington State secondary that is tested more.
The Cougars are by no means great at defending the pass, but there’s also worse units in the Pac-12. Washington State’s 249.4 passing yards allowed per game ranks seventh in the conference.
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Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Colorado and Washington State match up statistically:
Colorado Offense vs Washington State Defense
Washington State Offense vs Colorado Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||81||14|
|Seconds per Play||23.3 (13)||24.8 (26)|
|Rush Rate||41.6% (132)||39.7% (131)|
Colorado vs Washington State
Nobody enjoys watching Colorado lose more than me, but it deserves some credit for how close it has kept things in these last few weeks. The Buffaloes have been in seven one-possession games this season, and they’ve covered the spread in three in a row.
Washington State has only lost by a field goal in each of the last two weeks, but it opened as a favorite in both games, and the Cougars are just 1-4 ATS in their last five.
Colorado's defense struggles against dominant rushing attacks that can keep the ball out of Shedeur Sanders’ hands. Only two teams run the ball less often than the Cougars, so that shouldn’t be an issue here.
Washington State’s pass rush also isn’t a juggernaut, with the Cougars only having 17 sacks on the season, the third-fewest in the Pac-12. Sanders should have a little more time than usual to find his receivers.
Both of these defenses leave a little to be desired, so Sanders and Ward will likely find themselves in a firefight.
But I’m more confident in the consistency of Colorado’s passing game than I am in Washington State’s, so it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see the Buffs win this outright, let alone cover as an underdog.