Colorado vs Colorado State Odds, Predictions, Picks | The Late-Night Bet to Make

Colorado vs Colorado State Odds, Predictions, Picks | The Late-Night Bet to Make article feature image

RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado head coach Deion Sanders (left) and quarterback Shedeur Sanders (right).

Colorado vs Colorado State Odds

Saturday, Sept. 16
10 p.m. ET
Colorado Odds
-110o / -110u
Colorado State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The hype train for Colorado moves onto Week 3, as the Buffs face their first sandwich spot of the season.

Head coach Deion Sanders brings a 2-0 record straight up into the game while covering by an average of 21.8 points.

The Buffaloes have built an identity that equals exciting football, even if might not be sustainable as conference play approaches. Led by two names shooting up the leaderboard for the Heisman, Colorado has one of the highest rates of efficiencies on third down despite having one of the longest average yards to gain marks.

Before getting to Oregon and USC, the Buffaloes will look to take the crown in their home state.

Meanwhile, there couldn't be a more important game on the schedule for Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell. The Rams are resurrecting their program after a 3-9 season in 2021 and a complete rebuild in 2022.

This game will play a part in Norvell's quest to recruit the state of Colorado, as the school continues to build around Canvas Stadium.

The Rams have had as much personnel turnover as the Buffaloes, as only 19 players from the Colorado State 2021 team are on the current roster.

The big question for the Rocky Mountain Showdown is all on Colorado and its ability to focus on Colorado State — not the rest of its September schedule.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for college football bettors
The best NCAAF betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Colorado Buffaloes

The handicap for Colorado turned out as expected against Nebraska. The Buffaloes accumulated 28 plays in passing downs, averaging 10.9 yards per play. The Buffaloes converted 10-of-18 on third down with an average distance of 7.4 yards per attempt.

This is the most exciting third-down team in the nation, generating a Success Rate nearly double the national average through two games.

Shedeur Sanders to Travis Hunter for 40 yards on 3rd & 15[

— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 9, 2023

There are areas where this Colorado offense can be exposed, as it ranks outside the top 100 in Havoc Allowed and Finishing Drives. The Buffaloes are heavy on the pass with a current Rush Rate of 42%.

A defense that can play decent coverage while rushing four or less may have success containing quarterback Shedeur Sanders.

After two victories against TCU and Nebraska, there are even bigger gaps on the defense.

Opponents have struggled in targeting cornerback Travis Hunter, a two-way player responsible for three forced incompletions and 192 receiving yards. Hunter is most valuable when the opponent passes, as he's been targeted 10 times this season and has allowed just three completions.

Outside of Hunter, the Colorado defense has bottom-25 ranks in Havoc and Passing Downs Success Rate. While Nebraska didn't have the offense to generate big passing plays, TCU gained more than 70% of available yards.

The Pac-12 schedule is chock full of opponents that can get the ball downfield in a hurry-up manner, similar to what Colorado State will look to accomplish in Week 3.

Colorado State Rams

With all the preseason hype surrounding the program in Norvell's second year, Colorado State suffered a letdown in the opener against Washington State. The Rams failed to generate explosive drives despite gaining additional weapons at the skill positions.

Wide receiver Tory Horton was limited to just 81 yards on 12 targets, while the running game was nonexistent at 2.5 yards per play.

At Mountain West Conference Media Day, Norvell was excited about the breakout of wide receiver Justus Ross-Simmons, the lone shining light for the offense in the opening loss.

BFN ➡️ JRS = 6⃣#Stalwart x #RamGrit 🐏

— Colorado State Football (@CSUFootball) September 3, 2023

There will be a change at quarterback, as incumbent Clay Millen was injured against the Cougars. Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi finished the loss for a Rams team that scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. Fowler-Nicolosi connected on two touchdown passes and threw for 210 yards despite three turnover-worthy plays.

The sophomore will get the start, but Millen will be active and ready to contribute if needed.

There were positives for the Colorado State defense despite giving up 50 points to Washington State. The defense stuffed 13-of-35 rushing attempts, above the national average rate of 30%. The Cougars averaged just 3.5 points per scoring opportunity, as the Rams generated 10 tackles for loss.

The biggest area to improve in is the pass defense after Washington State connected on 14 passes that went over 15 yards.

Colorado vs Colorado State

Matchup Analysis

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

Colorado State Offense vs Colorado Defense
Rush Success133102
Line Yards12097
Pass Success7087
Finishing Drives9989
Quality Drives13175
Colorado Offense vs Colorado State Defense
Rush Success11195
Line Yards929
Pass Success18111
Finishing Drives8190
Quality Drives23128
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling5960
PFF Coverage12786
Special Teams SP+5792
Middle 812952
Seconds per Play21.1 (4)24.6 (31)
Rush Rate31.3% (133)42.4% (129)

Colorado vs Colorado State

Betting Pick & Prediction

The handicap on Colorado remains; it's a team that loves third-down explosives and Defensive Havoc. An opponent with a strong secondary and discipline on offense to not turn the ball over will present a challenge to the Buffaloes, but that's not expected to come from Colorado State.

The Rams drew a coverage grade of 127th, per PFF, and ranked 128th in Defensive Quality Drives. Because Colorado does its best work on third-and-long, Colorado State must improve a defense that allowed Washington State to post 11 conversions on 17 attempts.

The bigger handicap is if Colorado State can keep up on the offensive side of the ball.

Nebraska will struggle the entire season in passing downs and generating chunk plays through the air, but TCU dominated in passing downs with a 53% Success Rate. The Horned Frogs generated at least two first downs on 8-of-12 drives, completing eight passes over 15 yards.

No matter if Millen or Fowler-Nicolosi is under center, getting the ball in space to Horton and Ross-Simmons will be the mission. Through two games, Colorado ranks near last in Defensive Passing Downs Success Rate.

The tempo of the game is also notable, as every college football investor knows coordinator Sean Lewis wants Colorado to emulate the "Flash Fast" pace from Kent State. The Buffaloes are one of the fastest teams in FBS at 24.6 seconds per play, only to be outdone by Colorado State.

Norvell had quick offensive possessions against Washington State, averaging a lightning pace of 21.1 seconds per play.

With two offenses running tempo as fast as possible against two defenses that struggle severely against the pass, look for improved red-zone execution and a plethora of points in the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.