Colorado vs Nebraska Odds, Picks | Week 2 Betting Guide

Colorado vs Nebraska Odds, Picks | Week 2 Betting Guide article feature image

Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2).

Colorado vs Nebraska Odds

Saturday, September 9
Noon ET
Colorado Odds
-110o / -110u
Nebraska Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Two programs with first-year head coaches meet in a Week 2 showdown between former Big Eight rivals.

Colorado had the biggest opening weekend of any FBS program after closing the offseason with a meager win total of 3.5. The Buffaloes' upset over TCU in Fort Worth as a three-touchdown underdog propelled them into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2020.

Head coach Deion Sanders turned over an entire roster in the offseason, a decision that came with plenty of critics. Thanks to the win over the Horned Frogs, Sanders has two players in Heisman contention along with a pocket full of receipts.

Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule now leads the Cornhuskers into a new week after the program suffered another excruciating one-possession loss to Minnesota in the opener. There's a legitimate argument that Nebraska cost itself the victory with four turnovers and seven penalties.

Rhule was pleased with the Huskers' physicality running the football, but they will look for more of a passing game even with a season-ending knee injury to a primary target in Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda.

These teams last played in 2018 and 2019, with Colorado winning both games.

Let's break down this game and make a pick and prediction in this Nebraska vs. Colorado college football betting preview.

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

Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado fielded 46 players wearing the school's jersey for the first time in its Week 1 victory over TCU.

Most believed that the Buffaloes were not ready for FBS play with an undersized offensive line entering Week 1. The rushing statistics alone support that take, as half of their 30 rushing attempts were stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Colorado posted a meager 2.9 yards per rushing attempt — a number that produced an average of 11 yards to go in passing downs.

In general, teams that rely on converting long third downs are gambling with Success Rate and scoring opportunities. Colorado absolutely thrived in this scenario, producing an unsustainable 71% Success Rate on passing downs.

EDWARDS TO THE HOUSE 🏠🦬@CUBuffsFootball starts the second half with a BANG 💥

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 2, 2023

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders tallied 510 passing yards and four touchdowns, assisted by Dylan Edwards' three touchdown catches.

Two-way sensation Travis Hunter caught 11 of his 14 targets for 119 yards and added three pass breakups and an interception at cornerback.

As mentioned, TCU's ability to consistently stuff Colorado behind the line led to low-percentage third-down attempts for the Buffaloes. To stop this Sean Lewis offense, the Nebraska defense must also tackle soundly while limiting explosives through the air.

The Colorado win may have hidden poor results on defense, as it allowed TCU to gain 72% of available yards. The Horned Frogs pieced together multiple explosive and methodical drives, averaging the same number as Colorado in overall yards per play and Points per Opportunity.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska will get extra rest after starting Week 1 on Thursday night in a heartbreaking loss to Minnesota. The Gophers failed to generate any kind of rushing attack, averaging just 3.1 yards per play.

The Cornhuskers were equally as disruptive in passing downs, with Minnesota completing only two passes over 20 yards and posting just a 33% Success Rate on those downs.

Nebraska interior defensive lineman Ty Robinson generated five pressures, while cornerback Omar Brown provided a crucial interception in the loss.

BIG RED PICKED IT! ‼️ @Omeezyy12 with the interception for @HuskerFootball!

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2023

Expectations for the Nebraska offense were limited entering the season after transfer quarterback Jeff Sims recorded a plethora of turnover-worthy plays at Georgia Tech.

The Huskers were excellent running the ball against the Gophers, generating an impressive 70% Success Rate on 35 carries between Sims, Gabe Ervin Jr. and Anthony Grant.

The rushing attack gained 6.1 yards per play, setting up easier field position for later downs. Five of Nebraska's nine drives featured at least two first downs, and two drives saw 10 or more plays.

Sims hit the GAS! 💨 First down Big Red ‼️@HuskerFootball x

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 1, 2023

The Huskers struggled to throw the ball, generating just four yards per play on 22 passing attempts. Sims threw three interceptions — a factor that kept Nebraska from cashing in on a 94% post-game win expectancy.

If Sims can limit the mistakes on passing downs, the Huskers' rushing attack will continue to take advantage of inferior front sevens.

Colorado vs Nebraska

Betting Pick & Prediction

There couldn't be more contrasting approaches to rebuilding a program than Nebraska and Colorado. The story in Boulder has caught the public eye, but from an analytics perspective, there are plenty of hurdles remaining for Colorado.

The defense failed to produce a single sack or tackle for loss, allowing TCU to convert 10 of its 16 third-down attempts. Colorado failed to stop TCU's rushing attack, stuffing just eight of the Frogs' 37 attempts while allowing 7.1 yards per play.

There's a reason to think Nebraska will have plenty of success establishing the run and creating scoring opportunities.

Colorado's power rating improved more than 10 points after its victory at TCU, one of the largest bumps in grading history. With the new transfer portal rules and Sanders turning over an entire roster, there was a large gap in expectations from the program's ceiling to its floor.

College football investors are now faced with backing Colorado against teams that can't stop explosives or third-down conversions.

Nebraska falls into both categories, as it allowed Minnesota to convert eight of its 17 third downs from an average distance of 7.8 yards. The Cornhuskers contained any explosives from a lifeless Gophers ground attack, but they did give up a trio of passes that exceeded 15 yards.

Colorado doesn't fit the profile of a team an investor wants to ride at the craps table. The offense doesn't boast a productive rushing attack, nor does the defense play behind the line of scrimmage.

Nebraska will find ways to move the ball down the field methodically. If Sims can limit mistakes, the Cornhuskers have every chance to win this game.

But because turnovers are generally a part of Sims' profile, look for Colorado to win solely on Defensive Havoc and explosive plays on long third downs.

The Buffaloes will get one more wager from this investor before facing Colorado State in a sandwich spot ahead of a loaded Pac-12 schedule.

Pick: Colorado -2.5 (-124 · Play to -3 at -110 or Better)

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