The Biggest Way Bettors Doubted Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes
Pictured: Deion Sanders. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
When Deion Sanders took over as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, many believed it would work in the long run. However, not many people thought Colorado would find immediate success.
After one game, Colorado has gone from having a win total of 3.5 to being the 22nd-ranked team in the country.
The Buffaloes pulled off a Week 1 upset over the TCU Horned Frogs, 45-42. TCU was ranked No. 17 in the nation, coming off a national championship game appearance and favored to win the game by 21 points.
As a result, the entire narrative around Colorado has flipped. The Buffaloes now have expectations much higher than just winning four games.
Colorado's win total moved throughout the offseason before settling at 3.5. At some places, the win total opened at 5.5, but at most other sportsbooks, it was 4.5 and quickly bet down by sharps.
Some 2023 Colorado win total projections from my power ratings:
Using 2022 end of year power rating: 1.49
Upgrade power rating 7 points: 2.46
Upgrade 10 points: 2.96
Upgrade 14 points: 3.87
Upgrade 17 points: 4.57
Upgrade 21 points: 5.56
— Brad Powers (@BradPowers7) January 20, 2023
The sharp side was always the under, which is why the win total settled at 3.5. Even at 3.5, bets were pouring in on the over. However, the line continued to be juiced to the under.
On August 29, four days before Deion Sanders' first game, 87% of the bets were on the over and 83% of the handle was also on the over at BetMGM.
Despite all of the action on the over, sportsbooks weren't raising the line to 4 or 4.5 wins. Typically, the sportsbooks trust the smart money.
It seems apparent now that the smart money was likely on the wrong side. And that means, if the Buffaloes get to four wins, it's going to be a tough day for both the sharps and the sportsbooks.