#16 Oregon State is heading out to the Rockies to take on Colorado this Saturday (11/4/23). Get Oregon State vs. Colorado odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Oregon State -13.5
Oregon State vs. Colorado Prediction
The fairytale start to Colorado’s season is officially a thing of the distant past. Since starting the year 3-0, Coach Prime and the Buffaloes have gone on a 1-4 run, leaving them at .400 with a third of the season remaining. Since August, bowl eligibility for the Buffs has gone from a pipe dream to a virtual guarantee, and now back to a real long shot with a tough last four games.
Oregon State’s season also got off to a hot start, although the Beavers surely received less media attention. They started 3-0 before dropping a game, then won three more before their next loss; that brings us to the present, as Oregon State comes off of a rather surprising loss to Arizona. The Wildcats are a better team than expected, but nonetheless, the loss was a serious blow to an Oregon State squad looking to finish the season strong and make it to a high-end bowl.
The one thing that has continued for Colorado, to a degree, is the success of Coach Prime’s son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who still ranks third in the nation in passing yards. That being said, he’s taken an absolute beating, including a seven-sack day in the UCLA game. Colorado will only get as far as Sanders is able to take them, and he’s only going to get as far as his offensive line lets him.
In a lot of situations, you’d wonder about motivation levels, and just how much a coach will push playing time for his stars if the season is essentially lost, but with Neon Deion, that is not the case. These Buffaloes will undoubtedly come out firing until the final whistle of the season, which isn’t for another month, so you can expect high energy between the sidelines and in the stands at Folsom Field this Saturday.
Unfortunately, even their best effort is probably not going to be enough to keep them in this game. We always knew that the defense was bad- it ranks 111th in the country in EPA per play as of now- the issue is that the offense has sputtered. The Buffs could not do anything at all against Oregon, had long stretches of inactivity against absolutely abysmal Stanford and USC defenses, and completely folded against UCLA.
Meanwhile, the Oregon State’s well-balanced offense has absolutely flourished this year; it’s seventh in the country in EPA per play, a better grade than Colorado’s by a long shot. They should experience absolutely no resistance whatsoever, while the Colorado offense will surely have its moments, but will make the mistakes needed to make this a borderline blowout; let’s back the beavers on this spread, which captures the key number of 14. .
Oregon State vs. Colorado Prediction: Oregon State -13.5
Oregon State vs. Colorado Best Odds
Oregon State is a 13.5 point road favorite, or -550 on the moneyline compared to +400 for Colorado. The total is set at 62.5, with -110 odds on either side.
Oregon State vs. Colorado Key Matchups
Colorado will need to move the ball through the air to compete in this one, while Oregon State’s ground game will be a big part of the game plan, let’s see which units will come out on top in these positional clashes.
Colorado Passing Offense vs. Oregon State Air Defense
While the run game has been decent, the passing offense is what makes Colorado go. If they want to pull off another upset, or at least come anywhere close to doing so, keeping a quick pace and making big plays through the air will be absolutely essential. Colorado has a great stable of receivers for Sanders to work with, led by Xavier Weaver, who has racked up 717 yards and four scores on 55 catches. Jimmy Horn is up next with 471, five, and 50, so his target share is similar, he just doesn’t find as many big plays.
Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, they’ll be going up against the 31st best pass defense according to EPA per play, driven by the 22nd ranked secondary in PFF’s grading system. The Beavers have picked off eight passes, and allow under 6.8 yards per catch despite a pretty high completion percentage; they let the small gains happen, and avoid disasters. Safety Akili Arnold has been phenomenal, and the cornerback duo of Jaden Robinson and Ryan Cooper Jr. has been one of the conference’s best, although Cooper is dealing with an injury.
Oregon State Ground Attack vs. Colorado Run Defense
Oregon State should build a nice lead in this one, and in an ideal scenario, they’d be able to run the ball effectively enough to protect it. They should be able to do just that, as their rushing offense grades 11th best in the country by EPA per play, while Colorado’s run defense is barely top hundred by the same measure. Damien Martinez and Deshaun Fenwick have been a good running back duo, but the real story is the Beavers’ offensive line, which ranks second in PFF’s run blocking grades, anchored by star right tackle Taliese Fuaga.
Colorado is giving up 4.5 yards per carry on defense on pretty decent volume, and almost two rushing scores per game. That kind of performance won’t come close to slowing down the Beavers, so the upset attempt is going to have to start at the line of scrimmage against that vaunted offensive line. D-lineman Shane Cokes has been a solid anchor, and edge rusher Jordan Domineck has exactly matched his average depth of tackle of 2.4 yards, but Amari McNeill has them both beat with a figure of 1.7.