Stanford will travel to Colorado this Friday (10/13/23) for a late-night Pac-12 clash. Get Stanford vs. Colorado predictions and best bets below as our best bet is Colorado -11.5.
Stanford Vs. Colorado Prediction – College Football Week 7
Coach Prime will lead his team into an unconventional “primetime” than usual this week as his Buffaloes will be playing at Folsom Field as the lone FBS game kicking off at 10pm ET this weekend. Colorado is in a strange spot right now as they followed up a surprisingly close loss to USC with a surprisingly close road win over Arizona State, in which the Buffs’ offense never got going the way we’ve seen it against other low-caliber defenses as they only scored 27 points.
That being said, they hit the over on their preseason win total of 3.5 by beating the Sun Devils, a reminder that almost no matter what happens next, this team has already found a lot of success this season and exceeded expectations. After Deion Sanders referred to the effort as “hot garbage,” you can expect the Buffaloes to come out on fire this week as the team enters the challenging back half of its schedule needing two more wins to secure bowl eligibility and a chance to play on a national stage.
Given the difficulty of their remaining six games, this one against Stanford is a must-win. Fortunately, there’s a very real argument to be made that the Cardinal are the very worst FBS team in the country. They’re 127th in the nation in net EPA per play and 130th in success rate, and I would absolutely shudder to see who managed to rank below them in either category.
They started off the year with a road win over Hawaii, in which they came into a very unique road environment and played surprisingly well-rounded and capable football. Since then, it’s been an unmitigated disaster in Palo Alto. Rivalry games against Oregon and USC were utterly uncompetitive, and they even lost at home by a touchdown to FCS Sacramento State- who were led last year by none other than Stanford’s own current head coach, Troy Taylor.
With almost exclusively ranked matchups the rest of the way, Taylor desperately needs a positive performance this Friday night. His Cardinal are coming off of a bye, and other than perhaps Cal in the second to last game of the season, Colorado is somehow the worst opponent remaining.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine that happening. Colorado’s offense has slumped a bit of late, but Stanford’s bottom-five defense is not particularly likely to force that trend to continue, as other than star edge rusher David Bailey, nobody is going to come close to making quarterback Shedeur Sanders pay for his habit of holding onto the football too long.
Offensively, the Cardinal have been a bit better, but that will happen when your offense has mostly been on the field against an FCS team, second units in garbage time, and Hawaii. It would be great to see Stanford hang in there and make this a ballgame, but it should be a messy one in Boulder this Friday night, and the home team has every ability to pull away and make it a laugher despite their recent poor form. In fact, this is a great buy-low spot for Colorado as they take on a completely uncompetitive squad.
Stanford Vs. Colorado Prediction: Colorado -11.5
Stanford Vs. Colorado Best Odds
Oct. 13, 9:00 PM Moneyline Odds updated October 14th, 2023, at 1:05 am
STAN @ COL
Oct. 13, 9:00 PM
Odds updated October 14th, 2023, at 1:05 am
With Colorado set as an 11.5 point home favorite, the total is 58.5, with -110 odds on either side of both of those lines.
Stanford Vs. Colorado Key Matchups
In order to slow down Colorado’s offense, Stanford is going to have to bring the heat to quarterback Shedeur Sanders, while the Buffs will need their secondary to have a good day against a decent group of Stanford pass catchers, so let’s dig into these key positional matchups.
Colorado O-Line vs. Stanford Pass Rush
Sanders has done a good job getting his average time to throw down, as it’s currently sitting at 2.79 seconds, but he’s definitely still prone to taking too long to make his throws. Luckily, his o-line has done a pretty good job of bailing him out most of the time as they rank 24th in PFF’s pass blocking grade. It’s been a balanced effort, as PFF grades each of their starters over a 72 in pass blocking, but none over 79, so there’s no specific weak link in the chain.
They’ll be protecting Sanders from a Stanford pass rush that has graded poorly by just about every available metric. David Bailey recorded three sacks against Hawaii, but has just one since, and d-lineman Tobin Phillips is the only other Cardinal defender in the front seven with a PFF pass rush grade over 70.
Stanford Pass Catchers vs. Colorado Secondary
Stanford’s quarterback group hasn’t done a good job delivering the football, but their receivers have actually been decent at getting open; as a group, they rank 73rd in PFF’s grades, making them a relative strength of the team. Tight End Benjamin Yurosek has been quiet after a great opener against Hawaii but could be in for a nice game against a Colorado team that lacks physicality, and Elic Ayomanor has also cracked the 200-yard plateau.
Colorado’s secondary will be missing do-it-all two-way superstar, which is a significant loss for a unit that can’t really afford it, but several Buffaloes have stepped up nicely in Hunter’s absence. Fellow cornerback Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig, has hauled in three picks and allowed an NFL passer rating of 64.3 on targets, while Carter Stoutmire played well in his first appearance in awhile against Arizona State. As far as safeties, there’s some help there too; Trevor Woods has grabbed two picks and has the team’s best PFF coverage grade behind Hunter, and of course Shilo Sanders has contributed as well.