Colorado State faces Colorado this Saturday (9/16/23). Get the latest Colorado vs. Colorado State odds below as well as our best bet which is Colorado State +23.5.
Colorado St Vs. Colorado Prediction & Best Bet
The media hype around Colorado football is reaching new heights. ESPN’s College GameDay is headed to Boulder for the first time since 1996 while Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff is returning back to Boulder despite hosting the Nebraska at Colorado game last week. It’s the first time Big Noon Kickoff has been on site for a game Fox isn’t broadcasting.
This all begs the question – when have we reached the peak of the market on this Colorado team? While they’re 2-0 ATS so far, they won’t cover the spread in every game they play this season, although don’t tell the public who had put 93% of wagers on the Buffs to cover once again at FanDuel.
Colorado still has major issues for my money between its nonexistent run game and gaps along both the offensive and defensive lines. Shedeur Sanders, who has 903 passing yards and six touchdowns through two games, has been able to paper over a lot of those roster holes as his Heisman odds continue to skyrocket.
Colorado State is coming off an oddly timed bye week, and I expect head coach Jay Norvell to come in with a strong game plan. He called out Deion Sanders on his weekly radio show on Wednesday, and he said “even Stevie Wonder can see it’s a great opportunity.” His team will be ready for this opportunity.
We know Sanders keeps his receipts, and while I don’t expect Colorado to overlook this game, it’s worth noting that their next two games after this one are against Oregon and USC, two of the top teams in the Pac 12. The Buffs will have one eye towards those games, and I see this as a good opportunity to fade the hype.
Colorado State Vs. Colorado Prediction & Best Bet: Colorado State +23.5
Colorado State Vs. Colorado Betting Odds
The spread for this game over the summer had Colorado as 10-point favorites, and their impressive start to the season has resulted in an inflated number of 23.5. The market seems to have no stopping point for support of this Colorado team. The total sits at 60.5 right now after being 59.5 earlier in the week.
Colorado State Vs. Colorado Key Matchups
When the Rocky Mountain Showdown takes place on Saturday, it’s expected to be the most watched game in the history of this rivalry. Let’s take a look at some of the matchups that will dictate the winning team.
Shedeur Sanders vs. Colorado State’s secondary
I was surprised to see Cameron Ward light up the Rams’ secondary for 451 yards in Week 1 as Colorado State brought back four of their five starters in the secondary. However, Ward did more of the same to Wisconsin, so that doesn’t look as bad in hindsight.
Shedeur Sanders won’t take it easy on the Colorado State secondary – he has completed 76.7% of his passes so far and has six big-time throws through two games per PFF. He’s looked every bit the Heisman-winning quarterback his dad hypes him up to be.
However, I expect a better effort from Colorado State’s pass defense coming off the bye week. The Rams ranked fourth in the country in passing explosiveness allowed last season and Jay Norvell has a strong history of coaching strong defenses as a former defensive back and linebacker himself.
Tory Horton vs. Travis Hunter
Along with Shedeur Sanders’ meteoric rise up Heisman odds boards, two-way star Travis Hunter is seeing similar Heisman buzz. He put on a show in Colorado’s first game with three pass breakups and an interception. Meanwhile, he has 14 catches for 192 yards through two games this season.
I expect Hunter to play more cornerback in this game as the team will want to keep him fresh for the upcoming Pac 12 games. At corner, he’ll be matched up with Tory Horton, Colorado State’s top receiver who had 71 catches for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He caught 9 balls for 81 yards in Week 1.
Horton’s return to Colorado State was a surprise in the current transfer portal era – he’s an NFL prospect whose elite top end speed and ball tracking make him a game-breaking downfield threat. Hunter will have his hands full covering likely the best receiver he’s seen all season, and we’ll learn more about what his coverage could look like in conference games.