Seemingly overnight, the Colorado Buffaloes became the most beloved team in America after upsetting TCU, last season’s runner-up, on the road. This week, the Buffs head home to face a fellow upstart program Nebraska.
These teams are coming off several down years, but this was once one of the premier rivalries in the sport. With Deion Sanders at Colorado and Matt Rhule at Nebraska, it appears as though both teams are back on the come-up.
In this article, you can find a breakdown of Nebraska vs. Colorado odds and a prediction of the outcome of the game. Check out our YouTube channel for an in-depth discussion of this game and the direction of these programs.
Nebraska Corn Huskers Vs. Colorado Buffaloes Prediction & Best Bet
Colorado landed 51 new players in the transfer portal over the offseason, by far the most in the country. I expected it to take some time for everything to come together, but that simply wasn’t the case as the Buffs looked like the more polished, well coached team last week. Deion Sanders and his staff deserve a ton of credit for making that happen.
Shedeur Sanders looked like a savvy vet running new offensive coordinator Sean Lewis’s high-paced scheme, and he threw for 510 yards and four touchdowns. Freshman Dylan Edwards was an explosive receiver out of the backfield, scoring four touchdowns including one on a 75-yard house call that was one of four 40+ yard plays by Colorado.
Travis Hunter had a superstar outing in which he played a whopping 145 snaps – 65 on offense and 80 on defense – and combined 11 catches for 119 yards with three pass breakups and a clutch red zone interception. Sanders and Hunter, both of whom transferred from Jackson State, dominated against higher level competition.
Travis Hunter was ridiculous … to make a chase down touchdown saving tackle from across the field and then an interception on the same drive
Insane athleticism and stamina pic.twitter.com/vS6V9hWFj9
— Bobby Fijan (@bobbyfijan) September 3, 2023
Nebraska suffered a painful 3-point loss to Minnesota in a game where they led for most of the evening. According to ESPN’s college football wizard Bill Connelly, the Huskers had a postgame win expectancy of 94%. Their run defense was dominant as they held Minnesota to just 2.7 line yards per rush.
Colorado’s offensive line could be an issue moving forward as they surrendered four sacks and averaged a paltry 2.7 line yards per rush. TCU’s awful second-level defense offset those issues – the Horned Frogs ranked 120th in PFF’s tackling metrics. Nebraska ranked 33rd in that same metric, so the Buffs likely won’t have the same open space to work with.
Where I do immediately see value in this game is in the total. The Buffs played at a breakneck pace last week, running 85 plays in brutal heat and humidity in Forth Worth. Now, they travel back home to altitude against a defense that has had extra time to prepare for them – Nebraska played on Thursday last week.
Nebraska will understand that its best path to success in this game is through the run game, and they’ll look to slow down the pace and establish their ground game, especially with quarterback Jeff Sims, who ran for 91 yards last week. That will help keep the clock rolling in this game.
I bet the over in the Colorado game last week and cashed, but this is a very different matchup. In a heated rivalry game at altitude with what should be a raucous home crowd, I like the under, especially with it sitting over the key number of 59. I’d play this down to 57.5.
Nebraska Vs. Colorado Prediction & Best Bet: Under 59.5
Nebraska Corn Huskers Vs. Colorado Buffaloes Odds
The Colorado hype train hasn’t just left the station – it’s in danger of careening straight off the tracks. The betting handle has been insane for the Buffaloes this week, with 94% of the bets and 93% of the handle on Colorado -3 against Nebraska per DraftKings.
Nebraska was set to be a 9.5-point favorite in this game prior to last week, and you can argue that the new line is an overreaction to isolated results. You can also argue that a 12.5-point adjustment in power ratings isn’t even enough based on what we saw last week. I expect further line movement as public money keeps hitting Colorado’s spread.
The total for this game sits at 59.5 points universally, with a couple of books at 59. Betting action on the total appears to be relatively split, so I wouldn’t expect major movement on the total one way or another as we lead up to kickoff.
Nebraska Corn Huskers Vs. Colorado Buffaloes Key Matchups
Jeff Sims vs. Colorado’s run defense
On Thursday night, Jeff Sims made his debut for Nebraska, and it wasn’t pretty. He threw three interceptions in the game, completing just 57.9% of his passes and finishing with a paltry 53.3 passer rating. Sims had a putrid 29.7 PFF passing grade that would have ranked dead last in the country last year.
Where Sims excelled was with his rushing. He totaled 101 rushing yards on designed runs and averaged 7.3 YPC before accounting for negative yards as a result of sacks. Colorado’s defense struggled to stop the run against TCU as they allowed 262 rushing yards on 7.1 YPC. Their defensive line accounted for zero tackles for loss in the game.
If Nebraska wants to win this game, establishing the run will be their best path to keep the ball away from Sanders and Colorado’s explosive passing offense. Look for Sims to be a big part of that and consider adding his rushing yardage prop to your PrizePicks or Underdog entries this week.
— On3 (@On3sports) September 1, 2023
Shedeur Sanders vs. Nebraska’s pass defense
Shedeur Sanders absolutely ripped apart TCU’s poor secondary last week, finishing with an electric 80.9% completion rate and 140.2 passer rating on his way to a 510-yard, four-touchdown outing. The Heisman buzz came fast and furious after this statement game on national television.
However, Sanders faces a much more difficult matchup this week against a Nebraska defense that held Minnesota’s Athan Kaliakmanis to a paltry 30.7% completion rate on throws 10+ yards downfield. Nebraska earned the 24th-best coverage grade in the nation per PFF while TCU was 130th.
Defensive backs Omar Brown, Quinton Newsome, and DeShon Singleton all earned high marks from PFF, and defensive coordinator Tony White is already working wonders for this defense after leading Syracuse to a top 50 finish in pass defense EPA last season. Sanders should still have a strong showing, but it won’t be nearly as easy for him this week.
This throw from Shedeur Sanders – he does such a good job of holding the safety then drops in a perfect pass pic.twitter.com/f8IHE9FnF9
— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) September 3, 2023
Nebraska Vs. Colorado Sportsbook Promo Codes