Colorado Buffaloes (1-3, 2-1 ATS) vs. Texas Longhorns (4-0, 1-3 ATS), Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Saturday, Oct. 10, 7:15 PM Eastern, ESPN
By Z-Man of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Colorado +32.5/Texas -32.5
The 2nd-ranked Texas Longhorns look to stay on the trail that leads to the BCS championship game when they host the Colorado Buffaloes in a Big 12 inter-divisional bout Saturday night in Austin.
Most off-shore sportsbooks opened Texas as 31 1/2-point favorites for this game, and that number has been bet up a point, to 32 , at most places. This game also opened with a total of from 58 to 60, and that number, as of Thursday afternoon, has been bumped to 62 almost everywhere.
With nine starters back on offense, Colorado was expected by many experts to improve upon its 5-7 performance of last season. But the Buffs have struggled early, losing their season opener at home to Colorado State, then giving up 54 points in a loss at Toledo, before beating Wyoming. Last Thursday night Colorado allowed West Virginia to run for 257 yards in a 35-24 loss at West Virginia.
The Buffaloes did manage to beat the spread last week, though, getting 17 points in Morgantown.
Texas has rolled through its early-season slate, beating UL-Monroe, Wyoming, Texas Tech at UTEP by an average score of 50-15. But the Longhorns have only been able to cover one pointspread so far, because they’ve been favored by 42, 32, 20 and 37 points.
For bettors who follow the trap game angle, Texas takes on Oklahoma next Saturday in the annual Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
In playing their one common opponent so far this season, the Buffaloes outgained Wyoming 326-230 and outrushed the Cowboys 151-76, while the Longhorns outgained the Pokes 538-273 and outrushed ’em 185-87.
CU QB Cody Hawkins, the coach’s kid, has completed 53% of his passes so far this season, with seven TDs and seven INTs. In his third season now as the starter, the junior owns a 46/34 career TD/INT ratio.
On the other side of the field, Texas QB Colt McCoy has hit on 71% of his throws this season, with nine TDs and five interceptions. For his career at UT, the senior has thrown 94 touchdown passes and 38 picks.
Colorado is averaging 355 YPG this season, but only 94 YPG on the ground. On the other side of the ball, the Buffs are allowing 409 YPG total and a concerning 202 YPG vs. the run.
Texas is averaging 521 yards of total offense so far this season, 201 YPG by the run, while the defense is allowing 260 YPG, and just 48 YPG on the ground.
The ‘Horns have beaten the Buffs four times in a row. Last year, Texas outgained Colorado 431-266 and won 38-14 as 12-point favorites at Boulder.
The totals are 2-2 in Buffaloes games this year, which have averaged 54 points, and 2-2 in Longhorns games, which have averaged 65 points.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank Texas 7th in all of FBS ball at 87.7, Colorado 68th at 69.4. Sagarin’s updated CFB home-field advantage figure is 2.9.
For what it’s worth, last week teams ranked in the USA Today top 25 coaches’ poll went 11-2 straight up vs. non-ranked teams, but just 5-7 vs. the pointspreads.
Z-Man’s Pick: Colorado should have problems moving the ball. Take the UNDER 62.