Free PAC-12 Pick: Washington State Cougars at Colorado Buffaloes
N0. 10 Washington State Cougars (8-1 SU, 8-1 ATS) at Colorado Buffaloes (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS)
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018 3:30PM EST
Location: Folsom Field, Boulder, CO.
Point Spread: WSU -4.5/COL +4.5
Power Ratings: WSU by 19
Takeaways from Week 10
The Washington State Cougar’s takeaway from week 10 was all about survival and finishing off a game. For the first time this season the Cougars did not cover the spread, but they did get the win at home and are now 8-1 ATS on the year. WSU faced a stingy California Bear’s defense as the Bears held the Cougars to only 19 points which is 22 points below their average of 41 per game. California’s D played a two-deep zone the entire game and dropped 8 back allowing Minshew to complete underneath throws but not the long ball. For some reason, Minshew did not make reads down the middle of the field like he usually would, and he missed a lot of open receivers—this may have been a scouting report deal but for what it’s worth it kept the high-flying air-raid at bay. Regardless, once again the clutch play of WSU QB Gardner Minshew was evident as he continues to get the job done when the game is on the line—he’s done it three weeks in a row now with key passing and significant decisions. The WSU defense must get a lot of credit as well for holding their own and getting stops when it matters.
Colorado is coming off their fourth loss in a row as they dropped 34-42 at Arizona last weekend. All four of their losses have been by less than two TDs, so the Buffaloes are in most games but have trouble down the stretch finishing which has cost them. They are always tough at home with their vibrant fans and will undoubtedly be another tough challenge on the road for WSU.
How the Public is Betting the Cougars/Buffaloes Game
The public is currently betting 78 percent in favor of WSU and 22 percent on the Buffaloes. I expect these percentages to fluctuate throughout the week, but the Cougars have a lot riding on this game and really the rest of their regular season. WSU will be sharp on the road and well-studied—the bettors may want to jump on the Cougs to get this cover.
WSU has won 2 of the last 3 meetings dating back to 2015 (WSU 27-COL 3) 2016 (COL 38-WSU 24) 2017 (WSU 28-COL 0).
11/4 DB Sean Harper Jr. is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. Colorado—lower body injury
10/15 DL Nnamdi Oguayo is out indefinitely (undisclosed)
11/4 RB B. Bisharat questionable for this Saturday—rib injury
11/4 WR K. Nixon questionable this Saturday—side injury
11/3 WR L. Shenault Jr. day-to-day—toe injury—missed last three games
11/3 PK J. Stefanou day-to-day, unclear if will play this Saturday—hip injury
11/3 DB E. Worthington day-to-day, missed last game and unknown if he will play Saturday—concussion-like systems
11/3 WR J. MacIntyre day-to-day, questionable—concussion-like systems.
When Washington State has the Ball
WSU has established that they are not just a passing team—yes, I know Minshew’s numbers are off the charts as he leads the nation in passing, but when the Cougs have the ball, they are now a threat on the ground too. Not only do the Cougs have two dynamic RBs in Williams and Borghi (who are also great receivers out of the backfield) but Minshew is a mobile QB who can run and throw on the move. In addition, most defenses struggle to guard as many as 9 to 10 targets that WSU utilizes in their air-raid attack.
When Colorado has the Ball
When Colorado has the ball, they can be explosive as long as QB Steven Montez can hit his targets—and usually, he does. Montez threw for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns last week in the loss at Arizona. However, Montez tossed an interception late in the game that sealed the win for the Wildcats. Montez is a smart QB who will read defenses and make the right check-down and or pick up the blitz and hit the open receiver. Buffaloes RB Trevon McMillian has four 100-yard or more rushing games this season, but he struggled on the road and was held to just 59 yards at Arizona, 86 at Washington, and 32 at USC—all losses.
- WSU is 7-1 ATS overall this season!
- WSU is 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- WSU is 4-0 ATS in last 4 road games
- COL is 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 games when allowing more than 40 points in their previous game
- COL is 0-4 ATS in last 4 games versus a team with a winning record
- COL is 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in November
Game time is predicted to be sunny and 54 degrees at kickoff. Humidity at 38 percent with winds light at 1.5 mph. It should be a beautiful day for college football on ESPN prime time!
Dave Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Washington State won a game versus Cal that they likely would have lost a year ago, but this is the difference this year—the Cougs find ways to win! The team chemistry this season is almost magical at this point in the manner that the Cougs have stepped up and made the big plays in big moments. This trend will continue at Colorado especially after a less than stellar performance for WSU QB Gardner Minshew who even with an off game he still made the plays he needed to win. The Cougs need to keep an eye out for other teams stealing California’s defensive scheme (zone) that held WSU to just 19 points—if the Cougs can do this, and keep the triple threat (air-raid, rushing game, and Minshew’s mobility) going they should take care of business at Folsom Field this Saturday. I like the Cougars to get back on track and cover the points on the way to their ninth win. Washington State covers the spread at Colorado.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Washington State Cougars cover. Luck to ya. Editor’s Note: Get more opinions on the Week 11 games by visiting our NCAA Football Page.