Vegas Betting Preview & Free Pick: Arizona vs Colorado

Both teams will be fighting to keep their Pac-12 title hopes alive this week when the Arizona Wildcats host the Colorado Buffaloes. Kickoff is set for 10:30 EST on Friday, November 2, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. The game can be seen nationally on FS1.

Oddsmakers list the Wildcats as 4-point favorites at home with an over/under of 59 points. Click here to check out a full list of this week’s college football betting odds.

Arizona vs Colorado Vegas Game Preview & Betting Odds

The Wildcats are responsible for one of the most shocking results in college football last week. One week after a disappointing loss to UCLA, Arizona dominated Oregon to the tune of 44-15. In the process, the Wildcats may have salvaged their season, at least for now. Arizona is currently 4-5 overall and 3-3 inside the Pac-12. Even with three losses in conference play, the Wildcats are still alive for the top spot in the Pac-12 South division if things break well down the stretch. 

Of course, it’s far more important for Kevin Sumlin to at least get the Wildcats to a bowl game in his first season. Arizona needs two wins in their final three games to qualify, so it’s vital for the Cats to win back-to-back games with Washington State and Arizona State still left on their schedule.

Colorado, on the other hand, is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. A little over a month ago, the Buffs were 5-0 and ranked in the top-25. However, it’s been a living nightmare for Colorado ever since. Losses to USC and Washington are understandable, but last week’s home loss to lowly Oregon State is inexcusable. 

However, Colorado still has a chance to play their way to the top of the Pac-12 South. With home games against Washington State and Utah left on their schedule, it won’t be easy, but if the Buffs somehow win out, they’ll have a chance to reach the Pac-12 title game. Of course, given their November schedule, a loss this week means that Colorado could have a hard time just reaching a bowl game.

To make matters worse for Colorado, the Wildcats have gotten the better of this rivalry in recent years. Arizona has won four of the six meetings since the Buffaloes joined the Pac-12. However, Colorado did win their last trip to Tucson in 2016.

Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Colorado +4

The line for this game feels like an overreaction to what both teams did last week. I’m not sure Arizona is as good as the team that blew out Oregon last week, nor am I convinced that Colorado is as bad as the team that lost to Oregon State last week. I think the Buffs will sort out some issues while the Wildcats come back down to earth. I think Colorado is the better team, so I’ll lean toward the Buffaloes as the underdog to at least beat the spread.

As mentioned, last week’s loss to Oregon State is inexcusable. But it was mostly a result of the Buffs taking their foot off the gas after leading 31-3 early in the 2nd half. They paid the price for doing that, but that’s not a situation that’s likely to repeat itself, especially since they’re likely to be a lot more focused in the aftermath of that collapse.

Had Colorado won that game, we’d be talking about a team that’s 6-2 with their only losses coming on the road to USC and Washington. I don’t think Colorado is that far away from being that kind of team. Quarterback Steven Montez is still having an outstanding season with 14 touchdown passes against just four interceptions. The Buffs also have one of the best playmakers in the country in Laviska Shenault Jr. 

Meanwhile, I’m not sure Arizona can replicate the kind of performance they delivered last week against Oregon. The Wildcats have had their moments this season, but they’ve been lacking in consistency, which is why they’re 4-5 and struggling to reach a bowl game. I can’t argue with the Cats limiting Oregon to 15 points last week. However, this is the same Arizona team that gave up a combined 73 points to Utah and UCLA in their two previous games. I’m not buying the Arizona defense to put together two quality performances in back-to-back weeks.

I have similar concerns about Arizona’s consistency on the other side of the ball as well. Quarterback Khalil Tate returned from injury last week to throw three touchdown passes. But he still completed less than 60% of his passes and threw for less than 200 yards. Tate’s performance this season and the entire Arizona offense have been too up and down for my liking. There’s a good chance their game against Colorado turns into a shootout, and I’m not sure Tate will be able to keep up against Montez in a passing contest.

In the end, I’m not willing to let one bad half by Colorado or one good outing by Arizona change my perception of either team. Admittedly, my stubbornness could end up costing me. However, I still think Colorado is the better team, so I have no problem taking them as the underdog in this game.

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