College Football Pick: Colorado +14½ at home over Arizona

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Arizona has one of the best rushers in the land in Ka'Deem Carey, whose breakout performance last year came vs. Colorado, but look for the Buffaloes to stay close in Boulder.

It is Homecoming Day for the revenge minded home underdogs on Saturday, so look for a closer game than this line suggests when the Arizona Wildcats (4-2, 1-2 away) pay a visit to the Colorado Buffaloes (3-3, 2-1 home) at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO at 8:00 ET in a game available on the Pac-12 Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Colorado as a large home underdog for this contest with the current line at +14½ with odds of -106.

The meeting between these clubs last season was a memorable one with Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey going off for 366 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a 56-31 Wildcat rout, although Colorado did cover as a 29-point underdog. Carey has gone on to currently lead the country in rushing yards per game at 161.0 yards per contest.

However, the Buffaloes have not forgotten, and with this being Homecoming Day in Boulder, expect Colorado to play with a great deal of emotion and focus all of its energies in at least containing Carey and forcing Arizona to pass, which is not its strong suit.

Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker has in reality had just one good passing game all year, which came in a 38-31 loss while trying to come from behind on the road vs. the USC Trojans two games ago. Denker completed 28-of-44 passes for 363 yards and four touchdowns in that contest, but he has not reached 200 yards in any other game this season while completing only 55.5 percent of his passes and averaging a scant 6.0 yards per pass attempt.

Also, if you take away that four-touchdown effort, Denker has just three touchdown passes in his other five games combined. So it is not an exaggeration to say that as Carey goes, so go the Wildcats, but even with that said, Arizona is still just 1-2 on the road with the other defeat coming at Washington.

Colorado has managed to outrush four of its six opponents thus far, and it would be a terrific sign if the Buffaloes can duplicate that feat here. However, other than selling out to stop Carey on defense and forcing Denker into passing situations, Colorado’s other key to staying in this game is getting a couple of big plays from wide receiver Paul Richardson, who has a lot of them this year.

It all began when Richardson had 208 receiving yards in a 41-27 win on opening week vs. Colorado State, and he has not really slowed down since as he now has 782 receiving yards on a whopping 18.2 yards per reception with six touchdown catches, and for good measure he also has a 75-yard touchdown pass on a gadget play.

When you add up Colorado’s quick strike ability, the revenge motive and Homecoming, the Buffaloes look like a very attractive underdog catching better than two touchdowns at home on Saturday night.

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College Football Pick: Colorado +14½ (-106)