NCAA College Football Pick - Colorado Buffaloes vs Arizona Wildcats

Colorado Buffaloes Celebrate

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 7:54 PM GMT

Yes, you're seeing that correctly. Colorado is indeed on top of the Pac-12 South as the Buffaloes make their last road trip to Arizona as favorites on the college football odds.

Season: 20-18-3 (+0.90)

An afterthought when the NCAA football futures were first being discussed back in August, the Colorado Buffaloes instead are positioned well for an appearance in their first Pac-12 Championship. That just might be head coach Mike MacIntyre's biggest challenge this week: Keeping the Buffs from looking ahead to a trip to Levi's Stadium on December 2.

Colorado's next opponent wouldn't seem to present a dangerous challenge as the Arizona Wildcats haven't picked up a dubya since starting conference play six games ago. Current numbers for the 10 PM (ET) kickoff certainly back that up, BetOnline's original -15 spread on the Buffs sticking while the total has inched up from 55 at the opener to 57½.

Given the fact they haven't enjoyed even a winning season since joining the Pac 12 in 2011, a South Division title and chance to play for the conference crown seems almost unthinkable for the Buffs. Yet here they are, atop the division by a game and set up to eventually play the winner of the Washington-Washington State contest. It's the slimmest of 1-game leads for Colorado as USC sits just behind and has the tiebreaker over the Buffaloes. Utah is also near and Colorado's final opponent of the season with a matchup vs. Washington State before that.

 

Home Teams 0-4 ATS In Recent Meetings

The Buffaloes aren't just trying to stay atop the South Division with a victory, they also arrive in Tucson looking to halt a 4-game losing streak against these Wildcats. Colorado does hold bragging rights in the overall series with a 13-5 advantage, but it has been all Arizona the last four year with the Buffaloes owning but one conference triumph.

Spread victories have been distributed equally during the Wildcats' 4-game win streak, the visitor covering the NCAA football odds in each case. Last year's 38-21 final in Boulder came with Arizona -6 on the road, the teams combining for 1,083 yards of offense to help send the game just past a 67½ point total, the third 'over' in four meetings.

 

'Cats Coming Off Demoralizing Defeat

Colorado (7-2 straight up, 8-1 against the spread) has managed to get to this point thanks mostly to one of the stingiest defenses in the country. Oregon is the only Pac-12 team to rack up much offense against the Buffaloes, MacIntyre's men holding five conference foes to under 12 PPG since that late-September contest in Eugene. UCLA barely crossed the 200-yard line in total offense last Friday night in Boulder, a 20-10 decision that marked the fifth consecutive 'under' winner for Colorado.

Facing a tough defense like the Buffaloes have is probably the worst thing that can happen to offensively-challenged Arizona (2-7 SU, 1-8 ATS) right now. Rich Rodriguez's gang ranks near the bottom of the conference in scoring (22.2 ppg) and passing (190.8 ypg), and have allowed 22 sacks to date. The Wildcats are coming off a completely humiliating loss at Washington State last Saturday, a 69-7 whipping that saw them turn it over three times and muster less than 300 yards.

It should be a nice, cool autumn evening if the weatherman gets his way. Clear skies and temps in the mid-to-upper 60s are expected at the kick with a 10-12 mph easterly breeze. As bad as Arizona has been playing, I'm expecting the Wildcats to hang around enough to make my free college football pick on the home team.

Free College Pick: Arizona +15 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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