After a blowout loss at USC, look for a strong bounce-back from the Oregon State Beavers Saturday when they visit a Colorado team coming off a heartbreaking overtime defeat.
While we are not normally fans of road favorites, we may have found one that is actually undervalued Saturday when the Oregon State Beavers (3-1, 1-3 ATS) pay a visit to the Colorado Buffaloes (2-3, 3-2 ATS) at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO at 4:00 ET in a game available on the Pac-12 Network.
The posted line at Pinnacle Sports for this contest is Oregon State -7½ at current odds of -102.
Undefeated No More
The Beavers were flying high at 3-0 before their trip to Los Angeles last week, where USC brought them back to earth with a 35-10 whooping. Quarterback Sean Mannion had one of his worst games ever completing just 15-of-32 passes for only 123 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes. Keep in mind however that USC has one of the best defenses in the Pac-12 this season and Mannion and the Beavers should have a much easier go of it offensively here.
That is because Colorado is 84th in the country in total defense surrendering 411.8 yards per game, which is a key reason why the Buffaloes are 2-3 on the college football picks so far after what could potentially be a heart-wrenching 59-56 loss at surprising California in double overtime last week. Unfortunately, the Buffaloes probably cannot be expected to match that offensive success here.
You see, while the offense was fine as usual during Oregon State’s 3-0 start, credit most also be given to a 16th ranked total defense that is only allowing 306.5 yards per game. The Beavers have been at their best defending the pass, ranking 18th in that category at 171.5 yards per game on 5.0 yards per pass attempt, which in itself is an amazing sixth best in the entire nation.
That is not to say that the offense has not done its part as it outgained the opposition by 290, 128 and 157 yards respectively in the first three wins. Also, while Oregon State was just about a completely one-dimensional passing team with Mannion last year, the Beavers are running a bit more this season. Granted averaging 123.8 rushing yards on 3.8 yards per carry may not seem like much, but just that semi-competence alone prevents defenses from keying on the pass.
And as mentioned, the poor Colorado defense should allow Oregon State to regain that offensive form this week after that one hiccup against the Trojans.
Might Be Letdown Spot
The Buffaloes were 14-point underdogs when they visited Berkley last week, but they built leads of 14 points on three separate occasions before California rallied, and it was the Golden Bears that held a 49-42 lead until Colorado tied the game at 49-49 with 21 seconds left in regulation time on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
The teams then exchanged touchdowns in the first overtime period before a goal line stand allowed Cal to win on their ensuing field goal in the second extra stanza. Colorado ended up totaling 629 yards on that contest, which seems almost impossible to duplicate here vs. the staunch Oregon State defense, but the defense allowed 576 yards and unfortunately that was probably not an aberration.
And that is not to mention the emotional toll a loss like that can have on the Buffaloes this week, so they may come out flat here and potentially allow the Beavers to jump out to a quick early lead before the Buffs know what hit them.
Beaver Blowout Last Year
This is just the second meeting ever between these two schools as Colorado did not join the Pac-12 until just a couple of years ago, and Oregon State won the first meeting in blowout fashion 44-17 back in Corvallis last season while amassing 540 total yards of offense.
Although this rematch is at the home venue of Colorado and this game may not be quite as bad of a blowout as last year, we still see Oregon State winning this game safely by double-digits Saturday.
College Football Pick: Oregon State -7½ (-102)