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Stanford is looking to make it two straight wins when they travel to Boulder to face a Colorado squad desperate for a victory.
Standford enters this contest sporting a 4-4 overall record with a 3-3 record in PAC-12 play. After a less than stellar start to the season, Stanford won three of their last four contests, including victories over Washington and Arizona.
Alternatively, Colorado didn't win a game in October. The Buffaloes lost five straight games to earn an overall record of 3-6 with a 1-5 record in PAC-12 play.
This cross-divisional showdown takes at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday at Folsom Field. The game airs on the PAC-12 Network.
Stanford hoping to keep pace in PAC-12 North raceStanford's offense has caught fire recently thanks to the stellar play of quarterback K.J. Costello. In the Cardinal's win over Arizona, Costello threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He could have a big game on Saturday when he faces a Colorado secondary who's next to last nationally in passing yards allowed per game with 316 yards.
Another player to watch is running back Cameron Scarlett. Scarlett has rushed for 700 yards on the season, averaging almost four and a half yards per rush. Against Colorado, he faces a defense that allows 150 rushing yards per game, so he could be in store for a big game.
Defensively, Stanford's plan of attack focuses primarily on limiting Colorado quarterback Steven Montez. Montez is a huge part of the Buffaloes' offense, as he's thrown for 2,242 yards and 14 touchdowns. By that same token, he makes inconsistent reads by throwing nine interceptions.
With this in mind, there are plays for Stanford's defense to make if they disguise coverages to befuddle Montez. They must be able to win the battle up front as well which is a tall order against the Buffaloes, who average one and a half sacks allowed per game.
Colorado hopes to turn it aroundThe Buffaloes enter this contest 2-15 in interleague play. The Buffaloes' young defense has been often overmatched. And they're facing another hurdle this week playing against Stanford, who'll challenge Colorado's secondary. Given how the Buffaloes' defense surrender 34 points a game, it needs its offense to step up big to keep pace with Stanford.
Much of the responsibility falls on Montez, who's shown bouts of potential earlier in the season. However, his inconsistency has helped stalled a veteran Colorado offense that should be producing better results.
Against Stanford, they have the opportunity to make big plays. Stanford's defense allows 414 total yards per game, with 263 of them being through the air. So, if Montez can show steady play throughout then Colorado has plenty of chances to make big plays and keep the game close.
Trends found on Covers.com Colorado is:
- 1-4 ATS in last 5 games
- 4-1-1 ATS in road games against opponents with a losing record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Stanford is playing better football entering this contest. Their passing offense should have a big game against an inexperienced Colorado secondary. Moreover, while the Buffaloes struggle to score points, they're facing a Cardinal defense that gives up yards in bunches, so expect Colorado to hang around with big plays. The difference comes down to turnovers, and this is where Stanford prevails.
Prediction: Stanford -2
Full-Game Total Pick
Stanford is 4-0 in the Over in their last 4 road games while Colorado is 4-1 in the Over in their last five home games. Given how both teams give up a combined 62 points per game, expect the offenses to have success in a high-scoring contest where Stanford wins by one possession.
Prediction: Over 54