USC vs Colorado Prediction, Odds, and Same Game Parlay Picks (+285)
Alex Buck makes his picks and predictions for the USC vs. Colorado game in Week 5 of the 2023 NCAAF season.
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College Football Schedule Week 5 – Game info College Football Season 2023
USC (3-0, 1-0 Away) vs. Colorado (3-1, 2-0 Home)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Venue: Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo.
TV Channel: Fox
Live Stream: FuboTV
Live Radio: KSZL 1230AM
The Colorado Buffaloes are licking their wounds after a high-profile hammering by Oregon in Week 4. Unfortunately, life doesn’t get much easier this week, because USC quarterback Caleb Williams and the Trojans are on deck.
Williams is a hot name in 2023, and many experts are already predicting he will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The other big-name quarterback in this game in Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders, who is enjoying a spectacular season of his own. If the Buffaloes offensive line can keep him on his feet, this could be one of the highest-scoring games of the year.
USC vs Colorado Odds, Spread, Over/Under, Moneyline - College Football Odds Week 5
USC at Colorado Preview
USC is the current betting favorite to win the Pac-12, which can be largely attributed to the man that lines up under center for the Trojans. Caleb Williams had a monstrous 4,537-yard, 42-touchdown season in 2022, and in 2023 he has picked up right where he left off. Williams has already thrown for 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns this year, which puts him in second place on the nation’s touchdown leaderboard behind Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.
Not only does Williams have 15 touchdown passes, he also has yet to be intercepted this season. That fact alone reveals how much mastery he has over the QB position. When Williams is able to play, there will be very few games that USC enters as the underdog. On Saturday, he goes up against a Colorado defense that was just carved up by the Pac-12’s second-place team, the Oregon Ducks. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix threw for 217 yards and four touchdowns in the first half with only two incompletions. Having Williams in town will no doubt force the Colorado defense to make some rapid adjustments.
The Buffaloes will benefit from home-field advantage, but they will again be without two-way man Travis Hunter, their versatile wide receiver/cornerback. Against an offense like USC’s, Colorado needs all the help it they can get, and Hunter’s absence is already a big loss. Their weakness in the secondary is concerning, but there is danger coming at them on the ground as well. The Buffaloes are giving up 5.3 yards per rush, which is the ninth-highest total of any FBS team. Unfortunately for Colorado, the Trojans have a couple of hyper-efficient running backs joining Williams in their backfield. Austin Jones and MarShawn Lloyd are averaging 8.4 and 8.9 yards-per-carry, respectively. Between Williams and these two, there is little respite for opposing defenses when USC has the ball.
USC is going to score points -- it’s just a fact. The key for Colorado is that -- when they do possess the football – they must keep QB Shedeur Sanders on his feet. Sanders is a very talented passer, but he was sacked seven times by Oregon and was constantly under pressure last week. In situations like that, there isn’t much a quarterback can do, so getting him some more time to throw the ball will be one of the most important aspects of this game for the Buffaloes.
If Colorado’s offensive line can protect Sanders, there will be points available for the Buffs. Arizona State, a 1-3 team currently sitting near the bottom of the Pac-12, managed to hang around against USC last week and fell by only 14 points. Losing Hunter was a big hit for the Colorado offense, but this team will still have the ability to put up points in this game.
Buffaloes wide receivers Xavier Weaver and Jimmy Horn Jr. have both started the season well, and Weaver leads the way with 461 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Dylan Edwards has been explosive when called upon in either the run game or the passing game. He has been used sparingly as a rusher but is averaging 9.9 yards per carry on the ground. He also had 135 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver against TCU in Colorado’s season-opener -- proof that he is a versatile asset for this offense. All the Buffaloes’ playmakers will need to be at the top of their games if Colorado plans to stick around with USC on Saturday.
USC vs Colorado Prediction and Pick
Last week’s loss to Oregon had to really sting this Colorado team, and I think it will put up more of a fight in this one. The home crowd will help, but I am concerned that this USC squad will simply outmatch the Buffaloes across the board. Travis Hunter’s absence is big, but the team’s inability to protect Shedeur Sanders is an even bigger issue, and it will ultimately enable USC to pull away in this game.
This is also a great matchup for USC’s running game, which offers the Trojans another way to apply pressure. There is no clear route for Colorado’s defense to get off the field, so I think USC will pile up the points, with Colorado contributing just enough to help us land the over.
The Pick: Total Points: Over 73.5 (-120)
I expect the Trojans to score on almost every drive in this game, forcing Colorado to play from behind and rely on its passing game. It’s a test for the Colorado offensive line, but I think they will handle the USC pass rush a bit better than they handled Oregon’s. Arizona State proved last week that USC is susceptible to giving up points, and I think Shedeur Sanders can make that happen. The USC secondary is a step down from Oregon’s, so the talented Colorado QB will have more opportunities to get his team into the end zone.
With the added help of some potential garbage-time points, I think the Buffaloes can cover the spread here.
The Pick: Colorado Buffaloes +20.5 (-110)
Best College Football Same-Game Parlay Picks today for USC vs Colorado: 2-Leg Parlay Pick (+285)
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