The No. 10 Oregon Ducks (3-0) will host the No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes (3-0) at 3:30 pm EST Saturday.
Although these teams come in with identical records and are both in the top 20, Oregon is a 21-point favorite, with the Ducks holding close to a 94% chance of winning, according to ESPN analytics.
The oddsmakers have struggled to find a fell on Colorado through the first three games.
The Buffaloes beat TCU 45-42 as a 21-point dog, followed by a 36-14 win as a 2.5-point favorite against Nebraska.
With the national spotlight on Boulder last Saturday, the Buffaloes could not cover the 23-point spread against Colorado State but did pull out a thrilling 43-35 overtime victory.
The Oregon Ducks have covered the spread in all three of their victories, starting with an 81-7 routing of Portland State. The Ducks won a hard-fought road game 38-30 against Texas Tech in the second game and 55-10 over Hawaii last week.
National expectations were different for these teams coming into the season. Oregon was voted fourth in the Media Pac-12 Preseason Poll, behind USC, Washington, and USC.
The Ducks did finish 10-3 last season and welcomed back six defensive starters and five on offense.
The Colorado Buffaloes were voted 11th in the Pac-12 Media Poll, ahead of only Stanford. Led by Deion Sanders (Coach Prime), Colorado hit the transfer portal hard, highlighted by three players who came over from Jackson State: quarterback Shedeuer Sanders, two-way star Travis Hunter, and safety Shilo Sanders.
Unfortunately, Travis Hunter was injured against Colorado State and will not play against Oregon.
The Ducks come into this game holding a substantial advantage on the defensive side. Oregon ranks 39th in the country, allowing 4.7 yards per play, while Colorado is 94th, allowing 5.9 yards per play.
The Ducks also come in with the statical advantage on offense ranking 10th, averaging 7.4 yards per play, compared to 5.8 yards per play, which ranks Colorado 40th.
|Colorado Buffaloes||Oregon Ducks|
Although Oregon has the home-field advantage and looks like the better team, I expect the Buffaloes to keep this game within three touchdowns.
Although the Ducks went on the road and beat Texas Tech, the Buffaloes have faced a tougher overall schedule so far.
It will be challenging for the Buffaloes to slow down quarterback Bo Nix and the Ducks offense, but the Oregon defense will also have its hands full.
Shadeur Sanders has played like a first-round NFL quarterback so far and will put on a show. Colorado should be fueled and fired up once again and cover the number in a competitive contest.
Prediction Oregon 42 – Colorado 32
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) September 22, 2023
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| Title: Can Colorado compete with Oregon?
| Author: David Marotta
| Date: Sep 22, 2023