FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Before Coach Deion Sanders and his Colorado Buffaloes beat Nebraska, moving to 2-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in the college football odds market, Fanatics Sportsbook had this to say:
“Coach Prime is blocking out the sun.”
Colorado plays under the stars this week, in a 10 p.m. ET Saturday kickoff in Boulder vs. Colorado State. So perhaps Coach Prime will block out the moon, as well.
BetMGM senior trader Cameron Drucker and professional bettor Paul Stone provide their insights on the college football betting freight train that is currently the Colorado Buffaloes.
Big Noon Boon
For the third straight week, FOX Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff pregame show will stick with the Colorado Buffaloes. Coach Prime and Co. certainly won’t take issue with that, after upsetting TCU 45-42 in Week 1, then notching a 36-14 win over Nebraska in Week 2.
But just two weeks after the Buffs were three-touchdown underdogs at TCU, how do bettors feel about the Buffs as three-touchdown-plus favorites?
Well, apparently, they feel pretty good.
“As you can expect, all Buffs money so far,” Drucker said Wednesday night. “A ton of interest from the public on this one, and not a ton of sharp money on either side. We will see [if that continues] as we get closer to kickoff.
“One thing is certain, though: We will be big Colorado State fans on Saturday, as this will most likely be the heaviest-bet game of the day, especially with the late kickoff.”
Colorado opened -20.5 at BetMGM and is out to -23.5 as of Wednesday night. On Tuesday night, BetMGM data analyst John Ewing noted that in the sportsbook’s digital market — meaning mobile and online betting, which is the overwhelming majority, compared with retail betting — 95% of all spread bets were on the Buffaloes.
Coach Prime and Colorado keeping their momentum
FOX Sports’ RJ Young discusses how Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes continue to prove doubters wrong.
From the Sharp Side
Last week, Stone felt comfortable betting on Colorado -3 vs. Nebraska, and it paid off. It was a sloppy game overall, but the Buffaloes pulled away in the second half for an easy 36-14 home victory.
This week, Stone thinks the Buffs are due for at least a little regression toward the mean. He’s not betting on Colorado State, but won’t be surprised if the Rams cover as hefty 23.5-point underdogs.
“In the preseason, I made Colorado a 7-point favorite in this matchup,” Stone said. “The Buffaloes clearly have superior talent, but the situation favors Colorado State.”
Stone noted Colorado has two huge games coming up: Sept. 23 at No. 13 Oregon, then at home Sept. 30 against Caleb Williams and No. 5 USC.
Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and the rest of the Buffaloes have to guard against looking ahead this week.
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Skip Bayless has been impressed by the Colorado QB early, so much so that he has him atop his Heisman Trophy list.
Championship Chase/Heisman Hopefuls
BetMGM faces daunting and growing liability on Colorado in the College Football Playoff championship odds market. Colorado is tied for No. 2 in ticket count with Ohio State, behind only Michigan, and the Buffs are No. 3 in money.
Keep in mind, though, that all those Buffs bets and dollars have come at long-shot odds. Colorado opened 300/1 (+30000) at BetMGM, went to 150/1 (+15000) after beating TCU and is now 80/1 (+8000) after beating Nebraska.
Consider this: Alabama has taken the most money by far in BetMGM’s CFP championship market — 3.5 times more than second-place Michigan and 4.5 times more than third-place Colorado. But Buffs liability is the far bigger issue behind the counter. With extra-long odds comes extra-large liability
“It dwarfs the next-highest team in national championship liability. It isn’t close, and it won’t be close,” BetMGM trading team lead Seamus Magee said. “The same goes for Sanders and Hunter with the Heisman Trophy.”
If Sanders and/or Hunter keep rolling for the Buffs, then that USC-Colorado clash could have ramifications on the Heisman Trophy odds market. Williams, the defending Heisman winner, is the +350 favorite at BetMGM.
But Sanders and Hunter have shot up the oddsboard over the first couple weeks of the season. Hunter opened 150/1 (+15000) and Sanders 125/1 (+12500). Now, Sanders is all the way up to the +1800 sixth choice, while Hunter is +3500.
Hunter and Sanders are 1-2 in ticket count at BetMGM, with both taking more than twice as many bets as No. 3 Williams. In money wagered, it’s almost a dead heat between those three, with Sanders first, Hunter second and Williams third.
Needless to say, with Sanders and Hunter such long shots to start with, BetMGM’s liability on those two is huge at the moment, far outpacing Williams or any other candidate.
In fact, BetMGM took a $1,000 preseason play on Sanders +12500. If that ticket gets there, the bettor will profit $125,000. And there are certainly plenty of $10/$20/$50/$100 Sanders tickets. That all adds up in a hurry.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas
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