The Colorado Buffaloes and Arizona Wildcats face off Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET, a must-win showdown for two teams in the hunt for a Pac-12 South division title. Arizona has won five of the seven meetings between these teams since Colorado joined the Pac-12, and each team needs this one badly. There’s been big line movement in this game as well. The Wildcats opened as four-point favorites, but are laying 2.5 in the latest Arizona vs. Colorado odds. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas expects to be scored, opened at 59, but has dropped to 57. Before you make any Arizona vs. Colorado picks, see what SportsLine’s Zack Cimini has to say.
The fast-rising Las Vegas handicapper has turned a profit in every sport, but he’s tremendously adept at sniffing out spread winners in college football. He’s hit on nine of his last 13 overall picks and has been on-target when it comes to spread picks for or against Arizona — a perfect 4-0. Now, he has scrutinized Arizona vs. Colorado from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he’s only sharing at SportsLine.
Cimini knows the Buffaloes are in desperate need of a turnaround. The team has lost three in a row after starting the season 5-0. Last week, Colorado blew a 31-3 lead to Oregon State in a shocking 41-34 OT home loss.
Colorado’s offense bounced back from two consecutive sub-par outings. Travon McMillian rushed for 132 yards (6.6 average) and one TD, more than his previous two efforts combined. And QB Steven Montez passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns of his own. The Buffs’ offense has a chance to continue its improvement on Friday against a Wildcats defense that ranks 90th in yards allowed.
Defensively, Colorado is 48th overall and is stellar at stopping the run, a key trait to have against Arizona’s all-world RB.
Just because Colorado has the tools to turn things around doesn’t mean it will against an Arizona team brimming with confidence.
While Colorado is coming off its worst loss of the season, Arizona comes in following its best win, trouncing No. 15 Oregon, 44-15. QB Khalil Tate moved to 3-0 on the season when he completes more than 54 percent of his passes.
The Wildcats’ offense ranks 39th in total yards, averaging 236 passing and 205 rushing, but it is sparked by RB J.J. Taylor, who has 1,579 all-purpose yards, tops in the country. The offense also has a go-to WR in Shun Brown — the senior registered a career-high 10 passes for 96 yards and a score against the Ducks.
Arizona’s defense has seen a massive adjustment under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin. The Wildcats allowed between 34 and 38 points per game in each of the last three seasons, but this year Arizona is allowing 28.1 overall and just 23.8 in Pac-12 games.
We can tell you Cimini is leaning toward the over, but he has uncovered a crucial x-factor that will determine which side of the spread hits hard. He’s sharing what it is, and who to back, over at SportsLine.
So which side of the spread should you back for Colorado vs. Arizona, and which crucial x-factor determines the outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the expert who’s riding a perfect 4-0 streak on his Arizona picks.
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