Week 7 College Football Free Pick - Colorado at Oregon State
FREE PICK: Oregon State +11 vs. Colorado (Covers 57.3%)
Oregon State will host Colorado on homecoming night as two-score underdogs. The season after the Buffs stunned their way into a Pac-12 South Championship, they've posted an 0-3 Pac-12 record to start conference play.
In those Pac-12 games, the Buffs have been torched on the ground. Previously stingy on defense, they've now given up 765 yards on the ground in their first three Pac-12 games including 416 yards last week to Arizona.
Oregon State, also 0-3 in Pac-12 play, has started with the meat of the conference. They've played #8 Washington State, #5 Washington, and #13 USC. Those teams all have legitimate NFL-potential quarterbacks along with a collective 17-1 record. Oregon State isn't a good, or even average, team, but their start to the season is a bit misleading due to their impossible schedule.
The Beavers have just parted ways with head coach Gary Andersen this week as interim coach Cory Hall steps in. There may be some cause for concern there, but Hall was already part of the program; thus, the playcalling and decision making shouldn't be too different from previous weeks. There's been a few reports out of practice that the players are responding well to Hall, who has brought a bunch of energy to the team. Hence, we aren't too concerned of any potential value loss due to Andersen's absence.
The Beavers are generally a balanced passing and rushing team, but with Colorado's deficiencies on defense, it's safe to assume they'll adjust their gameplan quite a bit considering they've had a lot of success on the ground. Oregon State's two leading rushers have averaged better than five yards per carry this season.
The Beavers were beat down in Boulder 47-6 last year, but again, this is a much different and much worse Colorado team. If we simply take the given line and flip the game from Corvallis to Boulder, we get the implication that the line would favor Colorado by 17 or 18 points. That seems like a boatload for an average Buffs team.
According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, the Beavers win over Colorado 28.1% of the time with an average margin of victory of 6.2 points. As an 11-point underdog, Oregan State covers the spread 57.3% of the time, which would justify a $52 wager for an average $50 bettor.