Free NCAA Football Prediction: Golden Gophers vs. Buffaloes Odds
Looking for Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Colorado Buffaloes free picks? College football betting sees the Golden Gophers taking on the Buffaloes on Saturday September 18th, 2021, at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football game Week 3 predictions like this Golden Gophers Buffaloes free pick.
College Football Handicapping Analysis: Week 3
Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-1) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (1-1)
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm EST
Venue: Folsom Field, Boulder CO
NCAA Football ATS Spread Odds: Colorado -2.5
NCAA Football Moneyline Odds: Minnesota +115 / Colorado -135
NCAA Betting Total Odds: 48.5
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The running game should be on display for both teams when Minnesota makes the trip West to face Colorado on Saturday afternoon. The Buffaloes’ biggest goal is going trying to burst through the hangover that comes with being oh so close in a 10-7 loss to #5 Texas A&M last week.
Minnesota suffered a huge blow in week 1 when All-American Mo Ibrahim was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Golden Gophers are still trying to find their offensive balance coming into Boulder in their first road game of the year and after barely squeaking out a win over Miami-Ohio last week.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
You can’t replace Ibrahim who had 1,076 yards and 15 TD in 2020 in just 7 games, but Minnesota has an offensive line that averages somewhere around 330+ pounds and the dedication to the run that most RB’s dream of.
Minnesota has at least temporarily found a feature back, as Treyson Potts carried the ball 34 times for 178 yards and 2 TD in what was a closer game against Miami of Ohio than expected (31-26 as 19 point favorites).
Both of Saturday’s opponents have faced a top 5 team this season, with the Golden Gophers losing 45-31 to #4 Ohio State in week 1. What’s been evident through two weeks of the season is that Minnesota can’t hang with teams if they can’t put points on the board. Tanner Morgan has been a disappoint so far in his Senior year, completing only 52.4% of his passes with just 317 total yards so far.
The Minnesota defensive numbers are a little skewed through two weeks after allowing almost 500 yards to the Buckeyes in the opener, but if they want to win on Saturday they need to stop the run. Colorado is the #30 team in the country running the ball, but also throw for less than 100 yards/game.
Colorado just couldn’t put #5 Texas A&M away last week even though the Aggies lost their starting QB in the 1st quarter and had a backup come in to go just 18 of 38 passing. Missing a 46-yard field goal, turning the ball over on down inside the TAM 5, and ultimately falling 10-7 in Denver as +17 underdogs.
The Buffalos did look good in a season opening 35-7 win over Northern Colorado, but they were also -37.5 favorites in that game. Colorado has run for 281 and 173 yards in the first two games of the year, so clearly their sole focus is getting the ground game going.
It’s understandable why Karl Dorrell has been anxious to open up the passing game, as he’s got Freshman Brendon Lewis taking snaps to start the season. Lewis’ has only thrown for a total of 191 yards in two games, but he’s also a dual threat with 120 yards on 17 carries.
You have to give the Colorado defense credit for holding Texas A&M to 10 points last week regardless of who was QB for the Aggies. The Buffs actually have the 26th best defense in yards allowed, and are 7th in giving up just 8.5 ppg so far.
NCAA Football Handicapping Trends
- Golden Gophers are 5-1 ATS last 6 road games
- Golden Gophers are 1-3-2 ATS last 6 in September
- Golden Gophers are 6-1 ATS last 7 as road underdog
- OVER is 11-5 in Golden Gophers last 16 overall
- Buffaloes are 3-9 ATS last 12 following SU loss
- UNDER is 4-1 in Buffaloes last 5 as a favorite
Free Week 3 NCAA Football Pick
It would be very surprising to see this game play out as a shootout, with both teams absolutely reliant on the running game. It’s very much the popular pick, but playing the total is the only route to go here, especially with the Minnesota offense likely coming out flat in their first road game of the season and in the atmosphere Boulder of all places.
4* Free Week 3 NCAA Betting Pick: Under 48.5
Morgan has been a huge disappointment for Minnesota’s offense this season, and their big offensive line may have trouble getting oxygen in Colorado.
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