Dorian Thompson-Robinson

2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: Pac-12

In the article below, college football expert Thor Nystrom projects the spread for every game using his ATL system (Adjusted Thor Spread). These spreads are from the perspective of the team in question – i.e., Army is a +2.5 underdog at Coastal Carolina and a -5 favorite hosting UTSA.

Here are his total win projections, odds, and picks for the Pac-12.

2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: Independents
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: Sun Belt
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: MAC
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: MWC
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: CUSA
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: AAC
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: Big 10
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: Big 12
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: SEC
2022 College Football Win Total Projections, Odds & Picks: ACC

Thor Nystrom’s College Football Power Rankings for Every Team >>

Utah Utes
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 6 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Utah
Florida
Sat, Sep 3
-3
0.594
Southern Utah
Utah
Sat, Sep 10
-46
1
San Diego St.
Utah
Sat, Sep 17
-24
1
Utah
Arizona St.
Sat, Sep 24
-7.5
0.781
Oregon St.
Utah
Sat, Oct 1
-17.5
1
Utah
UCLA
Sat, Oct 8
-6.5
0.724
USC
Utah
Sat, Oct 15
-9.5
0.811
Utah
Washington St.
Thur, Oct 27
-14.5
0.949
Arizona
Utah
Sat, Nov 5
-25.5
1
Stanford
Utah
Sat, Nov 12
-21.5
1
Utah
Oregon
Sat, Nov 19
-2
0.535
Utah
Colorado
Sat, Nov 26
-21.5
1

This profiles to be Kyle Whittingham‘s best team. The Utes now have a legitimate top-20 offense to go with their always legitimate top-20 defense. Eight starters return on that offense, including breakout QB Cam Rising. Rising’s dual-threat game was a perfect fit next to hammer back RB Tavion Thompson, who punched in 21 TD last year. Utah’s power-game ethos is aided by one of the nation’s premier TE duos.

The defense must replace LBs Devon Lloyd and Neifi Sewell but should remain a top-20 unit. Utah is counting on Florida transfer LB Mo Diabate to provide an immediate impact. The corners are top-notch. And Utah’s front is rangy and active, stocked with future NFL talent.

Thor’s projected win total: 10.4
Las Vegas win total: 8.5
Thor’s bet: OVER

The Utes should be considered heavy favorites in the Pac-12 and legitimate CFP contenders. They are not being treated as such by the sportsbooks. Take the over all day.

Oregon Ducks
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 19 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Oregon
Georgia
Sat, Sep 3
14
0.076
Eastern Washington
Oregon
Sat, Sep 10
-41.5
1
Brigham Young
Oregon
Sat, Sep 17
-3.5
0.643
Oregon
Washington St.
Sat, Sep 24
-10.5
0.86
Stanford
Oregon
Sat, Oct 1
-16.5
0.998
Oregon
Arizona
Sat, Oct 8
-16
0.981
UCLA
Oregon
Sat, Oct 22
-7
0.752
Oregon
California
Sat, Oct 29
-13.5
0.9
Oregon
Colorado
Sat, Nov 5
-17.5
1
Washington
Oregon
Sat, Nov 12
-8.5
0.802
Utah
Oregon
Sat, Nov 19
2
0.465
Oregon
Oregon St.
Fri, Nov 25
-8
0.791

The Ducks have 15 returning starters, including a new backfield. Middle-of-the-road QB Anthony Brown cedes to above-average-via-high-variance-play Bo Nix. Steady workhorse RB Travis Dye cedes to electric Byron Cardwell (and a small handful of ballyhooed youngsters working in behind him). An OL returning four starters was augmented by a top-five JUCO transfer signing. It’s a top-five overall national unit.

Defense is new HC Dan Lanning’s bread and butter, of course, and the former Georgia DC should be able to coax improvement out of this bunch in Year 1 despite the loss of EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux. Last year’s DL actually wasn’t good, ranking No. 113 in sack rate and No. 84 in line YPC allowed — so this year’s can’t help but improve. The LB corps is awesome, a top-5 national unit with two legitimate stars. The secondary is the open question, replacing three of five starters. How quickly Lanning can build that group up will inform this unit’s ceiling.

Thor’s projected win total: 9.3
Las Vegas win total: 8.5
Thor’s bet: Pass

Quite the poetic symmetry with the opener in Atlanta against Lanning‘s former Georgia Bulldog team, isn’t it? That isn’t Oregon’s only difficult OOC game, but fortunately, the Ducks get BYU at home later in September. My numbers advocate for an over play, but I’m going to pass solely because I don’t trust Bo Nix.

USC Trojans
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 32 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Rice
USC
Sat, Sep 3
-30.5
1
USC
Stanford
Sat, Sep 10
-9
0.807
Fresno St.
USC
Sat, Sep 17
-12
0.885
USC
Oregon St.
Sat, Sep 24
-6
0.707
Arizona St.
USC
Sat, Oct 1
-7.5
0.781
Washington St.
USC
Sat, Oct 8
-14
0.924
USC
Utah
Sat, Oct 15
9.5
0.189
USC
Arizona
Sat, Oct 29
-13.5
0.9
California
USC
Sat, Nov 5
-16.5
0.998
Colorado
USC
Fri, Nov 11
-20.5
1
USC
UCLA
Sat, Nov 19
0
0.5
Notre Dame
USC
Sat, Nov 26
3
0.406

HC Lincoln Riley. QB Caleb Williams. RB Travis Dye. WR Mario Williams. WR Jordan Addison. In an unprecedented offseason of college football, USC stole the show. The Trojans’ 20-man portal class easily ranks as the best in college football history. Per PFF, the Trojans’ 1.57 wins shares gained in the portal are the most-ever signed. Frankly, we are in uncharted territory: No program’s roster and staff have ever changed this drastically year over year.

The single-most predictive factor in preseason models is the previous season’s results. Those aren’t applicable here, clearly. My power rankings have the Trojans leaping 38 spots. That’s tied for the largest jump in the nation. You might be asking – why not more? General questions about new players meshing into new schemes and more specific questions about Riley’s Year 1 defense. DC Alex Grinch and his assistants recently were wry in public comments with the media about the defense’s progress in practices. It’s going to take time. Too much going on with that side of the ball to put the Trojans in the preseason top-30.

Thor’s projected win total: 9.1
Las Vegas win total: 9.5
Thor’s bet: Pass

Riley’s first USC offense is going to be great. The defense will be a work-in-progress. The objectively fair number is “9.” I’m still passing at 9.5, but I did think about going under.

UCLA Bruins
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 38 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Bowling Green
UCLA
Sat, Sep 3
-24.5
1
Alabama St.
UCLA
Sat, Sep 10
-37
1
South Alabama
UCLA
Sat, Sep 17
-21
1
UCLA
Colorado
Sat, Sep 24
-12.5
0.887
Washington
UCLA
Fri, Sep 30
-3.5
0.643
Utah
UCLA
Sat, Oct 8
6.5
0.277
UCLA
Oregon
Sat, Oct 22
7
0.248
Stanford
UCLA
Sat, Oct 29
-11.5
0.882
UCLA
Arizona St.
Sat, Nov 5
1
0.488
UCLA
Arizona
Sat, Nov 12
-11.5
0.882
USC
UCLA
Sat, Nov 19
0
0.5
UCLA
California
Fri, Nov 25
-8.5
0.802

College football is better with Chip Kelly, and for that reason, it was nice to see Kelly return to solid ground with an 8-4 record in Year 4 at UCLA after failing to win more than four games in any of his first three. Despite having only eight starters back this fall, there’s a good chance that Kelly is about to improve on that showing.

The most important starters return on offense in the form of the dynamic backfield duo of QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and RB Zach Charbonnet. A strong trio of receivers joins them. Three returning starters on the OL are joined by a former starter returning from injury and a stud transfer import. The defense returns only two starters, but Chip earned his paycheck this offseason by winning multiple high-profile competitions for portal-play defenders*.

*(plug-and-play, but for the portal – let’s make it a thing)

Thor’s projected win total: 8.6
Las Vegas win total: 8
Thor’s bet: Pass

Laughably easy schedule – a P5 playing Phil Steele’s No. 75 SOS (a handful of G5 teams play tougher)! In lieu of that, it’s surprising that Vegas has installed the Bruins with a flat “8” number. That’s likely due to UCLA’S low number of returning starters. On the other hand, Chip, DTR, and Charbonnet are back off an 8-win season, UCLA just signed the No. 8 transfer portal class, and there’s a good chance that the Bruins will be favored by more than a TD in seven games this fall based on matchup alone.

Washington Huskies
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 41 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Kent St.
Washington
Sat, Sep 3
-43
1
Portland St.
Washington
Sat, Sep 10
-35.5
1
Michigan St.
Washington
Sat, Sep 17
4
0.342
Stanford
Washington
Sat, Sep 24
-10.5
0.86
Washington
UCLA
Fri, Sep 30
3.5
0.357
Washington
Arizona St.
Sat, Oct 8
2.5
0.455
Arizona
Washington
Sat, Oct 15
-14.5
0.949
Washington
California
Sat, Oct 22
-7
0.752
Oregon St.
Washington
Fri, Nov 4
-7
0.752
Washington
Oregon
Sat, Nov 12
8.5
0.198
Colorado
Washington
Sat, Nov 19
-16
0.981
Washington
Washington St.
Sat, Nov 26
-4
0.658

The Jimmy Lake era was a trainwreck. Under UW’s former DB coach, the Huskies finished No. 2 EPA/pass but No. 98 or worse in everything else. Washington goes from a coach who appeared to not realize the team played offense to a coach renowned as an offensive guru. Kalen DeBoer, in turn, gives the keys to old friend QB Michael Penix Jr. (officially, as of Tuesday), the dual threat with a live arm that he coached at Indiana. Injuries have been a bugaboo – he’s suffered four season-ending injuries – but Penix could turn this offense around if healthy. UW has strong talent at receiver, but nobody knows it because the QB play and schematics have been so bad.

The Huskies managed to finish No. 113 in EPA/run allowed last season despite the presence of third-team All-P12 DT Tuli Letuligasenoa, PFF’s highest-graded iDL. Deboer signed a 335-pound JUCO NG to start next to him. There will obviously be some regression on pass defense after losing star CB Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon to the NFL Draft. But the enormous gains about to be made on run defense should more than offset them.

Thor’s projected win total: 8.3
Las Vegas win total: 7.5
Thor’s bet: OVER

Remember what we were saying about how easy UCLA’s schedule is? Washington’s is almost as easy (Steele ranks it No. 72). Whereas UCLA plays three OOC cupcakes, and UW plays two cupcakes. In the third, the Huskies welcome Michigan State to Seattle. But things break right for the Huskies in P12 play, where the Huskies avoid both Utah and USC.

Arizona State Sun Devils
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 43 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Northern Arizona
Arizona St.
Sat, Sept 3
-37.5
1
Arizona St.
Oklahoma St.
Sat, Sep 10
7
0.248
Eastern Michigan
Arizona St.
Sat, Sep 17
-17.5
1
Utah
Arizona St.
Sat, Sep 24
7.5
0.219
Arizona St.
USC
Sat, Oct 1
7.5
0.219
Washington
Arizona St.
Sat, Oct 8
-2.5
0.545
Arizona St.
Stanford
Sat, Oct 22
-4
0.658
Arizona St.
Colorado
Sat, Oct 29
-10.5
0.86
UCLA
Arizona St.
Sat, Nov 5
-1
0.513
Arizona St.
Washington St.
Sat, Nov 12
-3.5
0.643
Oregon St.
Arizona St.
Sat, Nov 19
-6.5
0.724
Arizona St.
Arizona
Fri, Nov 25
-9
0.807

All hell broke loose when the NCAA started investigating recruiting violations at ASU. The upshot, for now, was a cops-crashing-the-high-school-party mad-dash of mass transfers. Last year’s team went 8-5 with 20 returning starters. Over the offseason, 17 players transferred. Four more were drafted, and four others were signed as UDFA. As we stand, HC Herm Edwards only returns three starters on offense and four on defense. As we say in Minnesota: oofta!

If Herm is good at anything, it’s selling. So he made lemonade. He sold Emory Jones a golden parachute out of Florida to start at QB. He sold another to Xavien Valladay to start at RB. Both had fallen out of favor at their previous stops. Herm signed others whose previous staffs had left them, he signed former hyped recruits who hadn’t quite panned out yet, and he signed sub-division stars looking to break out in the FBS…. it’s like the Village People of portal classes, I’m telling you. But against all odds, Herm has pieced together a decent-looking roster of rejects and mercenaries after the decent-looking roster he hand-picked and developed got spooked and walked.

Thor’s projected win total: 7.4
Las Vegas win total: 5.5
Thor’s bet: OVER

Herm’s portal additions were not about the long game. Herm’s in survival mode. It was a crucible of an offseason, and Herm appears to have traversed intact. He’s far from out of the woods, of course. But the schedule brings much-needed good news. The three-game OOC includes two cupcakes plus a road game at Oklahoma State. OSU is never a picnic, but the Pokes are down this year. Crucially, ASU avoids Oregon while getting Utah and UCLA at home. I literally cannot believe I am about to type this after the way the offseason began (I didn’t even think he would survive it), but… I love the over.

Oregon State Beavers
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 56 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Boise St.
Oregon St.
Sat, Sep 3
-1.5
0.525
Oregon St.
Fresno St.
Sat, Sep 10
2.5
0.455
Montana St.
Oregon St.
Sat, Sep 17
-29
1
USC
Oregon St.
Sat, Sep 24
6
0.294
Oregon St.
Utah
Sat, Oct 1
17.5
0
Oregon St.
Stanford
Sat, Oct 8
-1
0.513
Washington St.
Oregon St.
Sat, Oct 15
-5.5
0.69
Colorado
Oregon St.
Sat, Oct 22
-10.5
0.86
Oregon St.
Washington
Fri, Nov 4
7
0.248
California
Oregon St.
Sat, Nov 12
-7.5
0.781
Oregon St.
Arizona St.
Sat, Nov 19
6.5
0.277
Oregon
Oregon St.
Fri, Nov 25
8
0.209

Oregon State won seven games last year. It returns 15 starters and ranks No. 22 in returning production. HC Jonathan Smith is back. So is Chance Nolan. Nolan has an awesome, experienced offensive line working in front of him. Departing is a 1,337-yard rusher, RB BJ Baylor. The powerful rushing attack paved by the Joe Moore-finalist offensive line was the straw that stirred the offensive drink last season.

The Beavers are hoping that the combo of RBs Damien Martinez/Deshaun Fenwick gives a reasonable facsimile of Baylor and that the OL doesn’t drop off despite losing two starters. That had better be the case because Nolan’s ceiling is capped. The defense is going to miss leading-tackler LB Avery Roberts (128 tackles), who put out a ton of fires. The defense finished sub-90 both EPA/run and pass and replaced coordinators mid-season. But with nine starters back, the depth should be improved if nothing else.

Thor’s projected win total: 5.8
Las Vegas win total: 5.5
Thor’s bet: Pass

Smith won seven games last year and has 15 starters back. So why the tepid 5.5 win total number? Is this a trap or an opportunity? I like what HC Jonathan Smith is building, but I’m as spooked as Las Vegas appears to be by this schedule and also by the dramatic improvement that several Pac-12 programs appear to have made this offseason. Last year, the Beavs were hunters. This year, they’ll be hunted by the teams making leaps. This isn’t the slam-dunk bet it appears to be on the surface. I’m not bullish enough to go under – just spooked enough to stay away.

Washington State Cougars
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 66 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Idaho
Washington St.
Sat, Sep 3
-31.5
1
Washington St.
Wisconsin
Sat, Sep 10
16
0.019
Colorado St.
Washington St.
Sat, Sep 17
-13
0.893
Oregon
Washington St.
Sat, Sep 24
10.5
0.14
California
Washington St.
Sat, Oct 1
-5.5
0.69
Washington St.
USC
Sat, Oct 8
14
0.076
Washington St.
Oregon St.
Sat, Oct 15
5.5
0.311
Utah
Washington St.
Thur, Oct 27
14.5
0.051
Washington St.
Stanford
Sat, Nov 5
2.5
0.455
Arizona St.
Washington St.
Sat, Nov 12
3.5
0.357
Washington St.
Arizona
Sat, Nov 19
-2.5
0.545
Washington
Washington St.
Sat, Nov 26
4
0.342

New Wazzu starting QB Cam Ward has Bailey Zappe to thank for this opportunity. Ward was a prolific FCS star (4,648 yards and 47 TD) who is going to step right into an FBS starting lineup. Like Zappe, Ward was imported along with his FCS OC (Incarnate Word’s Eric Morris). There are a few differences to note. While Zappe was a gym rat rhythm thrower with physical limitations, Ward is a late-bloomer with a live arm and above-average athleticism but work-in-progress processing.

HC Jake Dickert is the former DC, LB & S coach at Wyoming. His defense returns all four starters along the line. It is also experienced in the secondary. The linebacking corps, however, will have to be totally remade. Dickert signed a second-team all-MWC transfer who made over 100 tackles last season to plug one of the holes.

Thor’s projected win total: 4.9
Las Vegas win total: 5.5
Thor’s bet: UNDER

I love the dice-roll Wazzu took on Ward, but it would be a big mistake to view him as some sort of approximation of Zappe. Ward should give the Cougs more big-play sizzle at the expense of more turnovers and three-and-outs. Between that, a poor defense, and, of course, playing a P5 schedule, I have my doubts that Wazzu makes it to a bowl this fall.

Stanford Cardinal
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 70 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Stanford
Win odds
Colgate
Stanford
Sat, Sep 3
-28
1
USC
Stanford
Sat, Sep 10
9
0.193
Stanford
Washington
Sat, Sep 24
10.5
0.14
Stanford
Oregon
Sat, Oct 1
16.5
0.002
Oregon St.
Stanford
Sat, Oct 8
1
0.488
Stanford
Notre Dame
Sat, Oct 15
21
0
Arizona St.
Stanford
Sat, Oct 22
4
0.342
Stanford
UCLA
Sat, Oct 29
11.5
0.118
Washington St.
Stanford
Sat, Nov 5
-2.5
0.545
Stanford
Utah
Sat, Nov 12
-21.5
1
Stanford
California
Sat, Nov 19
1
0.488
Brigham Young
Stanford
Sat, Nov 26
10
0.164

The case for: Stanford has 17 starters returning, including an NFL prospect at quarterback. Stanford is at its best when the offensive line and tight ends are strong, and in this case, all six starters at those positions return. Injuries hurt the team last year, including along the OL and on defense, and now target-hound WR Michael Wilson is back healthy. HC David Shaw will figure this out – he has to!

The case against: Shaw is 13-19 over the last three years – he’s stubborn, and he ain’t changin’ his ways. The offensive line returns intact, but boy, did it struggle last year. As it has for several years running now, despite its recruiting pedigree. The biggest culprit of Shaw’s fall has been his defenses. Over his first eight seasons, when his teams were good, those defenses allowed 20.4 PPG. Over the last three, when his teams sucked, they allowed 31.3 PPG. Blake Martinez ain’t walkin’ through that door!

Thor’s projected win total: 4.5
Las Vegas win total: 4.5
Thor’s bet: Pass

We haven’t talked about the biggest factor standing in the way of Shaw’s ability to turn back the clock to the good times: The schedule. After the opener against FCS Colgate, it’s a bear! The other two OOC games are against Notre Dame and BYU, and Stanford got the toughest-possible Pac-12 draw, missing patsies Arizona and Colorado. I actually like this Stanford squad. But because of the ridiculously-difficult schedule (No. 7 Steele SOS), I must pass – the Vegas win total falls smack-dab on my projected wins.

California Golden Bears
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 80 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
UC-Davis
California
Sat, Sep 3
-26
1
UNLV
California
Sat, Sep 10
-12
0.885
California
Notre Dame
Sat, Sep 24
22.5
0
Arizona
California
Sat, Oct 1
-5
0.681
California
Washington St.
Sat, Oct 8
5.5
0.311
California
Colorado
Sat, Oct 15
-1.5
0.525
Washington
California
Sat, Oct 22
7
0.248
Oregon
California
Sat, Oct 29
13.5
0.1
California
USC
Sat, Nov 5
16.5
0.002
California
Oregon St.
Sat, Nov 12
7.5
0.219
Stanford
California
Sat, Nov 19
-1
0.513
UCLA
California
Sat, Nov 26
8.5
0.198

Cal went 5-7 last season, but with five losses by a TD or less! Seemingly so close to a breakthrough, HC Justin Wilcox remains a mediocre 26-28 through five seasons. Nevertheless, it’s hard to get excited about Wilcox’s 2022 outfit. Only eight starters return, tied for the least in the conference, and Wilcox’s transfers ranked No. 60 out of 64 P5 programs in win shares added, per PFF.

The most important transfer he signed was QB Jack Plummer from Purdue, needed following QB Chase Garbers’ graduation. The entire backfield was remodeled after RB Christopher Brooks was lost in the portal to BYU. Thumper Damien Moore’ll replace him. Wilcox had a decent run defense last year and probably will again. He’ll try to complement it with a methodical, clock-control offense.

Thor’s projected win total: 4.7
Las Vegas win total: 5.5
Thor’s bet: UNDER

One thing Cal has going for it is a favorable schedule. Notre Dame arrives in the OOC, but the two other OOC are cupcakes. In P12 play, Cal ducks both Utah and Arizona State. And it gets Oregon, Washington, and UCLA at home. But despite all that, and despite the fact that I think Wilcox is a solid coach, I can’t get behind this team. I don’t like the roster, and I think the rest of the Pac-12 is improved. I don’t think Cal is going bowling. Give me the under.

Arizona Wildcats
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 87 out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
Arizona
San Diego St.
Sat, Sept 3
3.5
0.357
Mississippi St.
Arizona
Sat, Sep 10
13
0.107
NDSU
Arizona
Sat, Sep 17
-9
0.807
Arizona
California
Sat, Sep 24
5
0.319
Arizona
Colorado
Sat, Oct 1
1
0.488
Oregon
Arizona
Sat, Oct 8
16
0.019
Arizona
Washington
Sat, Oct 15
14.5
0.051
USC
Arizona
Sat, Oct 29
13.5
0.1
Arizona
Utah
Sat, Nov 5
25
0
Arizona
UCLA
Sat, Nov 12
15.5
0.037
Washington St.
Arizona
Sat, Nov 19
2
1
Arizona St.
Arizona
Fri, Nov 25
9
0.193

Industry folks were bullish on the Jedd Fisch hire. Pay no mind to last season’s 1-11 reset, and focus on the core being built. Fisch signed the No. 27 transfer portal class, including QB ​​Jayden de Laura and WR Jacob Cowing, a legitimately high-octane aerial duo. It’s hard to undersell how big an upgrade de Laura will be. Last year, Zona’s quarterbacks posted a 12/18 TD/INT rate, while de Laura posted a 23/9 TD/INT rate. But it wasn’t just in the portal where Fisch crushed it.

Incredibly, despite the rancid 1-11 record – which ironically probably aided Fisch in the portal – he signed the No. 22 recruiting class. That included five four-star recruits, two of whom may start immediately (WR Tetairoa McMillan and TE Keyan Burnett). On top of all this, Arizona actually has 15 starters returning and ranks in the top half of the FBS in returning experience.

Thor’s projected win total: 3.5
Las Vegas win total: 2.5
Thor’s bet: OVER

Arizona was sneaky-frisky last year, with five of 11 losses coming by single digits. The defense slashed 8.4 PPG from the previous season and is likely to keep the rollbacks coming with eight starters returning. What’ll I be having? The Fisch. With a glass of bourbon.

Colorado Buffaloes
Thor’s Preseason Power Ranking: 88out of 131

Away
Home
Day
Spread
Win odds
TCU
Colorado
Sat, Sept 3
13
0.107
Colorado
Air Force
Sat, Sep 10
10
0.164
Colorado
Minnesota
Sat, Sep 17
18
0
UCLA
Colorado
Sat, Sep 24
12.5
0.113
Colorado
Arizona
Sat, Oct 1
4
0.342
California
Colorado
Sat, Oct 8
1.5
0.475
Colorado
Oregon St.
Sat, Oct 15
11.5
0.118
Arizona St.
Colorado
Sat, Oct 29
10.5
0.14
Oregon
Colorado
Sat, Nov 5
17.5
0
Colorado
USC
Sat, Nov 12
20.5
0
Colorado
Washington
Sat, Nov 19
16
0.019
Utah
Colorado
Fri, Nov 25
21.5
0

Karl Dorrell’s a goner. Dorrell was a stunning hire who seemed to vindicate Colorado’s brass by coming within a game of the Pac-12 title game in Year 1. That was a circumstantial fluke we have the COVID season to thank for it. Utah crushed the Buffs, then was crushed by Texas in the bowl game. Colorado proceeded to go 4-8 last season. If I’m right, things are about to get a whole lot worse.

I mentioned above how 2022 USC was the biggest winner in transfer portal history. Colorado is among its very biggest losers. The Buffaloes lost 23 players to the portal. Dorrell was forced to play defense in the portal, signing guys just to plug ever-expanding defection holes like a sad version of the Flex Tape guy. Last year’s team wasn’t good enough, and it would be stunning if this one was better.

Thor’s projected win total: 1.6
Las Vegas win total: 3.5
Thor’s bet: UNDER

When I was an undergrad at Kansas, HC Mark Mangino’s OOC philosophy was “load up on lambs.” This should be the mantra of every have-not P5 – free OOC wins are the cheapest thing in your control that raises your odds of going bowling. Colorado’s schedule is a worst-case scenario schedule for a bad P5 team. Far from entering P12 play with three bagged wins, Colorado instead will kick off the season with TCU, (at) Air Force, and (at) Minnesota. Not a good P12 draw, either, missing both Stanford and Wazzu.

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College Football, Picks

Author: Robert Miller