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USC Trojans at Colorado Buffaloes

The ESPN national TV game on Friday night is the first Pac-12 meeting ever between Southern Cal and Colorado and the only thing the two have in common is neither will play in a bowl game: USC because it’s on probation and the Buffs because they flat-out stink. The Trojans are 21-point betting favorites on WagerWeb.com.

There could be a bright spot for Colorado tonight as the Buffs are expected to get back top playmakers RB Rodney Stewart and WR Paul Richardson. Richardson, the Buffs’ top receiver, has missed four games, while Stewart, the team’s No. 1 tailback and leading rusher, has missed the last two. Richardson has accounted for 483 yards in total offense. He has scored a team-best five touchdowns. Stewart leads the team in rushing with 473 yards and is second in receiving with 435 yards.

CU’s offense is last or next-to-last in the Pac-12 Conference in three of the four major categories – scoring (12th, 18.8 points a game), total offense (11th, 335.1 yards a game) and rushing (12th, 90.0 yards a game.) The Buffs are ninth in passing offense (245.1 yards a game).

The defense is worse. The Buffs have lost six in a row and have allowed at least 31 points in all of them. The past four losses have been by at least 28 points. In five Pac-12 games, CU has allowed an average of 44.8 points and 523.8 yards, losing those five contests by an average score of 45-13.

And that unit has to face one of the most explosive duos in college football in Trojans QB Matt Barkley and WR Robert Woods. Barkley has completed 204-of-303 passes (151.5 efficiency rating) for 2,290 yards and 22 touchdowns (five interceptions). Woods  has 81 receptions, 991 yards and 9 TDs.

The quarterbacks the Buffs have faced in their first five conference games have thrown for 2,240 yards and 22 TD. CU ranks eighth in pass defense, yielding 248.9 yards a game, but last in pass defense efficiency with a 155.7 rating. The Buffs’ 22 TD passes allowed are the most in the Pac-12, and their three interceptions are the lowest in the conference. by Wagerweb

Sportsbook Advisor Take: The obvious play here is USC -21. USC is a superior team that just barely lost to Stanford. But we like Colorado to cover.  It may be a backdoor cover but the Buffs will play this one like they have nothing to lose. Flashes of the 90’s glory days.

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Friday, November 4th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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