Colorado vs Utah Picks and Predictions: Rumble in the Rockies

The only things standing in Utah's way of a Pac-12 Championship: the Colorado Buffaloes and a potential rematch with the Oregon Ducks. Find out how this week's matchup with the Buffaloes plays out in our Colorado vs. Utah picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2021 9:26 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Brant Kuithe Utah Utes college football
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It’s not a rivalry game per se, but the Rumble in the Rockies resumed in 2011 following a five-decade hiatus. Utah has won eight of the ten meetings since resumption. 

Fresh off a 38-7 domination over Oregon, Utah is headed to the PAC-12 Championship. First, the Utes need to finish off the remainder of their regular-season schedule as they host the 4-7 Colorado Buffaloes.

Will Utah show its superiority in a cakewalk final game, or will it sleepwalk through this contest and allow Colorado to cover the spread? 

Check out our picks and predictions for the Colorado Buffaloes vs. the Utah Utes on Friday, November 26, to find out.

Colorado vs Utah odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Utah opened -24.5 and currently sits at -23.5. The total has remained steady at 52.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.

Colorado vs Utah predictions

Predictions made on 11/23/2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Colorado vs Utah game info

Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
Date: Friday, November 26, 2021
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX

Colorado vs Utah betting preview

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.

Key injuries

Colorado: Nate Landman LB (Questionable), Brenden Rice WR (Out), Montana Lemonious-Craig WR (Out), Ashaad Clayton RB (Out), Jack Lamb LB (Out), Janaz Jordan DL (Questionable), Jeremiah Doss DL (Questionable), Guy Thomas LB (Questionable), Joshka Gustav LB (Out), Nigel Bethel Jr. CB (Out).
Utah: Jaren Kump OL (Out).

Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Utah between these two schools. Find more NCAA betting trends for Colorado vs. Utah.

Colorado vs Utah picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

It’s easy to talk yourself into backing Colorado given the motivation angle. Utah has already wrapped up the PAC-12 South division and will have essentially nothing left to play for in this contest. It’s also a sandwich spot, with this game between the Oregon beatdown a week ago and the PAC-12 Championship next (ironically, it could be a sandwich spot between two Oregon matchups).

All that being said, we can’t back the Buffaloes. They’ve been a vastly inferior team to Utah in every facet of the game in 2021. Don’t let last week’s 20-17 win over Washington fool you — the Buffs were outgained 426 to 183 but benefitted from four turnovers to squeak a narrow win over a struggling team. The offense is still atrocious, ranking 128th in the country with only 267.5 total yards per game.

It’s hard to pull off the road upset when you can’t score any points. The Utes suffocated Oregon to the tune of seven points, 294 total yards, and 63 rushing yards on 23 attempts. Regardless of who is on the field or being rested, the Utes should win the battle in the trenches handily. 

Colorado is winless on the road (0-4), while Utah is undefeated at home (5-0). It’s not as if the Buffs have relished the road underdog role, going just 2-7 ATS in the last nine such games. The Utes, on the other hand, have embraced the role of home favorite, going 9-4 ATS in their last 13 chances.

Even if Utah rests some starters, they’ll be the vastly superior team playing at home with critical matchup edges. If Colorado can’t get anything going on the ground, then the offense will fall flat just as it has for much of the year.

Prediction: Utah -23.5 (-110)

We weren’t joking when we said the Colorado offense is atrocious. The Buffs rank third-worst in terms of total yardage (267.5), fifth-worst in yards per play (4.5), and second-last in passing yards (135.5) among non-option teams. The Utes have been solid across the board defensively (33rd in total yardage, 34th in passing defense, 33rd in rushing defense) led by standout linebackers Devin Lloyd (91 tackles, 21 for a loss) and Nephi Sewell (67 tackles, 6 for loss). It would be surprising if Colorado scored more than a single touchdown.

While Utah should be able to move the ball against the 94th ranked Colorado defense, this is where the motivation angle comes into play. What reason do the Utes have for running up the score? Once they have the lead, they’ll simply look to maintain it and make it out healthy with a win. The PAC-12 Championship game is paramount for this team, so they’ll likely opt for a conservative game plan to minimize risk. All signs point Under.

Prediction: Under 52.5 (-110)

We’re taking the Under in the Rumble in the Rockies. This Colorado offense has been one of the country’s worst all season long, and this is our last chance to fade them.

Expect the Utes to grab a lead and then sit on it, looking ahead to next week’s Championship game. The Buffs are not a team well-equipped to play from behind.

Pick: Under 52.5 (-110)

College football parlays

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