Nebraska vs Colorado Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Sims Does Damage Against Buffaloes

Colorado put the nation on notice last week with an upset over TCU, moving the line against Nebraska by more than 10 points. With all the focus on Colorado, our college football picks are taking a different approach with the Cornhuskers' Jeff Sims.

Jason Ence - Betting Analyst at
Jason Ence • Betting Analyst
Sep 9, 2023 • 10:40 ET • 4 min read
Jeff Sims Nebraska Cornhuskers NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Discussions about the Colorado Buffaloes' odds have been on the lips of nearly everyone in college football this week, and all eyes will be on them when they welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to Boulder on Saturday afternoon.

The college football odds for this game have shifted quickly, with Deion Sanders’ team making a statement with its Week 1 upset over TCU. The Buffaloes have now gone from two-score underdogs to betting favorites and will look to show their home fans that last week’s victory was no fluke.

Meanwhile, the Huskers took a loss against Minnesota, losing on the road after allowing 10 points in the final three minutes of the game. A last-second field goal from 47 yards sealed their fate, but Nebraska’s four turnovers were the real reason it lost. Now Matt Rhule’s team must find a way to clean up those mistakes and slow down Shedeur Sanders.

My Nebraska vs. Colorado college football picks explain why focusing on Nebraska’s offense, while everyone else is looking at Colorado’s, presents your best chance at making profit. 

Nebraska vs Colorado best odds

Nebraska vs Colorado picks and predictions

When it comes to betting this weekend, few games are going to compete with this one. Both FanDuel and BetMGM are reporting that after one or two NFL games, this has the most betting action of any football game this weekend — college or professional.

A large chunk of the betting action has been on Colorado stars Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter. Within a matter of hours, Hunter saw his price to score a touchdown go from near even money to -145 at best. But while all that attention on Colorado’s offense impacts the pricing for their player props, I think the Nebraska player prop markets are being overlooked a bit. 

And that opens up some great value at FanDuel, where you can get the best odds on Jeff Sims to rush for at least 65 yards on Saturday. In fact, I love this line so much that I’m making this a two-unit play. 

There are a few reasons I'm on this play so heavily. First, for everything Colorado did well last week, rushing the passer wasn’t one of them. Its front seven finished the game against TCU with a havoc rating of just 1.3%, failing to register a single sack.

Secondly, Sims had a 49% usage rate in Nebraska’s run game against Minnesota, more than Anthony Grand and Gabe Ervin combined. He picked up 91 yards on his 19 carries — with a long of 26 — against a Minnesota defense that had a 10.9% havoc rate from its front seven and a 21.8% overall mark.

TCU quarterback Chandler Morris ran for just 30 yards last week against this Colorado defense, but he only carried the ball five times with a 14% running-game usage rate. Despite the low usage, he still popped off a run of 19 yards. 

Finally, this is a game where Nebraska’s offensive line could cause Colorado some real problems. The Huskers saw their big guys average 4.0 line yards per rush against Minnesota, spelling disaster for a Buffaloes' defense that allowed TCU’s line to go for 3.5 line yards per rush as they conceded 262 rushing yards on just 37 carries. 

With Sims’ usage, facing a Colorado defense that gave up more than seven yards per attempt on the ground, I’ll happily take him at this number. I see no reason why he’d fail to come close to the rushing performance from a week ago against a lesser defense, even with this game being on the road. 

That said, in the time it took me to write this preview, Sims’ rushing yardage total jumped up almost 10 yards. I expect the number to continue to increase, and I’d probably play this at two units up to 69.9 yards, and one unit up to 79.5 yards. Rush over to FanDuel like you’re facing this Colorado front seven, and lock the play in right away. 

My best bet: Jeff Sims Over 64.5 rushing yards (-114 at FanDuel)

Nebraska vs Colorado same-game parlay

Sims Over 64.5 rushing yards

Weaver Over 62.5 receiving yards

Colorado -2.5

I’ve got a few other plays to combine with Sims’ rushing total in my same-game parlay over at FanDuel. 

I’ll start with Colorado wide receiver Xavier Weaver, who only caught six passes but gained 118 yards. This was despite being targeted just 10 times vs. 16 throws toward Hunter and 13 throws for Jimmy Horn, Jr. 

Hunter and Horn’s receiving totals keep getting bet up, so I’ll take Weaver’s instead at just 62.5 yards against a Nebraska defense that registered just one interception and only three sacks last week.  

The third piece of the parlay is for Colorado to cover the 2.5-point spread. While I’m still not sold on Colorado being as dominant as it looked a week ago, I think the Buffaloes have more than enough weapons on offense and should do enough against the Nebraska passing game on defense to win this game. 

Furthermore, Sanders has publicly mentioned keeping “receipts” regarding comments made by Matt Rhule about his program. I’m not going to be shocked to see Colorado keep its foot on the gas until the clock reads triple zero. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Nebraska vs Colorado spread and Over/Under analysis

Preseason betting odds had Nebraska as 8.5-pt favorites, but last week’s coming-out party pushed the Buffs to 2.5-pt favorites heading into the game. They’ve been bet up to an even 3.0 points in a few places, as well.

Nebraska’s turnover issues a week ago, combined with its struggles in the passing game, make it tough for me to see the Cornhuskers staying within a field goal. While I think they can keep it close and shorten the contest with their run game, Colorado’s offense is going to feed off the home crowd and the revenge factor is one that can’t be overlooked. 

As for the total, it opened as high as 60.5 and as low as 57.5 but has settled at 59.5 since Tuesday. Personally, I’m staying far away from this one. Colorado scored 45 points last week but also ran 81 plays on offense, while TCU ran 79

But Nebraska ran just 56 plays against Minnesota, relying heavily on its run game to grind down the clock. It’ll likely have more success doing so against Colorado’s run defense.

While the Huskers may not limit the Buffs' big-play ability, they could hold them closer to the 69 plays that Minnesota got last week. If that happens, I’m not sure that Nebraska can put up enough points to help drive the total over.

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Nebraska vs Colorado betting trend to know

The Over is 10-2 in Colorado’s last 12 games. Find more college football betting trends for Nebraska vs Colorado.

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Nebraska vs Colorado game info

Location: Folsom Field, Boulder, CO
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. ET

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