What Will Colorado’s Final Record Be?

What Will Colorado’s Final Record Be?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Expectations and interest in Colorado Buffaloes football have reached heights unseen this century at the campus nestled in the Rocky Mountains. 

Oh sure, there've been a couple of 10-win seasons — 10-4 in 2016 and 10-3 in 2001 — but those were surprise one-time flings that didn’t last past that year. The arrival of dynamic coach Deion “Prime Time” Sanders from a successful run at Jackson State has given Colorado the kind of coverage — and Colorado sports betting interest — not seen since the days of coaches Bill McCartney and Rick Neuheisel in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Because of the hype that comes with Sanders and the many ways he’s already changed the Buffaloes’ culture before even one game, BetColorado.com compiled odds on the Buffaloes’ 2023 regular season record.

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Buffaloes Season Record Odds

RecordOddsPercentage Chance
3-9+25028.6%
4-8+30025%
5-7+40020%
2-10+42019.2%
6-6+90010%
Other+15006.3%
Odds are provided by BetColorado.com and may not be available for wagering.

Colorado is tied with Arizona and Arizona State for the second-worst Pac 12 Championship odds at +8000 at Colorado online sportsbooks.

Chances of Winning Season Aren’t High

When breaking down Colorado’s difficult final season as a member of the Pac 12 before heading back to the Big 12, it looks like Sanders faces a tough task. The Buffaloes have games against five teams ranked No. 18 or better to start the season and three of those are on the road. 

They’ll open the year at No. 17 TCU on Sept. 2, play at No. 15 Oregon on Sept. 23 and finish the year at No. 14 Utah on Nov. 25. They have home games against No. 6 Southern Cal on Sept. 30 and No. 18 Oregon State on Nov. 4.

BetMGM Colorado lists the Buffs as 20.5-point underdogs against TCU in the season opener.

That’s why Colorado’s best odds are for a 3-9 season at 28.6%, followed by seasons of 4-8 (25%) and 5-7 (20%). At least the good news is the odds of a 2-10 season rank fourth among the possibilities at 19.2%. 

We all know Sanders is taking over a program that’s been on the skids. The Buffaloes were 1-11 in 2022, and they finished 4-8 in 2021 thanks to three-point late-season wins over Oregon State and Washington or that would have been worse. 

Other than those games against five preseason Top 25 teams, Colorado has back-to-back home games against Nebraska and Colorado State after the opener at TCU. Following the meetings with the Ducks and the Trojans, they’re at Arizona State on Oct. 7, home with Stanford on Oct. 13 and at UCLA on Oct. 28. 

If Sanders has a chance to beat the odds and finish .500 or better, Colorado is going to have to enter that game at UCLA with a record of 4-3 or better. Nebraska (4-8), Colorado State (3-9), Arizona State (3-9) and Stanford (3-9) are all coming off losing seasons.

Caesars Colorado lists the Cardinal with the worst Pac 12 championship odds of any team at +30000.

Unless the Buffaloes surprise one of those three ranked opponents in TCU, Oregon or USC, they’re going to need to show fast improvement before the final five-game stretch that starts with the Bruins.

Aside from the other two preseason ranked foes among the final four games, there’s a winnable home game with Arizona on Nov. 11 and a tough road trip to Washington State on Nov. 17. 

Sanders will have to change a lot more than the culture if the end of the first season will include a winning record. That might not happen until at least Year 2 of the Primetime Era in Colorado. 

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Author

Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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