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Sportsbooks Are Content With Bettors ‘Embracing’ Colorado Hype

  • Sportsbooks have gotten hammered by the betting public after Colorado’s 2-0 start, but long-term, the books aren’t sweating it.
  • “The public is embracing the story, embracing the team, and playing on them. That's fine with us,” DraftKings’ Johnny Avello tells FOS.
Colorado Buffaloes running back Dylan Edwards reaches for the ball past Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Deshon Singleton in the third quarter at Folsom Field.
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For two weeks, Deion Sanders’ No. 18 Colorado has lived up to the national hype and delivered for the betting public, going 2-0 straight up and against the spread.

The Buffaloes quickly became an early liability in the futures markets — both for the national title and Heisman Trophy — leading Caesars college football lead Joey Feazel to call them a “worst-case scenario” a week ago.

An astounding 12% of last Saturday’s entire betting handle was on the Colorado-Nebraska game, FanDuel tells Front Office Sports.

“[It was] another significant win for the bettors,” DraftKings director of race and sports operations Johnny Avello tells FOS. “I guess you might say that the bettors actually have had a better perspective on Colorado than we have.”

But heading into Week 3 and longer-term, the books aren’t sweating it as much.

The public will be firmly behind the Buffs again for this Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown — their first in-state rivalry game with Colorado State since 2019 — when they’re in unfamiliar territory as three-plus-touchdown favorites: BetMGM (95%), DraftKings (91%), and FanDuel (93%) all report an overwhelming majority of bets on the CU spread.

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“I do not expect as big of a handle on this game compared to Colorado’s first two contests, as the betting public will not be in such a rush to run to the window to lay 20-plus points,” says Feazel. “The allure of Colorado the past two weeks was that they were doubted by the betting market. They are now being priced as a true Top 25 team, so the dynamic has changed for this game.”

Avello expects bettors to use the Buffs in parlays, teasers, and in-game wagers this week.

He also says Colorado isn’t a “win-the-whole-thing team” given its lack of depth, and Sanders “A+” job so far is great for the sport and its surrounding betting activity.

“Us bookmakers don’t think that they’re a thorn in our side, that’s not the way we look at it,” says Avello. “We look at it as a team that we underestimated and we have to make adjustments on. And we also like that the public is embracing the story, embracing the team, and playing on them. That’s fine with us.”

Even if Colorado covers on Saturday, things get more interesting the following two weeks: Colorado begins Pac-12 play in Eugene against No. 13 Oregon — as 14-point underdogs in Caesars lookahead line — then hosts No. 5 USC.

“If Colorado can play with those big boys, then they’re definitely national championship contenders,” Feazel says.

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