There are dark and difficult times along Regent Drive on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder.
Not just because of the massive blizzard that shut down classes this week, but also the dark abyss engulfing the CU men’s basketball team.
These are some of the toughest times for coach Tad Boyle’s squad since his arrival in 2011.
While he’s only had one losing season in a decade (16-18 in 2014-15), it’s possible these Buffaloes, sitting at 13-8, may end up being the most disappointing yet.
That reality set in early for CU fans and those indulging in Colorado college basketball betting.
Pac-12 power has shifted
Most of the star power on the team comes from phenom Jabari Walker, senior Evan Battey, and sophomore Tristan Da Silva.
It’s a drop off in talent in recent years but enough to be competitive as newcomers find their footing.
Yes, the Pac-12 has stepped up in class this year with dangerous ranked teams such as UCLA, Arizona, and USC.
CU is 5-6 in conference play and sits eighth in the Pac-12. DraftKings Colorado Sportsbook has the Buffs with the seventh-best odds at to win the conference.
But those dark clouds we talked about earlier? They’re here to stay the rest of the season.
As Colorado March Madness betting draws closer, let’s see how we can wager on the Buffs and find some kind of winning strategy.
Follow the numbers
After a defining 82-78 win against host Oregon on Jan. 25, CU collapsed against a mediocre Washington team.
Then came one of the worst losses in recent memory against Washington State. The Buffs looked completely outmatched at every level in the 70-43 laugher Sunday.
CU shot only 28 percent from the field in the rout.
And that’s been a glaring issue all season.
Nationally, CU is 243rd in scoring (69 points per game) and 221st in field goal percentage at 43.3 percent.
But it gets worse.
The illustrious Kenpom ratings have Colorado ranked at 96th in the country. Over at Oddshark, the Buffaloes have a power rating of 549, nestled gently between the 8-13 Merrimack Warriors of New Hampshire and fellow North American Bisons of Lipscomb, who are 10-13.
This is the company they keep. This is who they are.
The sportsbooks haven’t quite caught up though.
And that’s how we strike.
Where’s the money?
As favorites, the Buffs are 12-2 straight up, and 1-6 as an underdog.
We know laying the moneyline favorite may not be a massive return over the long run. But with an 18-3 combined record for the favorites in CU games, you could add the fave as a sweetener in parlays and feel confident you’ll get the odds boost.
The pointspreads are a bit more complicated.
CU is 6-13-2 this year ATS and 3-7-2 at home. The Buffs simply can’t be counted on to cover the spread because their scoring has been so wildly inconsistent.
For example, CU scored 83 points against Wazzu at the beginning of January. Then, a few weeks later, it was a season-low 43 points against the same team.
That also leads into a totals trend.
CU is 10-4 to the under of late.
Da Silva is still on the mend after missing the team’s previous two games due to COVID protocols. Boyle also in the virus protocol after a positive test and is out for Thursday night’s home rematch against Oregon.
It will be tough sledding in any case against Dana Altman’s 13-7 Ducks. They want revenge for their home loss as they attempt a postseason push of their own.
It’s just another ominous cloud looming over campus with only nine games remaining.
But we can make some money.
We just have to follow the numbers, grit our teeth, and cover our eyes as we hit that “place bet” button.