The Colorado football phenomenon is one of the first big communal stories in a new betting world.
There are more bettors than ever, with legal sports betting expanding rapidly, and everyone is profiting off the Buffaloes. It's rare to see so many bettors backing and winning on the same team like they have for Colorado through two weeks.
Before the season, the over on Colorado was the most popular win total bet in college football. CU's win total was just 3.5. In Week 1, an overwhelming percentage of bettors were on Colorado to cover or even beat TCU as 20.5-point underdogs, and the Buffaloes came through. At one point last week, more than one-third of all the money bet on the college football slate was on Colorado to cover vs. Nebraska as a three-point favorite. The Buffaloes did so easily, blowing out Nebraska.
Bettors are back for more this week. Almost all of the bets on Colorado State vs. Colorado are on Deion Sanders' team, even at a much bigger spread.
Bettors like Colorado again
Sportsbooks bumped up Colorado's point spread this week to about three touchdowns, but it hasn't mattered. Bettors are all-in on the Buffaloes, with 95% of the bets at BetMGM coming in on CU.
— John Ewing (@johnewing) September 12, 2023
That three-point movement is significant. The lines didn't move that much on Colorado's previous two games despite an avalanche of bets coming in on CU. The back-to-back Colorado covers cost the sportsbooks.
Colorado State probably isn't going to be very good this season. They already lost, 50-24, to Washington State on Sept. 2. Their in-state rival looks like it is pretty good, better than oddsmakers figured at least.
Bettors were way ahead of the curve.
Colorado has been a huge story
Colorado's story has been fantastic in the sports world, just not for oddsmakers.
Sportsbooks were way too slow to adjust to a new-look Colorado team with Sanders and a ton of transfers, including quarterback Shedeur Sanders, a Heisman candidate after two weeks, and incredible receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter. It's rare for bettors to be this far ahead of sportsbooks on a team, especially over multiple weeks and in a high-volume sport like college football. Maybe very sharp bettors catch on to a small-conference college basketball team or a WNBA angle for an extended period, but this is different. Colorado is the biggest story in the college football world and perhaps all of sports right now. And bettors have been blasting the house for being way too low on CU.
It will turn at some point. Sportsbooks don't like losing money, and if bettors keep blindly taking Colorado they'll be doing so at inflated lines. It's not like Deion Sanders' team is going undefeated against the spread. But for now a nation of bettors who caught on earlier than the books to how good Colorado might be can celebrate their wins together. That's rare.