The Colorado Buffaloes take on the Stanford Cardinal. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Colorado Stanford prediction and pick.

The calendar hasn’t yet turned to 2023, and yet this is a monster game for both teams.

The Cardinal are not finding solutions under head coach Jerod Haase. Stanford is 5-7 through 12 games. The Cardinal, like all other college basketball teams except for the eight teams which played in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu over Christmas, took a long holiday break to rest, recharge, and regroup. In that extended period of downtime, Stanford badly needed to reorganize and come up with a winning plan for these next 18 Pac-12 Conference games. Stanford will need to win at least 14 of those 18 games, if not more, to have any chance of making the NCAA Tournament and snapping a March Madness drought which extends back to 2014, the last time the Cardinal were part of March Madness.

Colorado comes into this game with five losses and, notably, an 0-2 record in Pac-12 play. The Buffaloes blew a 15-point lead at home to Arizona State and then lost at Washington, one of the weaker teams in the conference. If Colorado is to have any shot at making the NCAA Tournament, it can’t realistically fall to 0-3 in the Pac-12 and expect to get a bid. The Buffaloes have already lost more games than they should have. They have to stop the bleeding here and finish with a Pac-12 record of at least 12-8 if not 13-7 to get a long look from the committee on Selection Sunday.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Colorado-Stanford College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Colorado-Stanford Odds

Colorado Buffaloes: +2.5 (-115)

Stanford Cardinal: -2.5 (-105)

Over: 138.5 (-110)

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Under: 138.5 (-110)

Why Colorado Could Cover the Spread

The first thing to note here is the simple fact that Stanford is a favorite. Why is Stanford favored? The Cardinal have lost seven games this season and have not played well at all. Maybe the spread is partly a reflection of Colorado’s road loss to Washington earlier this season, but Washington is better than Stanford. Maybe the spread is a reflection of Stanford’s less-than-terrible performance earlier in December against the Texas Longhorns. Stanford lost that game by only 10 points instead of getting blown out. Maybe Stanford earned some respect in that game. It’s possible. However, Texas was dealing with the emotional fallout from realizing that coach Chris Beard got arrested and was in danger of being dismissed by the university. Interim head coach Rodney Terry had to scramble to get the Longhorns organized. If Texas did not have that massive disruption, the Longhorns probably would have beaten Stanford by 25 or 30 points. You get the point: Stanford is seemingly getting a lot of respect with the spread, but it hasn’t earned that respect.

The other point to make is that Colorado, as exasperating and inconsistent as it is, did beat Tennessee in Nashville earlier this season. The Buffs did beat a talented Colorado State team by 28. They can play. If they play a remotely solid game here, they should win, period.

Why Stanford Could Cover the Spread

The Cardinal are aware that Colorado is an unreliable team. The Buffaloes have some really good wins on their schedule this season, but they also lost to Grambling … and UMass … and Boise State … and Washington. Colorado seems to play to the level of its competition and can’t take care of business on the road. That’s why Stanford is favored at home, and that’s why the Cardinal, for all of their struggles, are still a good bet to grab a win in Maples Pavilion and give themselves a jolt of confidence for the rest of the Pac-12 basketball season.

Final Colorado-Stanford Prediction & Pick

This is a game to stay away from, because neither team should — or can — be trusted. It’s that simple.

Final Colorado-Stanford Prediction & Pick: Colorado +2.5