Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:20 PM EST.
9:00 PM EST. It’s no coincidence that as soon as the college football season is wrapping up, conference plays starts in this sport. The great news is that the start of conference play provides us with opportunities galore because the non-conference schedule will inflate or deflate a teams’ stock based on misleading records, skewed stats and false rankings. We’re going to try and take advantage of all that while the rest of the market puts too much emphasis on results and won/loss records.
The Wildcats were a little overrated coming into the season based on their surprising dash to the Elite Eight last year. K-State has jumped out to a 10-2 start, it sits just a game behind juggernaut Kansas in the Big-12 and it also sits just outside the top-25 in the polls. We’re now in a great position to sell because the Wildcats are not as good as their record suggests. For one, K-State will be without their leading scorer and rebounder, Dean Wade, for a few more weeks because of a foot injury. Additionally, K-State’s 10 wins came against a bunch of marshmallows that started with a win over Kennesaw State and continued with victories over Denver, Eastern Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Lehigh, Georgia State, Southern Miss, Vanderbilt and George Mason. The victory over Vandy (69-58) is a legit one but we always preach to never put too much emphasis on one game. Trust us when we tell you that the Commodores were flat to start. In fact, Vandy came up empty on 11 of their first 13 possessions and had as many turnovers as points (four) midway through the half. When K-State played Marquette and Tulsa, they lost both games. As conference play gets underway, Kansas State’s offensive shortcomings will be a major problem as it navigates through a Big 12 that has no weak teams.
The Longhorns come in at 8-4 and one of their losses was at home to Radford. They also lost at home to VCU and Providence but we’re not concerned in the least. The Longhorns are a team that comes to play when it matters. During non-conference play, it’s not uncommon for superior teams to take inferior ones lightly and lose some games. What stick out to us is K-State’s strength of schedule (SOS) ranks 174th while the Longhorns SOS ranks 90th. The Longhorns have defeated Arkansas and North Carolina on neutral courts and beat Purdue at home by four, so we’re not talking about just one notable win. There are some great pieces here that Shaka Smart figures to have ready to go as Big 12 play gets underway
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#817 Texas +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)