Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Army -8 -110 over UTSA
Streaming: CBS Sports Network in the Sports Group
Alamodome – San Antonio, TX
1:30 PM EST. A common theme of this weekend’s betting activity is fading road favorites since there are perils and hazards that often come with getting behind one. There have also been a lot of ripped tickets on road chalk this year. However, there are situations where a play on such is warranted when we are confident that the chalk here is very undervalued. Situationally, the Black Knights check so many boxes.
Last week, the Knights played host to FCS constituent, The Citadel Bulldogs and were given a lot more trouble than they bargained for. As a 30½-point choice, the United States Army Academy of West Point narrowly defeated The Citadel in what was a defensive struggle, edging the Bulldogs 14-9. That one result has had a whopping negative influence on Army’s stock. However, stacking this result on top of a seeing-eye cover produced as a 31-point favorite the week before against Abilene Christian (where a late score by the Black Knights got them a point over the line in a 55-23 win) and a loss against the spread as a 12-point dog preceding that against Cincinnati on September 26th, Army’s market presence has reached an abject point compared to where it stood just under a month ago. The proverbial balloon has inflated and popped.
On the flip-side, the Road Runners’ market credibility may have reached its pinnacle season-to-date, though it enters on a two-game losing streak. Last week as a 34-point underdog at #13 BYU, UTSA hung around with the Cougars and lost by a mere touchdown in a 27-20 thriller. BYU, after frog-stomping everything it came across in its three matches preceding their clash with Texas-San Antonio was said to have “survived”, the pesky team named after a cartoon character that was taking back a cartoon-like number.
What we have as a result of both incidents is an archetypal buy-low/sell-high situation where the favorite is being short-sold while the underdog is taking back a smaller tag than it should be. This prompts us to move in on the chalk. Finally, the option offense is a unique animal, and lack of familiarity spells doom for opposing defenses. The only thing worse than facing an option offense is facing them for the first time, and Army’s unique eight-OL sets have certainly caused headaches for the uninitiated. Always be alert for the opportunities that unusual or rarely-seen schemes provide, and especially be aware of the opposing staff's relevant background (or lack thereof). Again, Army checks all the boxes. Swallow the points.
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Army -8 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)