Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Texas State +28½ -103 over BYU
Lavell Edwards Stadium – Provo, UT
Streaming: ESPN in the Sports Group
10:15 PM EST. In reviewing the menu for this week’s college football action, there is only one team that is laying a bigger tag to an FBS opponent than the Cougars: the Clemson Tigers. BYU is priced higher than Ohio State hosting Nebraska and Alabama fresh off perhaps the most impressive win of the year against a Tennessee team that just got wrecked by Kentucky. The mere implication of this would suggest that Brigham Young is working at an inflated price. When we consider the ingredients that surround BYU in this spot, the propensity is palpable.
Two weeks ago, BYU was spotting a similar number to visiting UTSA. The Cougars would squeak by the Road Runners in a competitive 27-20 bout that abruptly lowered the Cougars’ stock. As a result, BYU was spotting just a field goal at kick-off last week when it was on the road against the Houston Cougars. Brigham Young would rally from behind and then close out UH in convincing fashion in a 43-26 win. This outcome was witnessed by a national audience and undoubtedly is influencing the market in BYU’s follow-up here.
As a +4½-point pup last week against South Alabama, the Bobcats offered tremendous appeal given how they have been kind (money-wise) throughout the 2020 season, and moreover because they seemingly have a tendency to play teams that were supposed to wallop them rather toughly. T-State lost against SMU and Boston College by a combined 10 points. Given South Alabama’s pedigree as a traditional cupcake, the market was reluctant to get behind the Jags as the chalk. Furthermore, South Alabama appeared to be a step down in class and an easy win for the ‘Cats to snag when reiterating some of the bigger foes they wrestled with this season. Nonetheless, S. Alabama would defeat Texas State 30-20 and vanquish market confidence in Texas State along with it. When we incorporate this turn of events into the buildup to this contest, the market will be quick to steer away from the Bobcats and jump back on BYU who looks like the juggernaut it has been characterized as prior to their scare with UTSA. BYU is ranked #12 in the country.
We cannot overstate how big BYU’s win was last week over a credible opponent. That put BYU on the college football playoff radar. When looking at BYU’s schedule, they are almost guaranteed to run the table and finish undefeated. They had two potential losses or toss-up games this season and have conquered them both (Army & Houston). Running the table is now pretty much a formality and we have to strongly question what is going to motivate BYU here. Surely not a 28½-point underdog and now we’re getting an inflated price against a ranked team that has proven its worth and that figures to show up in body only.
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Texas State +28½ -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)