Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Texas -7½ over Colorado
Alamo Bowl - Alamodome – San Antonio, TX
9:00 PM EST. A blue-blood program like Texas constantly has its eye on throwing its hat in the ring for the proverbial Big 12 credentials. Unfortunately to the dismay of the Longhorns, those aspirations were derailed on Thanksgiving weekend when it was defeated in a gut-wrenching loss in Austin to Iowa State. Known as a pipeline program to the NFL that has its cupboard filled with four-star and five-star talent in spades, some key defensive personnel have opted out of Texas’ postseason activities to prepare itself for the draft including linebacker Joseph Ossai, defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham, and defensive back Chris Brown. With these emerging storylines along with Texas’ inability to make it to Big D for the Big 12 title or even play in a New Year’s Day bowl game, the market is betting that the ‘Horns will lack motivation here. However, when taking a closer look at things, those behind the line perhaps are arguing otherwise.
The bowl season is in many ways, a season unto itself. As such, opt-outs have become a part of the fabric of the postseason. Many programs have garnered an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to qualifying for the College Football Playoff, earning a New Year’s Six berth, or winning their respective conference. Settling for any less for a program like Texas makes a bid to the Alamo Bowl seems more like a disappointment than competition. The market has bet this game down two points since the last college game ended but the revelation of the Brown, Ossai, and Graham opting out news is not recent. In spite of these revelations emerging around the 12th of December, the Longhorns did not receive their bowl assignment until the 20th, and an opening price in this contest was not established until thereafter. In spite of the aforementioned variables that entice one to avoid Texas in this contest, the Longhorns opened up as high a 13½-point choice (depending on where one shopped around) and the market could not get enough of these points ever since, as the line has plummeted downwards to a very high degree. Furthermore, if one were to get behind the Buffaloes now, they would be doing so at a bad number. Rarely does that come recommended.
Some have dubbed the Buffs as one of 2020’s surprise teams, after posting a 4-1 mark both straight up and against the spread, and that raises their appeal here. However, Colorado could very easily be 1-4 as quick as they are 4-1 but good old in-game variance influenced the results to bend in the Buffs’ favor. On the flipside, variance working against Texas at inopportune times has been the reason why we did not see this team playing for a Big 12 title or even more. Texas lost all three games this season by a combined 13 points. This price is only in check because of the Longhorns pedestrian and misleading 6-3 record but again, they could have been 9-0 after a two-point loss to TCU, an OT loss to Oklahoma and a three-point loss to Iowa State. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger is not among the opt-outs and will be on the field for his final game in burnt orange. The Longhorns are being undersold here in a big way and we’re all over it.
Texas -7½ +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)