Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:50 AM EST.
Ball State +10 over San Jose State (Streaming on CBS)
Arizona Bowl - Arizona Stadium – Tucson, AZ
2:00 PM EST. The Spartans come into the season undefeated both straight up and against the spread. San Jose State also have attained their highest ranking in the College Football Playoff era. In “unprecedented” times, the Spartans have been one of 2020’s success stories, not to mention their ability to pay off week in and week out. Nothing typified that more than the Spartans capturing the Mountain West Conference Championship. As a 6½-point dog, the Spartans won against Boise State outright and did so convincingly.
In this game, the Spartans opened at some books at the same underdog-conducive number (-6.5) that they closed against Boise. The efficient market targeted San Jose State from the get-go to put them at the price you see here and we have to try and take advantage.
Though the Spartans have made all kinds of headlines with their emergence in 2020, the Cardinals have also hit their stride but have not been given nearly enough respect compared to their counterpart. Ball State stepped into the MAC Championship as much as a 13½-point underdog against the Buffalo Bulls who had not lost a game yet in 2020 and had steamrolled everything it came across. Though Buffalo was a market darling, the Bulls would not only fail to cover, but would be defeated outright 38-28 by Ball State.
Now, imagine you are a coach or player in that Ball State locker room and you just defeated a team (Buffalo) that nobody said you could while taking back nearly two converted TD’s. As a member of Ball State, you would think you earned some respect but no, instead the media and market has slapped you in the face again by hammering San Jose to the point that you are once again a double-digit underdog. It has to give the Cardinals the same “us against the world” feeling.
In a nutshell, San Jose State goes from the predator to the prey. Against teams with a winning record, this is the first time San Jose State is laying more than a touchdown this season. Sure, SJSU laid bigger numbers to UNLV and New Mexico and covered, but both those teams won just two games combined this year. The fact remains that the Spartans against premium competition such as Boise State, Air Force, San Diego State, and Nevada for example were all taking back points instead of giving them. The target was on their opponents’ back, not theirs. The Spartans of San Jose State now come into a Bowl game with the weight of expectations on their shoulders. Thanks to recency bias and a lack of market respect for the pooch, we get a live puppy capable of winning outright taking back an enhanced tag.
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Ball State +10 -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)