Today's Free Picks for
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Incarnate Word +150 @ Nevada
Mackey Stadium – Reno, NV
5:30 PM EST. Our goal as handicappers is to mine for value. Value puts one in a position to cash a ticket and the payout is the same whether one decides to take action in a heavyweight bout such as Alabama vs. Texas or a game nobody is looking at but sticks out to us like UIW vs. Nevada.
FBS vs. FCS match-ups are ripe for the plucking when it comes to finding good plays because the overarching bias of FBS teams against their FCS little brother sways the market egregiously. However, this scenario is unique in that the 2-0 Nevada Wolfpack, who have cashed tickets in each of their wins despite being faded vehemently in each of these contests by the efficient market looks like a steal here as a -4½-point choice playing host to a FCS side.
Nevada was a seven-point road favorite in its season opener at New Mexico State where it was bet down from its -13½ peak in the summer. Despite the subsequent move downward, the Wolf Pack defeated the Aggies 23-12 and covered the spread in the process. In the following week, the efficient market would double down on fading the Wolves when they played host to the Texas State Bobcats. If we were to track line movements from the end of Week 0 to kick-off, we would note a 6.5-point swing which saw T-State jump the fence from a +4½-point pup to a two-point road favorite. Nevada would then go on to smash the ‘Cats by a score of 38-14. To summarize, the efficient market has faded Nevada for two weeks straight and they have nothing to show for it. A zig-zag has now been created. On paper, this appears to be a step down in competition and a manageable wager from an outward glance. We argue the opposite.
The line here is a respect for the opponent that Nevada is playing host to. The University of the Incarnate Word is the #8-ranked FCS team in the land and they just put up over 60 points against the #9 FCS team in the country while compiling 550 yards of offense. Against New Mexico State and Texas State, Nevada was outgained in total offense. It was turnovers that did their opponents in as, New Mexico State and Texas State both committed four turnovers while Nevada committed none and took advantage of the miscues. We talk about in-game variances influencing outcomes. In that regard, every bounce went in Nevada’s direction and thus, the results tell a different story than the “ingredients”. The difference here is that unlike Texas State or New Mexico State who hang at the lower rungs of the FBS totem pole, Nevada now faces one of the FCS’ premier sides who are the epitome of efficiency, as they did not the turn ball over once against #9 Southern Illinois in 56 plays. But in the same 56 plays, The Word generated 550 yards of offense and eight touchdowns. UIW also created a pick-six while they were digging. Make no mistake, the price reflects how live this dog is while the unsuspecting market will wrongly perceive it as easy money. Wood for the W.
Incarnate Word +150 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.00)