Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 9:15 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) @ Army +120
Michie Stadium – West Point, NY
Streaming: CBS Sports network
12:00 PM EST. Last year, the Roadrunners were one of 2021’s feel-good stories and surprise teams. With their rise to prominence, UTSA cashed a lot of tickets and their market status elevated overall. As such, we were hesitant to back the Roadrunners taking back a short tag against 24th ranked Houston, despite our propensity in fading ranked teams laying a short tag to an unranked side. We stayed clear, because we speculated that UTSA’s success in 2021 had trickled over into 2022 with respect to their market credibility.
Against #24 Houston, the Roadrunners managed to come in under the number (+3.5 at close) in a narrow 37-35 triple overtime defeat. On paper, UTSA cashed tickets and perhaps from a bird’s eye view looked poised to become a ranked side again in 2022 even with the heart-breaking loss. After taking a ranked opponent to the wire in Week 1, the Roadrunners look appealing laying a short tag on the road at Army, who incidentally lost 38-28 at Coastal Carolina last week priced in the same range (+2).
We don’t know how UTSA will respond to last week’s loss in three overtimes but what we can decipher from their reaction at the conclusion of the contest was that the Roadrunners looked deflated. This is not a good place to be when one has to make a journey across the country to West Point to face off with a team that will be motivated as Army will be in their home opener. Army plays ball control and whittles teams down with their option-style offense. Option offense is a unique animal, and lack of familiarity spells doom for opposing defenses. Now throw in UTSA’s exhilarating triple OT loss last week in extreme heat and the stage has been set for an upset.
UTSA Defensive Coordinator/Safeties coach Jess Loepp is in his second season as defensive coordinator. Loepp played linebacker at Central Oklahoma from 1997-2000 before spending time as an assistant coach at Oklahoma Bible Academy. We mention this because we have to wonder how unprepared Loepp and the Roadrunners will be to face the option offense. We’re suggesting not well enough to bank on his Roadrunners avoiding the same fate as so many other unfamiliar defensive coordinators that were fed to the Army and Navy threshing machines.
Army +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)