Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1015 AM EST odds are subject to change.
UAB @ FAU +167
FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla
Streaming: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
7:00 PM EST. This might be the best bet on the board. UAB is a team known for putting up points, an attractive proposition when dealing with second and third tier programs in the FBS. In its four wins this year, the Blazers scored 59, 35, 41 and 34 points respectively. In its three losses, UAB lost by one score in all of them, thus, the Blazers could easily be 7-0. They lost by seven to Liberty (Liberty whacked BYU last week), by four to Rice and by just three to Western Kentucky last week.
Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic has dropped three in a row and five of six against the spread. Before we outline the angle here, we must mention that Jacob Zeno is UAB’s starting quarterback this week. Dylan Hopkins, the regular starter, is in concussion protocol after getting injured while scrambling for a first down in the first quarter of the 20-17 loss at Western Kentucky. That’s significant because it looks like Zeno did a decent job. Zeno, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound redshirt junior transfer from Baylor, threw his first touchdown pass at UAB — a 14-yard connection with redshirt freshman Fred Farrier II. It’s not 100% certain that Zeno starts but it’s 90% certain so if you bet this game, be warned that Hopkins is “doubtful” and not ruled out. We, on the other hand, couldn't care less.
You see, road favorite is the worst role for a team coming off a difficult loss. Quantifying this angle is difficult, as it depends on the input definition of "tough loss." But whether it's losing as a favorite, losing in the final seconds or losing a game after holding a double-digit fourth-quarter lead, no matter how the data is sliced, trust us when we say that road favorite is the worst role for such teams the following week. Why that role? Any team that's still a dog despite being at home is probably perceived as inferior, so there's not enough fear or concern to instill urgency in preparation -- plus, there's no home crowd to spark the need for immediate atonement.
Now trust us again when we say that no matter how you define it, UAB’s loss to Western Kentucky last week counts. UAB had a 7-point lead going to the half and failed to score a single point in the second half in a three point loss. A 14-point swing on a fumble recovery (two plays later WKU scored 7) just as the Blazers were about to go up 11. An interception with three minutes to play would seal UAB’s fate. They had many chances to win, thus, it was as devastating as they come, and it would probably take a panel of Hall of Fame motivators to get this team off the mat this week. On rare occasions, it works the other way as the devastation fuels an inspired encore but the early signs don't suggest that here, and the Blazers are unbackable without a quality read that they've defied convention this week. FAU outright is the call.
FAU +167 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.34)