Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Texas State +16½ over South Alabama
Hancock Whitney Stadium – Mobile, AL
5:00 PM EST. Last week, the efficient market made their presence felt when they took Texas State from a one-point road favorite against UL Monroe to a 2½-point underdog. Those that bet the Warhawks early were rewarded with a winning ticket as the Hawks came from 21 down to edge out the Bobcats 31-30. Practitioners of +EV (Expected Value) or better known as the backbone of the efficient market philosophy won big if they bet early. Now they are back for more or to fade the Cats again. Moreover, no one wants a part of Texas State because though they were up 21, losing such a large lead to a no-name program like ULM will make the Bobcats quite unappetizing in their follow-up. When we factor in that Texas State is 3-6 on the year and has lost three straight, the Bobcats look so unappetizing that one would be willing to lay a significant amount of points just to avoid wagering on them. When we consider the market profile of South Alabama, the reaction is discernible.
South Alabama is 7-2 overall on the year and 6-3 against the number. Overall, the Jags have won five of their last six and their sole defeat was a narrow 10-6 defeat against rival Troy who, incidentally, is also 7-2 on the year. The Jaguars were also a point away from being 8-1 at the expense of the now #12 UCLA Bruins when they took the Bruins the distance in a 32-31 shootout that was settled by a UCLA walk-off field goal. South Alabama was a play away from stealing a win in Pasadena. If we were to make our bets on results alone, how could one not be eager to lay the points here with South Alabama? However, we are not result driven or enthusiasts.
A closer look under the hood of both teams will reveal that Texas State could in fact be 6-3. Over their present three-game skid, the Bobcats lost at Troy, against Southern Miss, and at ULM by a combined 10 points. In each of those games, T-State took a lead into the fourth quarter. In two of these contests, the game was settled in the final two minutes. Had Texas State held on and won in all of those games, we’d be talking about one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt and there is no chance that they would be taking back such a substantial tag.
Furthermore, the Jaguars won three of their seven games by a touchdown margin or less against UL Monroe, at UL Lafayette, and at Georgia Southern. In each of these games, the Jaguars either trailed heading into the fourth quarter (against GaSo) or they blew a double-digit lead and allowed their opposition to draw closer or equalize (against Monroe or Lafayette, take your pick). It is not out of the question to suggest that with some variances occurring the opposite of what they did (50/50 bounces), Texas State could easily be 6-3 and South Alabama could easily be 4-5 or 3-6 and then this game would be priced about 10 points less than it is. This might be the biggest overlay on the board today and win or lose, it must be played.
Texas State +16½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)