Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Pinnacle +13½ +100 BET365 +13½ -105 SportsInteraction +13½ -105 888Sport +13½ -105
Rice +13½ +100 over UTSA
Rice Stadium – Houston, TX
Streaming: ESPN +
1:00 PM EST. In-game variance influences market perception and makes results look different than what they appear. UTSA exemplifies this. On paper, one sees an 8-2 team on the cusp of clinching a Conference USA Championship Game berth and perhaps even an appearance in the Top 25. However, if KenPom capped college football, UTSA may very well lead the country in the luck metric. As a result of this, a team that is 8-2 could easily be 4-6 fighting for bowl eligibility. If that were the case, what would the Roadrunners be priced here? We can only circumspect but it likely wouldn’t be at the number you see posted here.
The University of Texas-San Antonio has been no stranger to overtime, as they have only played in three overtime games, this season; two of which the ‘Runners won. Given the 50/50 dynamic of the college football overtime, the Roadrunners could have won all three or lost all three. Metaphorically it is a matter of whether or not the coin flip comes up heads or tails. Two times this season, the coin landed on UTSA. Outside of that, UTSA won two games at home against North Texas and Western Kentucky by a combined seven points. Against UNT, the Roadrunners won the game with 15 seconds left. Point is, this favorite does not have the makings of a knock-em out, drag-em out mid-major power whose only two losses this year came at Texas and against a ranked Houston in extra time. No, this is a team that has a penchant for living dangerously and the fact they are spotting an underdog conducive number this week after blowing out Louisiana Tech 51-7 last Saturday would suggest that books don’t believe in them either.
Rice comes into this game after it got its bell rung at Western Kentucky last week by a score of 45-10. The Owls closed in the same range (+13½) that they are being offered at this week. Incidentally, UTSA beat WKU straight up earlier this season. The question begs, why would Rice be priced in the same range again the week after UTSA looked dominant while the Owls got massacred? The authors of the line once again suspect that this game will be closer than the market anticipates.
For what it’s worth, Rice does have something to play for. If the Owls win here or next week at North Texas, they’ll be going bowling. Given that this will be Rice’s last home stint of the season and they haven’t been to the postseason in eight years, this is a contest that has profound meaning to them. The Owls will play with reckless abandon, as they have nothing to lose here and the benefit of home cooking behind them. Teams of this nature are dangerous to fade but wonderful to back when the situation and price is right. This is one of them. Don’t be shocked if Rice does the unthinkable here but we’ll take the points.
Rice +13½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)