Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Nevada +17 over Texas State
Bobcat Stadium (TX), San Marcos, TX
7:00 EST. The Wolfpack are getting extremely undervalued in this spot and it's due to an overcorrection in the market. Texas State has become an Against the Spread (ATS) darling, covering all three of their contests by a national best 23 points per game. That's right - they've averaged 23 points of line disparity in each of their three games. No doubt that's pretty incredible, but here's the clincher - they haven't faced a team in a Power-5 conference yet, and that popular ATS mark is a bit overstated.
Nevada is far from the Pac-12's best but last week they proved they could be formidable in a good spot. The Wolfpack gave Kansas all they could handle, including 145 yards on the ground and a clean all-around game following two very sloppy performances to start the season (4 turnovers and 99 points allowed in Weeks 1 and 2). They lost versus Kansas, but they probably gained confidence by simply hanging around as a big underdog against an SEC squad.
Texas State has looked legit on offense, averaging 455 yards per game in a well-balanced attack, but most of that aforementioned ATS margin came last week in a 77-34 romp of Jackson State, a team crumbling without Coach Prime. In the other two contests, Texas State lost straight up to UTSA, an AAC bottom-feeder who hasn't won since, and they opened the season shocking Baylor by an 11-point margin. The latter was an impressive victory, but Baylor doesn't exactly look like a world-beater this season. Two late turnovers stunted Baylor's chances of beating the Bobcats in their opener, and so far the Bears’ only win of the season came against Long Island (yawn). We can’t take too much from Texas State based on just one upset, nor can we find assurance in a beatdown of Deion Sanders’ ex-program that lost a ton of talent.
Nevada has a decent rushing attack and they lean on it, averaging 37.5 rushes per game. While the underdog only averages 2.9 yards per rush, the Bobcats permit 133 yards per game. Against their best opponent this season, UTSA controlled the clock (37:23 to 22:37 in time of possession) with their run-game, accruing 158 yards on the ground. Nevada's front isn't comparable to CFB elites but they're absolutely comparable to the defensive front of Texas State. Nevada also has more desperation heading into this battle since they have yet to win a game this season.
For Texas State to cover this inflated price, it would take a near-perfect performance from a team that's probably thinking a little too highly of themselves right now. Sports media and bettors are trashing Nevada, while Texas State is getting a ton of love by high-profile handicappers like Brad Powers, who released their ATS performance in a tweet on September 18th. We'll sell very high on the Bobcats and buy low on a valuable pooch getting a ton of points.
Nevada +17 -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)