Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Appalachian State +125 over Wyoming
Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium – Laramie, WY
Streaming: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
7:00 PM EST. This business is one of impressions and our task is to determine when these impressions are influencing market perception. This contest serves as a prime case study.
Wyoming and App State both step into this game at 2-1 both straight up and against the number. However, Wyoming’s body of work season-to-date has generated a lot of buzz. Wyoming kicked off the season in Laramie as a 13½-point underdog and not only covered against Texas Tech, but won outright 35-33 in overtime. Given the hype that surrounded Texas Tech in the preseason, the market faded Wyoming vehemently on that fateful eve. In a quintessential “sandwich game” hosting FCS Portland State in Week Two, the market zig-zagged back on the Cowboys as a 28-point choice. There were two factors driving this scenario. First, the aforementioned upset staged by the Cowboys and secondly the fact Portland State gave up 81 points to Oregon the week before which made targeting the Vikings an easy choice. However, Wyoming would only win by a score of 31-17 and Portland State would actually compile more first downs than the Cowboys (20-19) and nearly match them in total yardage (371-344). That result diminished Wyoming’s stock but it would quickly be forgotten when Wyoming would venture off to Austin and face off with the Texas Longhorns who were coming in off the heels of their signature upset win in Tuscaloosa against Alabama the week prior.
Texas/Wyoming would be deadlocked at 10 in the fourth quarter before Texas would pull away in a 31-10 win. The Cowboys controlled the ball for 17 more minutes compared to Texas and they were never in danger of not covering as a 30½-point pup. The media has been quick to highlight the fight that the Cowboys brought to the Longhorns and now the market is reacting to this narrative.
Sure, Wyoming has looked good against Big 12 opponents thus far but one could easily infer that the Cowboys took advantage of the Red Raiders and Longhorns playing down to their level of opposition. Texas was guilty of such offenses against Rice earlier this season while the Red Raiders led by 17 after the first quarter against Wyoming before they started thinking about Oregon in Lubbock prematurely and allowed the Cowboys back into the game.
Appalachian State is no stranger to playing the role of the upset-artist nor are they timid of anyone that they face. This is a program that has cultivated a legacy in upsetting the blue bloods and giving their Power Five brethren a scare; you can ask North Carolina about that one. Now, the Mountaineers come into this contest just where they want to be: off the radar and overlooked. Should Wyoming take its eye off the ball here and play down to App State’s level like they did Portland State, this could be a long afternoon for the ‘Boys. The line would suggest such an event may happen and presents a perfect opportunity to sell high on Wyoming.
Appalachian St +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)