Alamo Bowl Pick
Alamo Bowl Pick – Oklahoma State vs. Colorado – 12/29/16The Alamo Bowl has seen some exciting Games over the last decade, none more than TCU’s incredible come back in last year’s three-overtime Game against Oregon. This year, one of the better stories of the season gets to play in San Antonio with Colorado coming out of nowhere to finish with 10 wins and make the Pac-12 title Game. The Buffaloes were small -3 point favorites over Oklahoma State as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
As a reminder, Colorado had just five Conference wins in the last five years and won eight this season. The Buffs made a huge turnaround and could finish the year as a top-10 team in the country. They battled in a lot of Games, and pulled out plenty of close wins, whether it was against Oregon, Stanford or Utah. against the best teams on their Schedule, they lost, with all of those teams ranked in the top 10 before bowls.
For Oklahoma State, things didn’t go as great for them, most notably in the loss that shouldn’t have been against Central Michigan. That said, an 11-point loss at Baylor isn’t great, but they went on to win their next seven Games before losing to Oklahoma in the finale. Wins over West Virginia and Kansas State stood out, but outside of WVU and Oklahoma, not many Big 12 teams were all that impressive this season.
In line with this spread, all signs point to what could easily be a three-point Game, but what is the best side to back?
The main reason for Colorado’s success is that they can play with almost any type of team (outside of Washington). That’s made possible with senior quarterback Sefo Liufau. The best news for Colorado is that he gets close to a month off to rest up as Liufau has been beat up most of the year and failed to finish the last few Games. If he can go the whole way, that would be vital for Colorado’s chances of winning and covering. His passing numbers aren’t great (11 TDs, 6 INTs), but three of those picks came against Washington and he’s what makes this offense work.
His rushing ability helps (496 yards, 7 TDs), as does running back Phillip Lindsay, who had a great season rushing for 1,189 yards and 16 touchdowns. If Lindsay can get another 100-yard Game, that would be huge for the Buffs.
Oklahoma State doesn’t have great defensive numbers, but that’s what happens when playing teams like Texas Tech and Oklahoma. It’ll be yet another tough test for them, which means the Cowboys have to Scoreas well.
Their test may be a bit tougher on the offensive side as Colorado has one of the better pass defenses in the country. Even though the Buffs got destroyed by the Huskies last Game, they held Jake Browning to 9-of-24 for 118 yards. Most of OK State’s offense used to be based off its passing Game, but a better ground Game has helped later in the season.
Justice Hill has run for at least 99 yards in each of the last three Games and he could be the difference maker in this Game after the Buffs got run over by Washington. Chris Carson has been solid as well at backup. Going against this defense, OK State will likely take a run-heavy approach, which is something they employed more of later in the season, although quarterback Mason Rudolph does have good numbers with 25 TDs and only Four picks.
If OK State can find room on the ground, that will keep this Game close and give them an edge if the line closes right at 3.
The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last Four following an ATS loss. The Buffaloes have been solid ATS all season and are 11-3 ATS In their last 14, but 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight vs. the Big 12. While these teams were former Conference foes, they haven’t played since 2011.
Our Pick – Colorado -3