Texas Bowl Free Pick and Betting Odds

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Texas Bowl 

Missouri

vs.

Texas

12/2717

The Texas Bowl has been a battle between the Big 12 and SEC the last three seasons with the team from Texas losing all three (Texas, Tech, A&M). After getting handled by Arkansas three years ago, Texas will try and get back-to-back wins for the Big 12 with Missouri on the card. Riding a six-Game winning streak, the Tigers were -3 point favorites in mid-December at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

After a brutal start to the season that saw Missouri lose five of its first six including a 35-3 loss to Purdue, things quickly changed in the final month. The SEC East may have been down, but beating up on Florida, Tennessee and Vandy was a bit of a surprise for Missouri.

Things weren’t as great for Texas, which had high expectations in Tom Herman’s first season as head coach. The Longhorns battled to a 6-6 record with losses to Maryland and Texas Tech standing out, while they fell by less than a touchdown to USC, Oklahoma and OK State. This team came up big against better competition, but also struggled to put away the lesser teams such as Texas Tech in the regular season finale.

Missouri rode a hot offense to close the season and that’s going to be the main thing to watch in this Game. The Tigers reached 45 points in their final six Games, but go up against a Texas defense that held teams like OU and OK State below their season averages. The Longhorns give up 260 passing yards per Game, but a lot of that has to do with playing in the Big 12. Then again, Missouri quarterback Drew Lock has looked just as good as a number of Big 12 quarterbacks.

Lock was a decent quarterback last season, but as a junior has really taken a step with 43 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 9.60 yards per attempt. Not many can match those numbers and that’s why Missouri is in this spot. With J’Mon Moore (1,017 yards, 10 TDs) and Emanuel Hall (817 yards, 8 TDs) leading the receivers, this offense has been electric. Throw in a running Game led by Ish Witter (992 yards) and Damarea Crockett (expected to return from shoulder injury) and that only adds another piece. Sure, they had problems early in the season, but those have been quelled and Lock even threw Four touchdowns in the loss to Georgia.

The question for Missouri is on the other side because when it faces a decent offense, things don’t go as well. Even against Four-win Arkansas in the last Game, it was a battle that ended 48-45. The problem for Texas is that its offense is far from explosive. Herman still hasn’t decided on his quarterback for the future and the battle was still going on ahead of the bowl Game.

Sam Ehlinger closed the season, but while he looked great against USC and Kansas State, it was a different story in the final two Games against West Virginia and Texas Tech. Ehlinger’s running element adds another dynamic to the offense, but it’s a problem when a quarterback that’s started half of the team’s Games is leading the team in rushing with 368 yards. Shane Buechele is completing 10 percent more of his passes, but he can’t do as much with his legs, which has limited the offense at times. With numerous receivers led by Collin Johnson and a mess of running backs, this offense should be better. The hope for the Horns is that Missouri’s defense is so bad (31.8 ppg allowed) that Texas will Scorefrequently, similar to the 40-34 win against K State.

 

Texas may have more talent, but it’ll be hard to bet against this Missouri offense with how it’s rolling. The Longhorns are 5-1 ATS in their last six at a neutral site, but 2-5 ATS in their last seven against the SEC. The Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall, but 1-7 ATS in their last eight in December. These teams haven’t met since 2011 when they were in the same Conference together.

Our Pick – Texas +2.5