Texas vs


at San Antonio
Tue, Dec 29
6:00 PM Pacific
Rotation: 297
Odds: Colorado +12.5, Total: 63.5

Game Analysis

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Note: This Best Bet was released when the line was +12.5. I’d still lean with Colorado at less than +10.

Best Bet – *Colorado (+12.5)  29   Texas  33

Texas has taken advantage of teams that didn’t care as much as they did in their recent bowl games and now the Longhorns appear to be the team that doesn’t care, as 6 key players have opted out to prepare for the NFL combine. In 2018, Texas beat an uninterested Georgia team that had legitimate hopes of being in the playoff dashed and last season the Longhorns faced a Utah team that blew their chance of a playoff spot with a Pac-12 Championship game loss and were understandably less excited about playing in the Alamo Bowl. Texas played well in both games but I’m pretty confident that they didn’t face the best version of their two more talented opponents in those bowl upsets. Now I feel that Texas isn’t going to be at their best playing in the same bowl game they played in last season and facing an upstart Colorado team that is unlikely to fuel their flame. The Buffaloes, meanwhile, have got to be fired up to be playing in a bowl game in coach Karl Dorrell’s first season after 3 consecutive losing campaigns prior to their 2020 turnaround.

Dorrell did a great job instilling confidence in the Buffaloes, who started the season 4-0 straight up and 4-0 ATS before losing to a superior Utah team. Colorado is not a great team but the Buffs are good on both sides of the ball, rating at 0.4 yards per play better than average offensively (5.9 yppl against teams that would allow 5.5 yppl to an average team) and 0.5 yppl better than average defensively (5.6 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yppl against an average defense). Overall, Colorado was 9.1 points better than FBS average from the line of scrimmage this season. The Buffaloes market rating is worse because they weren’t expected to be good and their prior is still a significant part of their market rating because they’ve played just 5 games. However, Colorado’s line of scrimmage rating (adjusted for site and opponent) was consistently better than average (+14.3 points, +13.2 points, +8.8 points, +5.1 points, and +4.0 points). I do notice the downward trend but that’s likely random and their worst game would be enough to cover the number in this game.

Texas is a good team but the Longhorns have only covered the spread twice in 8 games since beating up on lowly UTEP to open the season and now they’ve had 6 key players opt out to prepare for the NFL. Losing LT Samuel Cosmi is not likely to disrupt the offense too much but top receiver Brennan Eagles declared for the NFL draft on Tuesday and he’s worth 0.8 points. The defensive losses, however, are significant. Free safety Caden Sterns, who leads the team in tackles per game, left the team a few weeks ago and he’s been joined by LB Joseph Ossai, DT Ta’quon Graham, and SS Chris Brown. Graham is an elite run-stuffer and Brown leads the team in passes defended and is 5th in tackles. Those losses will be felt but the big loss is the absence of Ossai, who is a disruptive force who is 2nd on the Longhorns in tackles, leads the team in sacks and has 16 total tackles for loss, which is an incredible number for 9 games. My algorithm values those 4 defensive losses worth a combined 3.9 points and I don’t think that’s in the line on this game.

The Texas offense is very good (1.0 yards per play better than average) and should move the ball well against Colorado’s defense, which rates the same as the average defense faced by Texas this season. However, the Longhorns’ defense, which has been 0.6 yppl better than average for the season, projects to be just slightly better than average with 4 NFL caliber players not playing and the Buffaloes should move the ball well enough to keep up (451 yards at 5.9 yppl projected – adjusted for perfect dome conditions).

Texas has been only about 9 points better than Colorado this season and that gap has narrowed due to the Longhorns’ defections. I also think Colorado is likely to be more excited about playing in this game and teams from major conferences that are favored by more than 7 points in pre-New Year’s, non-major, bowl games are just 22-64-2 ATS since 1980. Texas is certainly prone to letting down against lesser teams while playing their best against good teams, as the Longhorns are just 4-9-1 ATS laying more than 10 points under coach Herman (compared to 12-5 ATS as an underdog). Colorado is a 1-Star Best Bet at +10 points or more.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Texas
  • Colorado


  • Run Plays 33.8 35.6
  • Run Yards 179.3 139.7
  • YPRP 5.7 4.3


  • Pass Comp 20.9 25.6
  • Pass Att 35.0 39.8
  • Comp % 59.7% 64.3%
  • Pass Yards 272.9 280.1
  • Sacks 2.2 1.7
  • Sack Yards 13.8 12.4
  • Sack % 6.0% 4.0%
  • Pass Plays 37.2 41.5
  • Net Pass Yards 259.1 267.7
  • YPPP 7.0 6.5


  • Total Plays 71.0 77.0
  • Total Yards 452.2 419.8
  • YPPL 6.4 5.5


  • Int 0.6 0.9
  • Int % 1.6% 2.2%
  • Fumbles 0.4 0.8
  • Turnovers 1.0 1.7
  • Points 41.3 29.1
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