Colorado To Cash Vs. Oklahoma State

Colorado Buffaloes player in action

Monday, December 26, 2016 5:21 PM GMT

A couple of conference runner-ups are set for a clash at the Alamo Bowl, and we have a free NCAA football pick for the Oklahoma State-Colorado matchup.

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Colorado Buffaloes

Oh, the sidebars that can be written about this year's Alamo Bowl matchup between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Colorado Buffaloes. From their days as Big 8 conference rivals to the fact they were the 'last 2 out' of the New Year's Six, it sets up to be an instant classic.

It also sets up to be one of those scary bowls games for yours truly, since it's so often hard to determine how teams that were oh, so close to the elite bowls, possibly even playoff slots, will perform. We'll find out this Thursday beginning at 9 PM (ET) when ESPN begins its broadcast from San Antonio.

It's the 7th-straight year for the game to match the Big 12 against the Pac-12, and Bookmaker has the Buffaloes at -3, up to a half-point since the initial rollout.  The total has been dropping during that time, not at 62 after beginning on 64.

 

Both Sides Coming Off Lopsided Losses

We can't help but wonder if Oklahoma State (9-3 straight up, 6-5-1 against the spread) might have made it to the New Year's Six were it not for one missed a call in the early loss to Central Michigan. Then again, Mike Gundy's guys never should have been in a position to lose that game on a referee's mistake since they were favored by 17 on the NCAA football odds against the Chippewas.

The Cowboys also could have sneaked into the NY6 had they taken care of Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam rivalry. The defense, which was a problem all season ranking 108th in total yards allowed, couldn't stop the Sooners and left OSU short of the Big 12 title.

The defense was not a problem for Colorado (10-3 SU & ATS) in 2016, the Buffaloes ranking in the top 20 in yards allowed (328.3) and scoring (20.5 ppg). It did, however, let Mike MacIntyre's gang down in the Pac-12 title game when Washington ran up 41 points thanks to a strong running game.

Starting quarterback Sefo Liufau (ankle) was injured early in that contest, and when he did return in the second half, obviously wasn't himself throwing three picks. The senior is listed as probable for the Alamo Bowl.

 

Okie State & Colorado Collide For 1st Time In 7 Years

The Buffs and Pokes are meeting for the 47th time, but first since 2009 and first not to take place in either Boulder or Stillwater. The series advantage belongs to CU (26-19-1), though OSU came out on top the last two skirmishes.

We're indoors, so weather isn't an issue though if you're going, it's supposed to be t-shirt weather here in Central Texas a week or more now, just have an umbrella handy. As much a follower in series trends that I can be, none really apply here and we come full circle to which team might come in a bit ho-hum. Having never really trusted Gundy, my free college football pick is to play the Buffs.

 

Free NCAAF Pick: Colorado -3 

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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