Alamo Bowl Odds
The 13th-ranked Oregon State Beavers (9-3) take on the 23rd-ranked Texas Longhorns (8-4) Saturday, Dec. 29 at 6:45 PM ET in the Alamo Bowl, which will kick off inside San Antonio’s Alamo Dome. ESPN has the coverage. Oddsmakers have listed Oregon State as a two-point favorite and have set the total at 56.5.
Why Oregon State Covers
It has been a remarkable season for Oregon State, which has won six more games that it did a year ago. The six-game improvement is tied for the largest turnaround in the FBS.
The Beavers should be very excited about this opportunity considering they haven’t been bowling since 2009. They should also be very prepared considering head coach Mike Riley owns a 5-1 record in bowl games.
Oregon State figures to be a tough matchup for the Longhorns, who have struggled to find consistency on the defensive side of the football. Texas ranks just 77th in the nation in total defense with 412.2 yards allowed per game. It also ranks 74th in scoring defense with 29.4 points allowed per game.
An Oregon State offense that ranks 34th in total offense with 442.7 yards per game and 38th in scoring with 33.0 points per game will be tough for Texas to stop. History backs up this claim.
Consider that Texas is just 5-15 against the spread over the last three seasons versus good offensive teams that average 31.0 points or more per game. The Longhorns have lost in this situation by an average score of 33.4 to 25.2.
The Beavers have been a tremendous investment in games oddsmakers expect to go right down to the wire. In fact, they are 9-1 against the spread the last three seasons in games when the line is +3 to -3. They have won by an average score of 34.6 to 22.7 in these games.
Why Texas Covers
The Longhorns had their sights set higher than the Alamo Bowl but should be excited to play a game so close to home in front of a lot of fans.
Texas won its previous appearance in the Alamo Bowl, handing Iowa a 26-24 defeat in 2006. It is 9-4 in all bowl games under coach Mack Brown.
The Texas defense wasn’t where it needed to be to win the Big 12, but it showed positive signs down the stretch by holding its last three opponents to an average of 309.3 yards. The defense should continue to make strides during the month-long preparation time.
Oregon State is a quality offensive team, but it is very one-dimensional. It gets almost all of its yards through the air. Its pass-heavy scheme could be a detriment against a Texas defense that has been at its best against the pass. The Longhorns rank a respectable 39th in the country in pass defense with 213.5 yards allowed per game and have limited their last three opponents to an average of 133.0 yards through the air.
Texas figures to be tougher for Oregon State to prepare for since the Longhorns have a balanced offensive scheme. They rank 37th in the country in total offense with 441.0 yards per game, 261.6 of those coming through the air and 179.4 of those coming on the ground. The Longhorns also rank a more than respectable 24th in scoring with 36.1 points per game.
I have picked Oregon State to win this game. You can see the rest of my bowl predictions by viewing this page. You might also like to know who Carolina Sports, Vegas Top Cappers, Jack Jones and Brandon Lee have selected to win the Alamo Bowl.