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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Colorado Buffaloes Odds - Prediction

Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS)
Valero Alamo Bowl
Date/Time: Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 9PM EST
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
TV: ESPN
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: OKST +3/COLO -3
Over/Under Total: 62.5

The Oklahoma State Cowboys take on the Colorado Buffaloes on December 29 in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Itís a pleasing battle between two conference runner-ups, a pair of dangerous teams that each only lost three games this season. Neither team finished the season the way they would have liked. Oklahoma St. was beaten in Norman by in-state rival Oklahoma on the 3rd, while Colorado was blasted 41-10 in the conference title game by Washington in their last game on the 2nd.

To get too caught up In Coloradoís failure to compete against CFP-bound Washington in the Pac-12 conference game will have us missing the boat. This Buffaloes team had a renaissance season in 2016 unlike anything anyone expected. Coach Mike MacIntyre, his staff, and the upperclassmen leadership on this team were responsible for this turnaround, one of the more-drastic and surprising in recent seasons. A Colorado team that couldnít get anything right in its first few years in the conference was suddenly beating top Pac-12 teams left and right, while covering spreads at a pulsating rate. Even after failing to cover at the end of the season in a win over Utah and in the Washington loss, they were still 10-3 ATS, covering their first 8 spreads of the season.

Both of Coloradoís first two losses were forgivable. First was a loss at Michigan against a peaked Wolverines squad. Colorado was hanging in there until losing Sefo Liufau to injury. And then was a 4-point loss to a USC team that had drastically altered course. The loss to Washington was disconcerting, but they did a lot of good things this season with wins over Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Washington State, and Utah. To get through this deep conference with an 8-1 record in their first nine Pac-12 games is amazing. Liufau was as gutty as it gets, turning all his pain into power and soldiering through a series of nagging injuries to come out shining in the end.

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Liufau was battered in the Washington game, which was costly in more ways than one. Top aerial weapon Bryce Bobo was also hurt and is questionable for this game. Liufau has been a real gamer, but beyond that, a vocal leader. The 4-year starter has experienced just about the entire scope of the different things a player can go through in a college football career. His stats might not blow anyone away, but his presence behind center was key in this teamís revival, as he will leave this team in far better shape than it was when he joined. Supporting him in the offense is a line that got its act together better this season. Liufau is a formidable runner himself with almost 500 yards and 7 scores, while the real heavy lifting in the ground game is done By Phillip Lindsay and his 1189 yards and 17 touchdowns. Aerially, Shay Fields and Devin Ross are the heavy-hitters, with Bobo, Lindsay, and son of Mike, Jay MacIntyre leading the way.

Granted, the Colorado defense did not shine against Washington to end the season and face another challenging offense this week. The game against the Huskies notwithstanding, this defense had been a good and balanced one for a large part of the season. They held a powerful Washington State offense to 24, Stanford to 5 points, UCLA to 10, and only let a USC team that had been pounding opponents to score 21 points. They rushed the passer well this season and got 26 turnovers, led by Tedric Thompsonís 7 interceptions. Getting after quarterbacks was Jimmie Gilbert with ten sacks, with Jordan Carrell chipping in, as well.

Oklahoma State started the season 2-2, before peeling off a 7-game win streak, all in conference. The loss to Oklahoma was upsetting to close the regular season, but this was a successful season for the Cowboys considering how it began. QB Mason Rudolph was a handful with 3777 yards passing with 25 TDs and just 4 interceptions. They were a top-ten aerial offense, as the Cowboys averaged 38.7 points a game this season.

In his second full season of starting, Rudolph was effective and even ran in 6 touchdowns. The ground game is led by 1000-yard rusher Justice Hill, with Chris Carson also adding production and depth. Running back Rennie Childs ran in 7 scores, as well, so their ground-game was impactful, though it lagged behind the passing-game, with James Washington one of the top in the conference with 1209 yards, along with Jalen McCleskey and his 61 catches. Pass-catchers Chris Lacy and Jhajuan Seales were also key role guys in this offense, where thereís room for a lot of different players to thrive.

Eight times this season, the Oklahoma State defense allowed 30 or more points. There were times when the nationís 108th ranked defense struggled to contain opposing offenses. At the same time, they usually played in consort with the offense and couldnít have been that bad with Oklahoma State coming off a recent 7-game win streakóall against Big 12 teams. They were still able to register 24 turnovers with some good play in the pass-rush department at times. Up-front, Tralund Walker and Vincent Taylor were pretty tough, while CB Ramon Richards and S Jordan Sterns made plays in the secondary.

The Oklahoma State offense can be scary with a deep aerial package that could wreak havoc on the undersized Colorado secondary. But over the course of the game, I see the greater balance and experience on both sides of the ball, along with Phillip Lindsay, starting to make a difference for the Buffs. In what should be an entertaining back-and-forth game, I see Colorado crossing the wire with their noses ahead. Iím taking the Buffaloes.

Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Iím betting on the Colorado Buffaloes minus 3 points.

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NCAA Football Week 12 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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