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Texas Longhorns vs. Missouri Tigers Odds - Free Pick

Texas Longhorns (6-6 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. Missouri Tigers (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS)
College Football Bowl Season – Academy Sports - Outdoors Texas Bowl
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 – 9:00 PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium – Houston, TX
TV: ESPN
by Keith F., Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: TEX +3 / MIZZOU -3
Over/Under Total: 60.5

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl places the Big 12 Conference against the Southeastern Conference. Ironically enough, the contest brings a former Big 12 team against one of its old pals. Appropriately enough said team is the state team that this bowl is named after. The Texas Longhorns will travel south to Houston, Texas to take on the Missouri Tigers at NRG Stadium. The two teams have not crossed paths since 2011 when Missouri defeated Texas 17-5. Previous to that, the Hook-ems had wrangled Mizzou in six consecutive meetings. The contest will be aired on ESPN on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 with a kick-off time of 9:00 PM EST.

Though the records are close, the teams enter on far contrasting notions. For Texas, this was supposed to be a year the Horns took a leap forward under skipper Tom Herman. Herman is quite familiar with NRG Stadium because he used to coach the team just across town: the Houston Cougars. Herman was the mastermind behind a Cougars outfit that defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in this stadium in Labor Day Weekend of 2016. Despite the hiring of Herman, Texas has not made enormous strides back to where we have seen this program historically. However, Texas is certainly on the right path. Last year, Texas failed to make a bowl game. The Horns come in off a 27-23 loss against cross-state rival Texas Tech. The win for the Red Raiders afforded TTU its own opportunity to play in a bowl game, this season.

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For the Tigers, they are singing the praises of both coach Barry Odom and quarterback Drew Locke. After starting the season 1-5, the Tigers did what Miami Ohio did in 2016 and win out to earn the bowl bid. The Tigers come in as one of the hottest teams in football on an astounding six-game winning streak. Mizzou’s last loss came against the University of Georgia Bulldogs in Athens in October. In retrospect, the loss is not one to frown upon, especially considering that Missouri played with the Dawgs for a half. Since the loss, Missouri has gone over the 50-point mark in offensive operations in three of their six wins. They have also defeated opponents by an average of 30 points in this span. Mizzou has also been a cash cow against the spread, the Tigers had covered in seven straight games previous to their most recent at-the-spread loss at Arkansas to wrap up the regular season. Nevertheless, Mizzou would win 48-45 in Fayetteville.

Out of the gate in this market, we have noticed significant action come on the Tigers. This is reflected in a two-point line move upward from the open of this market in the direction of Missouri. However, consensus forum data and analytics reveal contraindications. 55% of the cash and 53% of the tickets are with the Horns. It is worth noting that the Longhorns are the underdog in this bowl but it has a feel that they are actually the favorite given the location of the venue. In Over/Under markets, the number has risen by half of a point to its current junction of 60.5. 100% of the cash and tickets are in on the Over to complement this narrative. On the Money Line, the Horns enter at +125 whilst the Tigers require juice as an outright due to being the favorite. Missouri is priced at -145.

The market as a whole has been a bit of a riddle but we would remiss to pass on Texas given the locale of this contest. Texas fans are a passionate bunch and if they are tasked with a fairly manageable trip in-state, you can be assured that they will be out in droves. The match-up is another variable that favors Texas. The Longhorns defense is far better than many anticipate. Though they were exposed in the early stages of the season, they have since clamped down to play a stellar level of defensive ball. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and USC all had plenty of problems in dispatching Bevo and company despite being heavily favored in these respective contests. The defensive play paved the way for Texas to be competitive in these games. Sure, Missouri has a gunslinger at quarterback but he is going up against a football team with quasi-home field advantage looking to make a statement to regale its re-emergence. The stock on Mizzou is through the roof which means they can only go down from here. Chances are this team is in position for its first loss in a while. The Horns outright get the call.

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