By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
Valero Alamo Bowl
#12 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Colorado
Spread: Colorado -3
Spread: The best news for the Buffs is that QB Sefo Liufau is expected to play in this game after suffering an ankle injury in the Pac-12 title game against Washington. Liufau has been a big part of why this team improved to 10-3 this year after going 4-9 last season. His back-up Steven Montez has performed admirably in relief duty at times this season, but the Buffaloes are a different offense when Liufau is in the game due to his powerful running style. Liufau, along with running back Phillip Lindsay and receivers Devin Ross and Shay Fields, should be able to find success against a Cowboys defense that ranked 65th in the country in points per game (28.5), 91st in rush defense (204.4 YPG) and 96th in passing yards allowed (252.6 YPG).
For the Cowboys offense, which has been prolific, the test is stiffer facing a Colorado defense that ranks in the Top 50 in all of those categories (12th passing 182.5 YPG, 39th rushing 145.8 YPG, 18th scoring 20.5 PPG). The Cowboys have some explosive playmakers, however, in wide receivers James Washington and Jalen McCleskey (19.4 and 11.1 yards per catch, respectively) and running back Chris Carson (7.0 YPC on 71 carries). Led by Mason Rudolph, this team can put up points in a hurry. An interesting clash of styles here with Oklahoma State’s spread you out and Colorado’s line up and run you over with Lindsay or Liufau. Colorado -3
Total: The total suggests more of a shootout style of game and despite the good Buffs defense, I do think this develops into a bit of a higher-scoring game. We saw Colorado get into a shootout with Oregon earlier this year and the Ducks offense was nowhere close to the level of this Oklahoma State team. Over 62.5
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.