Alamo Bowl Between Texas-Washington Will Be A Rock-Fight

Videos by OutKick

The headline is slang for a low-scoring game. That’s what I’m expecting in the Alamo Bowl when the No. 21 Texas Longhorns (8-4) meet the No. 12 Washington Huskies (10-2) Thursday at the Alamodome.

Texas started the season 2-2 before rallying for a 6-2 finish to make a bowl game in coach Steve Sarkisian’s second season in Austin. The Longhorns are 8-4 against the spread (ATS) and 6-6 Over/Under (O/U) this season.

Washington has won six straight entering the Alamo Bowl behind the country’s leader in passing yards per game, QB Michael Penix Jr. The Huskies are 7-5 ATS and 8-3-1 O/U in 2022.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Washington (+130), Texas (-150)
  • ATS: Washington +3 (-110), Texas -3 (-110)
  • Total — 67 — Over: -110, UNDER: -110

It’s hard to pick a side in this game but Texas-Washington screams UNDER 67 (-110). According to Pregame.com, a slight majority of the money is on the Under.

Whereas two-thirds of the bets placed at the time of writing are on the Over. This is what’s called a Pros vs. Joe’s game in the betting market.

Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix passes against the Colorado Buffaloes at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.
Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. passes against the Colorado Buffaloes at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Generally, the cash column of the betting splits is considered the sharper side of the market because professional bettors wager a lot more money than your average Joe.

Not only that but let’s …

Fade an overrated Huskies offense

Washington’s offense look like world beaters but have played weak defenses. The Huskies’ strength of schedule ranks 69th nationally.

Here are Washington’s best offensive performances vs. Power 5 schools this season followed by their opponents’ rank in defensive points/play (remember there are only 131 FBS programs): 

  • 40 vs. Stanford (ranked 120th) on Sept. 24 
  • 38 vs. Arizona State (112th) on Oct. 8 
  • 49 vs. Arizona (122nd) on Oct. 15 
  • 37 vs. Oregon (97th) on Nov. 12
  • 54 vs. Colorado (131st) on Nov. 19 
  • 51 on Washington State (32nd) on Nov. 26 

Obviously, Washington State’s defense is pretty good. Otherwise, Washington has played crappy defenses. 

However … 

Texas’s defense is low-key nasty

The Longhorns are 11th in points/play allowed, 20th in yards per play (YPP) and has shown up vs. quality offenses. They have played the second-toughest strength of schedule, according to Sports Reference. 

Texas held Alabama with 2021 Heisman Trophy winning QB Bryce Young to just 20 points. The Longhorns held TCU with 2022 Heisman finalist, QB Max Duggan, to just 17 points. Duggan threw for 124 yards and the Horned Frogs averaged just 3.9 YPP in that game.

Texas Longhorns DB Ryan Watts sacks TCU Horned Frogs QB Max Duggan at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Texas Longhorns DB Ryan Watts sacks TCU Horned Frogs QB Max Duggan at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Texas shut out Oklahoma 49-0 in the Red River Rivalry and the Sooners averaged just 3.3 YPP. Plus the Longhorns are 1-5 to the Under with a -13.3 total margin in games with a total higher than 60.

On the other hand … 

Texas has a suspect offense

First of all, the Longhorns replaced sophomore QB Hudson Card midseason with true freshman QB Quinn Ewers who’s been significantly worse.

Ewers has a 56.6% completion rate (Card completed 69.4% of his passes), 7.3 adjusted yards per pass (Card has a 9.4 AY/P) and a 131.4 QB Rating (Card has a 158.1 QB RTG).

Texas’s top-two running backs both opted out of the Alamo Bowl. Longhorns RB Bijan Robinson led the Big XII in rushing yards (1,580) and rushing TDs (18) and won the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back.

Texas Longhorns RBs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson celebrate a TD against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.
Texas Longhorns RBs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson celebrate a TD against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. (Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Aside from Robinson and backup RB Roschon Johnson, the other three RBs on the Longhorns’ depth chart have rushed for a combined 271 yards. Washington’s defense is 30th in yards per rush allowed (3.6) as well.

Finally …

‘Style make fights’

This is another way of me saying, “There’s going to be a lot of running clock in Texas-Washington”. Neither can get offenses off the field but both defenses stiffen up in the red zone.

Washington has the best third-down conversion rate in the country and is 121st in opponent’s third-down conversion percentage. Texas is 12th in opponent’s red zone scoring rate and Washington is 17th. 

Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn points to the sky after sacking Oklahoma Sooners QB Davis Beville at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.
Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn points to the sky after sacking Oklahoma Sooners QB Davis Beville at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. (Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Furthermore, the Huskies are 11th in turnovers per game and 118th in turnovers per game forced. While the Longhorns are 107th in turnovers per game forced and 21st in turnovers per game.

Both defenses rank outside the top-100 in opponent’s completion rate. This goes back to my original point:  “A lot of running clock”.

The offenses in Texas-Washington will be able to move the chains but will settle for 3s instead of 6s when inside the red zone.

Alamo Bowl Best Bet: UNDER 67 in Texas-Washington at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to 65

Odds for the Under in the Alamo Bowl between the Texas Longhorns vs. Washington Huskies from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 4:15 p.m. ET.
Odds for the Under in the Alamo Bowl between the Texas Longhorns vs. Washington Huskies from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 4:15 p.m. ET.

FOLLOW GEOFF ON TWITTER: @Geoffery_Clark

Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.


PointsBet Sportsbook users can make their first bets risk-free up to $2,000. If the bet loses, PointsBet will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.

First-time DraftKings users can get up to a $1,000 deposit bonus and receive a 20% first deposit match up to $1,000 when they sign up. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.

Written by Geoff Clark

Leave a Reply