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Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State Camping World Bowl Point Spread Pick: December 28th 2017

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Camping World Bowl Game Point Spread Pick: OKST -4 (December 28th 2017)

There’s been a fair bit of buzz in the betting markets about Oklahoma State’s late season ‘collapse’, driving concerns about the Cowboys mentality as they face Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl.  For a team that had Playoff aspirations, a December 28th bowl game may not push the appropriate motivational buttons for Mike Gundy’s squad.

That being said. Oklahoma State DIDN’T ‘collapse’ down the stretch, winning two out of three after their loss to Oklahoma, including a solid road win at bowl bound Iowa State.  They didn’t cover a pointspread in those three ballgames, but that certainly wasn’t unusual for a team that spent most of the season as an overvalued commodity, just 2-6-1 ATS following their 3-0 start.

The Cowboys strength, all season, was their dynamic passing game.  Senior QB Mason Rudolph and senior WR James Washington truly enjoyed a special career together in Stillwater.  Rudolph enters the bowl game with more than 13,000 career passing yards and a 90-26 TD-INT ratio.  Washington averaged more than 20 yards per reception this year, with 221 career receptions for the Cowboys at 19.7 yards per catch.  Stop that duo and Okie State is beatable.  Otherwise, you’ve got to outscore Mike Gundy’s squad, which only elite offensive teams are capable of doing.

Virginia Tech was most assuredly NOT an elite offensive team this year.  The Hokies scored more than 24 in ACC play only once all season.  They were held to a grand total of 62 points in their final four ballgames, including SU road losses at Miami and Georgia Tech.   Frosh QB Josh Jackson cannot be positively compared to the elite senior QB on the other sideline.  The Hokies lacked playmakers around Jackson.  Top receiver Cam Phillips was Jackson’s top threat with 71 catches, but he’s out for the bowl game with a hernia.  No Virginia Tech RB reached 500 rushing yards, and top backs Travon McMillan and Deshawn McClease didn’t have a single run of 25+ yards all season.

Compared to the potent offenses Okie State has been seeing all year in the Big 12, Virginia Tech’s sputtering attack doesn’t stand up well.  The Okie State defense isn’t anywhere near elite, but they’re good enough to get stops against this caliber of competition.  Expect a Cowboys win by a TD or more – facing Virginia Tech in Orlando is enough of a motivator to get Okie State interested.  Take Oklahoma State.

Akron Zips vs. Florida Atlantic Owls Bowl Game Point Spread Pick: December 19th 2017

Akron Zips vs. Florida Atlantic Owls
College Football Bowl Game Point Spread Pick: FLA -22.5 points (December 19th 2017)

Florida Atlantic won’t have to travel far for its bowl game; in fact, the team won’t have to travel at all. The Owls will be home for their postseason appearance on Dec. 19, when they face Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl.

The Owls played a competitive non-conference schedule and absorbed three losses before going 8-0 in Conference USA action. They defeated North Texas 41-17 on Nov. 30 to win the league title and possess one of the nation’s top running backs in league MVP Devin Singletary, not to mention an efficient passing game led by Jason Driskel. Florida Atlantic, which is playing in its first bowl game since 2008, finished 3-9 in each of the previous three seasons before turning things around under Kiffin, the former coach at Tennessee and USC, as well as of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

Akron fell to Toledo 45-28 in the Mid-American Conference championship game – a contest that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated – but still was selected for a bowl game for the second time in three years. The Zips lost to Penn State and Iowa State by a combined 93-14 margin early this season.

The Zips do not have an impressive rushing attack, as they average 3.3 yards per carry and didn’t have a single player gain 400 during the season.

Zips are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on grass. Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.