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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)
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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.

NCAAF Pick: Will Rogers betting the Hokies -2.5 points on November 4th 2017

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami Hurricanes
Football Point Spread Pick: VT -2.5 (November 4th 2017)
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The set-up: No. 13 Va. Tech (I’ll use CFP rankings) visits Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night to take on the 10th-ranked Miami Hurricanes. The 7-1 Hokies (3-1 in the ACC) only loss is a 31-17 defeat at Clemson (current No. 4 in the CFP rankings) and enter this contest off three straight wins (over Boston College, North Carolina and Duke) since losing to the Tigers. Miami is 7-0 (5-0 in ACC play) and enters off three consecutive non-covers, edging Ga. Tech 25-24 at home, beating beating Syracuse 27-19 as a 17 1/2-point favorite at home and then winning last Saturday just 24-19 at North Carolina, as a three-TD favorite. Miami leads the all-time series 20-14 but Va. Tech rolled over the ‘Canes last year in Blacksburg, 37-16

Virginia Tech: Both Virginia Tech and Miami have first-year starters at QB. Virginia Tech’s Josh Jackson has a 62.3 completion percentage, averaging 254 yards per game with 17 TDs and four INTs. The offense has solid balance, averaging 266.5 YPG passing and 180.0 YPG on the ground. However, it’s the Bud Foster coached defense which stands out, allowing 11.5 PPG (2nd) on 284.5 YPG (9th).

Miami: QB Malik Rosier also has 17 TDs and just four INTs but is completing a lower percentage than Jackson (just 56.7%) but throws for about 40 more YPG (295.9). Miami’s D doesn’t quite match Va. Tech’s but by allowing 18.7 PPG (20th) a on 379.9 YPG (53erd), that unit hardly owns any ‘apologies.’

The  pick: The Hurricanes are 5-0 in ACC play for the first time in program history but I’m not convinced they are the better team. However, a four-point victory over Florida State, a one-point decision over Georgia Tech, an eight-point decision over Syracuse, and last week’s five-point struggle against one-win North Carolina didn’t keep the Hurricanes from earning a No. 10 ranking in the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings. Miami has won its last four games by a total of just 18 points, while Justin Fuente’s Va. Tech team has won three in a row since dropping a 31-17 decision to Clemson, including a 59-7 rout of a North Carolina team that pushed Miami to the brink before losing 24-19 last week. Maybe Va. Tech is favored for a reason? Take the Hokies.