NCAA Football Picks: Virginia Tech is Live Underdog vs. Cowboys

Dec 28, 2017

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Oskeim Sports provides free NCAA Football picks in two college football bowl games on Thursday, December 28.  If you’re looking for more free NCAA Football picks, be sure to visit Oskeim’s award-winning blog on a regular basis.

Oklahoma State possesses a potent offense that is averaging 46.2 points and 576 total yards per game at 7.3 yards per play and 12.4 yards per point against teams that would combine to allow 5.9 yards per play to a mediocre attack.

The Cowboys’ aerial attack led the nation with 392.3 yards per game, while quarterback Mason Rudolph led FBS players with 4,553 passing yards with a 35-9 ratio. Rudolph throws to one of the best sets of wide receivers in the country, including Biletnikoff Award winner James Washington.

The Cowboys outgained its ten Power 5 foes by an incredible 156.3 yards per game. Meanwhile, Bud Foster’s Virginia Tech defense allowed just 13.5 points and 305 total yards per game at 4.8 yards per play this season.

The Hokies’ stop unit allowed 92 yards per game less than their opponents averaged and held five teams to season-low yardage in 2017. Virginia Tech boasts one of the nation’s top pass efficiency defenses, limiting opposing quarterbacks to 186 passing yards per game with a 46.8% completion rate.

This will be Rudolph’s stiffest test yet in that he has not faced a pass defense as good as the Hokies’ secondary this season. The two defenses that are similar to Foster’s 2017 unit – TCU and Texas – were able to keep the Cowboys’ offense in check.

In fact, Oklahoma State averaged less than 4 yards per rush attempt against the Horned Frogs and Longhorns, and Virginia Tech possesses an even better stop unit. Foster’s defense possesses its typical speed and does not give up many explosive plays as evidenced by the fact that the unit is allowing just 22.6 yards per point to teams that would combine to average 15.2 yards per point against a mediocre stop unit.

Rudolph will face consistent pressure from Butkus finalist linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (102 tackles) and others who rank near the top in tackles-for-a-loss. I also like the fact that Virginia Tech owns the third-ranked red zone defense and never surrendered more than 31 points in a game this season. With a win, Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuentes can secure ten wins for the second straight season in Blacksburg.

Fuentes is 8-2 SU and 9-1 ATS when his team is rested, 7-3-1 ATS as an underdog, 15-6 ATS versus non-conference foes and 2-0 SU and ATS in bowl games. The Hokies are playing in their 25th consecutive bowl game and won at this venue in 2012 over Rutgers.

Oklahoma State is a money-burning 1-4 ATS in its last five games versus .501 or greater opposition, 0-4 ATS in its last four games after scoring 40+ points in its previous affair and 1-6 ATS in its last seven games versus fellow bowl games (all in 2017).

Big 12 Conference bowl squads are 2-12 ATS as favorites of less than seven points, while bowl teams that scored 56+ points and won by more than 38 points in their season finale are just 14-34-1 ATS. ACC bowl underdogs of 6.5 points or less are a profitable 30-13-2 ATS.

Take the points with Virginia Tech as one of Oskeim Sports’ Free NCAA Football picks for Thursday, December 28.

Oskeim Sports’ Free NCAA Football Picks:

  • Virginia Tech (+6) over Oklahoma State
  • Navy (-1) over Virginia

Oskeim Sports provides free and premium NCAA Football picks throughout the season so be sure to visit its Blog on a daily basis.