College Football Picks: New Year’s Eve Three-Team Round Robin Play

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 7:52 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 7:52 PM GMT

Our college football analyst shares his three team round robin parlay for the New Year’s Eve bowl games. Go inside to find out what those college football picks are.

Houston vs. Florida State 12:00 PM ET
Houston’s defense has given up their share of yards (381.3 PG) this season. However, they’ve overcompensated for that flaw by forcing an enormous 30 turnovers by opposing teams. It’s been more of a “bend but not break” mentality on that side of the ball, and has resulted in allowing a respectable 20.5 points per game.

Florida State has fielded one of the best defensive units in the country this season. They rank 5th nationally in scoring defense (15.8 PPG) and 15th in total defense (327.7 YPG). The Seminoles have allowed 24 points or less in all twelve of their regular season games this season. They’ve also gone 8-3 under the total in its previous eleven contests. As a matter of fact, Florida State has gone under the total in all five of their contests that weren’t played in Tallahassee, and there was a combined average of only 31.4 points scored per game.

I like this game to be a low scoring relative this current (12/30) total. One of my Thursday college football picks will be indicative of that prediction.

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College Football Picks: Under 55.5 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Oklahoma vs. Clemson 4:00 PM ET
The point spread and line movement in this game speaks volumes. The top ranked and undefeated Clemson Tigers opened as a 3.0 point underdog according to college football odds. Currently (12/30) they’ve grown to as high as a 4.0 point dog, and that’s despite the volume of point spread wagers being virtually even. The key to the line movement has been sharp and larger money going on Oklahoma.

The Sooners have won seven games in a row since being upset by Texas for its only defeat this season. During this current winning streak, they’ve averaged 52.0 points scored and 594.3 yards gained per game. Clemson has very good overall defensive numbers. However, they’ve allowed an average of 34.5 points in addition to 392.0 yards per game, in their last two contests versus South Carolina and North Carolina. There’s a valid reason why a one loss team is favorite over their undefeated opponent.

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College Football Picks: Oklahoma -3.5 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Michigan State vs. Alabama 8:00 PM ET
The Michigan State defense which underachieved for most of the season finally awakened during the last four games. During that time frame, the Spartans allowed 12.5 and 276.8 yards per game. They also forced a whopping 12 turnovers in those four contests. They’ll have their hands full against Alabama’s power running attack led by 2015 Hesiman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. However, they’ve allowed opponents just 113 yards rushing per game this season, and will be more than up to the task.

There’s no question in my mind, out of all four of the teams vying for a national championship, Alabama’s defensive is superior to the other three stop units. They’re allowing only 14.4 points and 258.1 yards per game this season. Alabama has held eleven of their thirteen opponents to 17 points or less.

Both teams are solid offensively, but neither is what I would consider to be explosive. Alabama averages a mediocre 5.8 yards per offensive play and Michigan State is at just 5.4. Both teams are among the best in terms of offensive time of possession. Michigan State averages 33:16 per game, and Alabama is a shade better at 33:53. That suggests to me that each club is more methodical than quick strike with their offensive approaches. I look for this to be a low scoring game dominated by the defenses.

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College Football Picks: Under 46.5 
Best Line Offered:
at TheGreek

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