Hokies Are Good Underdog Wager vs. Pokes In Camping World Bowl

camping world bowl

Jason Lake

Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:34 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 3:34 PM GMT

Two Top-25 teams will lock horns in Orlando on Dec. 28 in the Camping World Bowl. Should we put the No. 22 Virginia Tech Hokies or the No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys in our NCAAF picks?

Free Pick: Virginia Tech +6 (–120)Best Line: Bovada

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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

If only they had stuck with calling it the Sunshine Classic. There have been eight different sponsors for the bowl game that began life in 1990 under this perfectly acceptable working title; first, it was the Blockbuster Bowl, then the Carquest Bowl, and so on up to this year’s latest iteration, the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28. It’s part of their naming rights deal for the stadium in Orlando formerly known as the Citrus Bowl, which is where the game in question takes place. God bless college football.

Provided you can get past the corporate name, there’s a quality matchup waiting for you on the other side. The No. 22 Virginia Tech Hokies will face the No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys, each with a record of 9-3 SU and 6-6 ATS. Kick-off is at 5:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, and at press time, it’s the Cowboys favored by 4.5 points after opening at –6.5 on the NCAAF odds board. Let’s go camping!

Tech Support

Before we get to the math, check out those consensus numbers: A supermajority of bettors has been pounding OSU since the open, but their odds have gotten shorter. Although it’s not a giant step between –6.5 and –4.5, this betting pattern still suggests the big money (and therefore the sharp money) is on Virginia Tech.

Sure enough, the math holds up. ESPN’s Football Power Index has Oklahoma State winning this game 54.3 percent of the time, or around –1.5 judging by the estimated probabilities at Wizard of Odds. And Sports Reference has the Cowboys (plus-12.50 SRS) less than a point ahead of the Hokies (plus-11.85 SRS) on neutral ground, according to their Simple Rating System.

The gap between the two teams might be larger than that. Oklahoma State ranks No. 12 overall on the F/+ Combined Ratings at Football Outsiders, 12 spots ahead of Virginia Tech. It’s still a close enough matchup on paper, though, and with the Hokies available at +6 (–120) to smooth out the variance, we’re content to recommend them for your college football picks. Now all we need are some reliable RV parts and supplies.

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