Top College Football Picks for Saturday's Betting Ticket

Darin Zank

Friday, December 26, 2014 2:33 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 26, 2014 2:33 PM GMT

College football offers up five bowls for us to play with Saturday. One would think we'd be able to pick three winners out of five games, right? Here's our college football betting ticket for Saturday.

Military Bowl - Cincinnati -3/51 vs. Virginia Tech
Cincinnati carries an eight-game winning streak into the Military Bowl against Virginia Tech.

The Bearcats are also 6-0-1 against the spread during their seven-game run. But realistically, the best team they've played during their streak is probably East Carolina, and that doesn't say a whole lot.

Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has been a disappointment this season, and had to win two of its last three games, over Duke and Virginia, to extend its bowl streak to 22 seasons. But the Hokies are the only team this season to beat Ohio State (an NCAA playoff qualifier), own three other victories over bowl-bound teams, and of their six losses five came by a touchdown or less. Also, Virginia Tech's defense ranks 16th in the country, compared to Cincinnati's, which ranks 105th.

The Hokies have lost a bunch of close games this season; perhaps it's time they won one.

College Football Picks: We'll take V-Tech to win, getting +130 on the moneyline at Bookmaker

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Sun Bowl – Arizona State -7.5/65 over Duke
The Sun Devils were headed toward a second straight Pac-12 South title but lost two of their last three games, including a 42-35 decision against rival Arizona that decided the division. And two weeks before that they got upset by a mediocre-at-best Oregon State squad. Arizona State has been outgained in three of its last four games, and outrushed in two of its last three.

Duke, meanwhile, also lost two of its last three games, but ended on a good note, with a 41-21 victory over Wake Forest. So the Blue Devils are playing in a bowl for the third straight season. Two years ago Duke blew a chance to cover when it gave up two touchdowns in the last minute in a Belk Bowl loss to Cincinnati, and last year the Dukies gave Texas A&M a run before succumbing 52-48 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but covered as 12-point dogs.

This game might come down to motivation; Arizona State is probably disappointed it's not playing on New Year's Day, while Duke is still at the stage where every bowl is a treat. Also, we're big fans of Coach Cutcliffe, and he's done a good job of getting his team ready for its bowl the last two seasons.

College Football Picks:  Bet the Blue Devils at +7.5 points at 5Dimes

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Independence Bowl - Miami -3/61 vs. South Carolina
Two similarly disappointing teams hook up when the 6-6 Hurricanes and 6-6 Gamecocks play in Shreveport.

Miami got to 6-3 this season but has lost its last three games, its last two to Virginia and Pitt. The 'Canes are also 0-1 in bowls under Coach Golden, after stinking up the Russell Athletic Bowl last year in a 36-9 loss to Louisville.

South Carolina began this season with hopes of playing for the SEC championship. Instead, the Gamecocks started with a dud of a game against Texas A&M, and things didn't get much better from there.

However, if we were to go back to the beginning of the season, we'd make South Carolina a four- or five-point favorite in a match-up against Miami. And not a whole lot has changed since then. So this Independence Bowl line looks about a touchdown out of whack.

Also, the Gamecocks have won their bowl game each of the last three seasons, beating Nebraska, Michigan and Wisconsin. This gives us the feeling the Ol' Coach still knows what he's doing this time of the season.

Usually in cases like this we'd go with the team with the big-time running back and the better defense. But this game could evolve – or devolve – into something sloppy, and if so, it would be handy to have three points and a hook in our pocket.

College Football Picks: Bet South Carolina in this spot, getting +3.5 at BetOnline.

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