VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (11-2)
vs. STANFORD CARDINAL (11-1)
Sun Life Stadium – Miami, FL
Kickoff: Monday, Jan. 3, 8:20 p.m. EDT
Line: Stanford -3.5, Total: 58.5
Two teams riding long winning streaks meet in Miami for Monday’s Orange Bowl. Virginia Tech has won 11 straight since losing to FCS school James Madison in Week 2, and Stanford has put together seven consecutive wins since losing to Oregon in setting school records for overall wins (11) and Pac-10 victories (8). The schools have many similarities. Both teams are among the nation’s three best in turnover margin, and both have top-20 rushing offenses, while ranking 31st and 32nd in passing defense. Odds.
Both QBs are also stellar. Stanford’s Andrew Luck has 3,051 passing yards, 28 TD and 7 INT this year while under-appreciated Tyrod Taylor has 2,521 yards, 23 TD and just four interceptions for the Hokies. In 24 career games, Luck has thrown for 41 TD to just 11 INT, including 15 TD/3 INT in his past seven contests. Taylor’s career numbers are also impressive (23 rush TD, 43 pass TD, 19 INT), but he may not be 100 percent Monday night because of an illness. RB Ryan Williams (9 TD in 9 games) is also listed as probable due to a hamstring injury. Scores.
In the second half of the season, the Cardinal defense has been outstanding. They are allowing just 12.0 PPG, 96 rushing YPG and sporting a +12 turnover margin (16 takeaways, 4 giveaways). Virginia Tech has not been as consistent on defense, allowing three of its past seven opponents to rush for 250+ yards.
Virginia Tech is 9-14 in its bowl history, including a 1-2 record at the Orange Bowl. In its previous Orange Bowl appearance in 2008, the Hokies beat Cincinnati 20-7. Stanford is 9-10-1 in its 20 all-time bowls, but the Cardinal’s last victory came in the 1996 Sun Bowl. They have dropped three straight since then, including last year’s Sun Bowl.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. This Orange Bowl series used be dominated by Favorites, but the Underdogs have played very well recently, posting a 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS mark in the past seven contests. The ACC representative is 2-7 ATS in the history of the Orange Bowl. The FoxSheets show two trends siding with Stanford to win and cover:
STANFORD is 12-1 ATS (+10.9 Units) after a game with a turnover margin of +4 or better since 1992. The average score was STANFORD 34.4, OPPONENT 23.1 – (Rating = 3*).
Play Against – Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (VIRGINIA TECH) – off 2 straight wins against conference rivals against opponent after 2 consecutive covers as a favorite.(32-12 over the last 10 seasons.) (72.7%, +18.8 units. Rating = 2*). NFL scores.
The FoxSheets also lean towards the Under.
Play Under – All teams where the total is between 56.5 and 63 (VIRGINIA TECH) – after scoring and allowing 30 pts or more last game against opponent after scoring 37 points or more last game. (49-20 over the last 10 seasons.) (71%, +27 units. Rating = 2*).