Capital One Orange Bowl Picks – Mississippi State vs Georgia Tech Predictions, Lines

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What looked like a spot in the College Football Playoff turned into a ticket for a lesser but still prestigious Orange Bowl for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who failed to get into the utmost effective four following a devastating loss to the Ole Miss Rebels in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs can still finish the entire year, though, on a winning note as they accept the dangerous Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who nearly sent the Florida State Seminoles out of the CFP picture.

Orange BowlWhere: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens

When: Wednesday, December 31, 2014, 4:00 PM ET

Line: Mississippi State Bulldogs (-7) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+7); total: 61.5  – view all NCAA Football lines

Mississippi State was close to being the main inaugural College Football Playoff, however the Bulldogs didn’t sustain the momentum they got from the nine-game winning streak to open the season. Ultimately, the Bulldogs will be relegated into being the SEC’s representative to the Orange Bowl after losing to the Ole Miss Rebels, 31-17, in the Egg Bowl.

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Despite the ugly ending of the Bulldogs’regular season, though, the Bulldogs still have many positives to remember using this season. Which includes their becoming No. 1 in the polls after three consecutive wins over ranked teams in LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn, respectively.

Emerging as the team’s star was dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished the regular season with 2996 passing yards and and 939 rushing yards. Behind the prolific quarterback, the Bulldogs could end up being the 15th-highest scoring team in the nation, as they averaged 37.2 PPG. The Bulldogs, though, ran right into a wall in the form of Ole Miss’defense, one that is ranked best in the nation with regards to scoring defense, as the Rebels allow just 13.8 PPG.

From the Rebels, Mississippi State managed 445 yards but just had trouble extending their drives, only converting eight of these 21 third-down chances. Prescott and company, however, can get a more lenient Yellow Jackets defense that surrenders 25.1 PPG to opposing teams.

Furthermore, Georgia Tech is near underneath of the rankings in the FBS with regards to opponents third down conversion percentage.  Georgia Tech is 116th in the nation in that department, allowing opposing teams to convert 46.10% of these third downs.

The under is 3-0 in Mississippi State’s last three games overall.

By virtue of the ACC champions Florida State Seminoles being included in the College Football Playoff, Georgia Tech will now relish the chance to represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl, as the Yellow Jackets finished the regular season as the conference’s runner-ups following a 37-35 loss at the hands of the ‘Noles in the conference’s championship game. Looking forward to the Yellow Jackets in Miami is Mississippi State.

As it pertains to offense, Georgia Tech has got the firepower to keep in step with the Bulldogs. Like Prescott, the Yellow Jackets also provide a vibrant quarterback who can make plays together with his legs in Justin Thomas. The sophomore signal-caller finished the regular season with 1,594 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 965 yards on a lawn with five touchdowns to boot.

The Yellow Jackets, however, favors the running game more as evidenced by their conference-leading 333.62 rushing yards per game. In the ACC title game, Georgia paid little respect to the Seminoles’defense as the Yellow Jackets gathered 331 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Alongside Thomas, running backs Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days belong in the ACC’s set of top 10 rushers. Laskey and Days finished the regular season with 71.64 and 57.92 rushing yards, respectively. Mississippi State has been stingy contrary to the rush this season, limiting their opponents right down to just 126.50 rushing yards per game, but Georgia Tech shouldn’t be deterred in pounding the rock to the backfield. In the end, the Yellow Jackets saw Ole Miss exploit the Bulldogs defense for 205 rushing yards.

The Yellow Jackets are 6-0 ATS inside their last six games overall. Capital One Orange Bowl Predictions Mississippi State (-7).

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