Russell Athletic Bowl 2012: Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech odds and lines

USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers is 9-3 while Virginia Tech is only 6-6, but the Hokies played a more difficult schedule and finished their year on a high note, leading to them being favored in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights might have had a more successful season than the Virginia Tech Hokies, but they'll enter the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday as slight underdogs.

Rutgers has won an NCAA-best five bowls appearances in a row, and had one of the best years they've ever had as a program: nine wins and a share of the Big East title. But they closed the season poorly, getting blown out by Pittsburgh before blowing a lead to Louisville in a game that cost them a chance to appear in the Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech lost six games, with wins against Bowling Green and Duke sprinkled in, but closed their season with two wins, including a 17-14 win against Virginia that earned them bowl eligibility.

The Hokies are the favorites. They opened with a 1.5-point edge, but have since seen the spread grow to up to three points. Rutgers only allowed 14.3 points per game, the fifth lowest figure in the FBS, so the over/under of 41 might be a bit high. It's also worth pointing out that Virginia Tech is 3-9 against the spread this season.

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