Black Friday means an extra day filled with college football – and an extra day of college football means there are Friday college football picks to be made. A pair of games with conference championship implications will be the focus of our Black Friday college football picks.
Friday college football picks
No. 24 Virginia Tech Hokies (-2.5, 47.5 over/under) at Virginia Cavaliers, Friday at noon ET (ABC)
No. 24 Virginia Tech has flown under the radar in recent weeks, but the Hokies are playing some outstanding football – having recorded back-to-back shutouts in their last two games.
We might be having an entirely different discussion about Virginia Tech had they pulled off the upset Nov. 2 on the road against Notre Dame – a one-point win for the Fighting Irish in the final seconds. The Hokies have won three straight since then and have won six out of their last seven.
Virginia Tech has also defeated Virginia in all 15 meetings since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004.
Outside of a blowout win over Liberty last week, Virginia hasn’t looked great of late. Virginia struggled to beat Georgia Tech at home, 33-28, on Nov. 9 – a team which Virginia Tech blasted, 45-0, on the road a week later.
Virginia Tech has covered their last six games and I like them to extend that streak here.
Pick: Virginia Tech -2.5
No. 19 Cincinnati Bearcats at No. 18 Memphis Tigers (-11.5, 57.5 over/under), Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
The biggest game of the day Friday features AAC East-leading Cincinnati taking on AAC West-leading Memphis. The two 10-1 teams would meet again next week in the AAC Championship Game if No. 18 Memphis wins Friday or if Navy is unable to beat Houston on Saturday. Navy would win the division with a win and a Memphis loss.
No. 19 Cincinnati has already clinched the AAC East.
The winner of Friday’s game will also put themselves in position to be the highest-ranked team from a Group of Five conference. The Group of Five team with the highest ranking at the end of the season clinches a berth in the Cotton Bowl.
Cincinnati has not looked good in recent weeks on the road against AAC foes – beating USF by three points as an 11.5-point favorite and ECU, 46-43, as 25-point favorites prior to that.
But this isn’t just a pick against Cincinnati.
White leads the AAC in completion percentage (67.1) and is tied for the conference lead in touchdowns passes with 30. Gainwell’s 1,294 rushing yards leads all running backs in the conference and is tied for third in touchdown runs with 12.
I’m going with Memphis to force a rematch next week with a big win Friday.
Pick: Memphis -11.5
Record: College football picks against the spread
Last week: 3-3