Virginia Tech North Carolina Odds
This Saturday the North Carolina Tar Heels will host the Virginia Tech Hokies in ACC Coastal showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 EST at Kenan Stadium. The Tar Heels have not had a lot of luck against the Hokies in recent years. Virginia Tech has won seven of the last eight meetings between these two schools, with North Carolina’s only win coming at Virginia Tech back in 2009.
As bad as the Tar Heels have been in this series, they figure to have a pretty good shot of winning this weekend. North Carolina is currently favored by 3.5-points over Virginia Tech with the total set at 49.5 points.
The Hokies opened up the season with a thrilling 20-17 overtime win at home over Georgia Tech, but after five games this team is just 3-2 with a couple of upset losses to Pittsburgh (17-35) and just this past Saturday against Cincinnati (24-27).
Virginia Tech’s biggest problem has been the inconsistent play of their offense. The Hokies come in averaging just 223 .8 ypg through the air and only 149.8 ypg on the ground. The other thing that is hurting this team is turnovers. They gave up the ball four times in their loss to Pitt and three times against the Bearcats.
Most of those turnovers have come from the poor decisions of starting quarterback Logan Thomas, who has six picks over his last three games. Thomas has just 8 touchdowns on the season and is completing only 52.7% of his attempts. He has made up for some of those struggles by rushing for 129 yards and three touchdowns, but overall it has been a very disappointing start to his junior season.
Red-shirt freshman running back Michael Holmes has been the Hokies most reliable rusher so far this season, but he hasn’t topped 60 yards in a game yet and three of his four touchdowns have come against the likes of Austin Peay and Bowling Green.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Virginia Tech offense can get anything going against the Tar Heels defense. While North Carolina comes in ranked 12th in the country allowing just 296 ypg, they gave up 426 yards in a loss to Wake Forest and 462 in a loss to Louisville.
The Tar Heels are a difficult team to figure out right now. All three of their wins have come at home against the likes of Elon, East Carolina and Idaho, but it’s not like their getting blown out against good competition. Their two losses both came on the road by a combined six points. It’s also worth noting that North Carolina is now 9-1 over their last 10 games at home and 1-6 over their last 7 on the road.
North Carolina features one of the top passing attacks in the country behind junior quarterback Brynn Renner, who has thrown for 1,422 yards with 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions. What I really like about Renner is he does a fantastic job of taking what the defense gives him. Six different players have over 100 yards receiving and all six have caught at least two touchdowns.
While the focus is on beating teams through the air, the Tar Heels have also had a lot of success running the ball behind a trio of talented backs. A.J. Blue, Romar Morris and Giovani Bernard each have over 200 yards rushing on the season and have combined for 9 rushing touchdowns (Blue & Bernard each have 4).
If the Tar Heels show up to play they should have all kinds of success against a Virginia Tech defense that has not played well at all early on. The Hokies are only allowing 168.2 ypg on the ground and just 193.2 ypg through the air, but both units have been exposed. They allowed Pittsburgh to rush for 254 yards earlier this season and just last week allowed Cincinnati to throw for 392 yards.
North Carolina is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games, while Virginia Tech is just 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Hokies are a respectable 22-9 in their last 31 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, but this is not the same team we have seen over the last decade. It’s also worth mentioning that they are just 2-14 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.