The #6 overall Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel to Blacksburg this weekend to battle against the #24 Virginia Tech Hokies. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST at Lane Stadium and the game will be available on ABC.
Taking a look at the Week 6 college football odds, Notre Dame opened as a 4.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has changed slightly after early betting, as the Fighting Irish are currently listed at -5. The total for the game is sitting at 56.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Virginia Tech vs Notre Dame
Notre Dame improved to 5-0 on the season last weekend, embarrassing the Stanford Cardinal in Week 5 by a score of 38-17. Despite struggling offensively for the first couple games of the season, the Fighting Irish found a way to turn things around by handing the starting quarterback role over to junior Ian Book. Book has been fantastic so far, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns in his first start against Wake Forest before torching Stanford last weekend for 278 yards and four touchdowns. He also has found the end zone three times on the ground already as well. His favorite receiver is clearly Miles Boykin, as Boykin racked up 11 catches for 144 yards against the Cardinal.
The Fighting Irish have looked very strong defensively, holding opponents to an average of just 18.8 points per game on 340.6 total yards per game. They have been especially strong against the run, as they are currently ranked inside the top 50 nationwide.
Virginia Tech improved to 3-1 last weekend after an impressive 31-14 victory over ACC rival Duke. The Hokies were almost one touchdown underdogs heading into their matchup with the Blue Devils, although that line was probably a bit generous. Backup QB Ryan Willis was a huge part of the reason why Virginia Tech had so much success in Week 5, as he threw for 332 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Willis and starting QB Josh Jackson have now combined for 9 touchdowns so far this season – and only one interception. The Hokies have also looked quite good rushing the football, as they are currently averaging 204 yards per game. RB Steven Peoples has really found a grove this season, already rushing for over 300 yards and five touchdowns.
The Hokies have looked fairly average defensively, giving up an average of 20.8 points per game on an average of 388 total yards. Virginia Tech did really struggle against Old Dominion in Week 4, allowing the Monarchs to score 49 points while racking up a ridiculous 632 yards of total offense.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Notre Dame -5
I still don’t really trust Virginia Tech after their performance against Old Dominion a couple weeks ago. However, the Hokies have played extremely tough at home lately, winning six out of their last 7 games and going an impressive 11-4 ATS over their past 15 when playing at Lane Stadium. I think this game should stay fairly competitive throughout, especially since both teams are giving up less than 22 points per game. While part of me wants to take the free points in what should be a close matchup, I just don’t have enough faith in the Hokies to stay within a touchdown of the #6 ranked team in the nation. I think I probably would have picked the home underdog in this spot a couple of weeks ago when Notre Dame was still struggling so much offensively. However, Ian Book has jump-started the Fighting Irish offense in a hurry – and it certainly doesn’t look like it is going to slow down again any time soon.
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Notre Dame is 4-2 ATS over their past six games overall. They are also 4-2 ATS in their past six road games and 39-18-2 ATS over their past 59 games in October. Virginia Tech has also performed well against the spread lately, going 7-3 ATS over their last ten non-conference games and 4-0 ATS in their last four games on grass.
The difference in this game should boil down to the superior quarterback play on the Notre Dame side. Book has been consistent, while Ryan Willis still has a lot to prove with just one start under his belt. I just feel more comfortable making decisions based off of a larger sample size, which is probably the biggest reason why I’m leaning towards the Fighting Irish in this one. After scoring just 24 points or less in their first three games of the season, Notre Dame has averaged 47 points a game over the last two weeks with Book starting at quarterback. He really has this offense firing on all cylinders right now, and Virginia Tech has shown that they can give up monster games through the air after allowing Old Dominion to pass for almost 500 yards. While Virginia Tech is currently ranked #24 overall, the Fighting Irish just blew #14 Stanford out of the water by 20+ points. I’ll lay the points and roll with the road favorite.