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Virginia Tech

vs.

North Carolina

ACC

College Football Pick

10/8/16

North Carolina took everyone by surprise last weekend, or at least most people, when they won at Florida State as a double-digit underdog. The Tar Heels hadn't shown much prior to that win, but are suddenly 2-0 in ACC play and once again leading the Coastal division. They'll take on Virginia Tech this weekend, a team that has just as many questions. The Tar Heels are a -2.5 point home favorite.

This game has all the makings of a let down for North Carolina. Coming off a huge road win, the Heels have to take the energy put into that game into this one. If not, the Hokies know a spot at the top of the division is waiting for them. Before the FSU game, UNC hadn't shown much, losing to Georgia in the opener then needing a late comeback against Pittsburgh to win by a point.

Virginia Tech's potential is still unclear. The Hokies destroyed Boston College and East Carolina, but that doesn't mean much as they were never in the game against Tennessee. We should get a better sense of how good they are in this game.

There's going to be points in this matchup, that's all but guaranteed, although the over/under is sitting just below 60. The Tar Heels can't play defense, but can score on anyone, while the Hokies actually look competent on the offensive end this year.

When these teams met last season, UNC won it with a field goal in overtime. The Heels had most of the success led by a ground game that went for 240 yards. They held Tech to just 2.8 yards per carry and that was the main reason for getting a road win in Frank Beamer's final home game.

The Heels have pretty much the same offense this year with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback. He turned a lot of heads in the win over FSU and now has 13 TDs and no INTs for the season to go with three-straight games with 400-plus passing yards. On top of that, he's completing 76% of his passes. Throw in a solid run attack with Elijah Hood (338 yards) and T.J. Logan (7.2 ypc) and the Heels should once again post at least 30 points against this Tech defense.

But the line is close because UNC doesn't have much of a defense. They won four straight, but have won the last two by three points total and gave up 28 points to James Madison along the way. In addition to that, quarterback Jerod Evans has been surprisingly good for the Hokies with 13 TDs and 1 INT on the year, although struggled a bit against Tennessee.

Against this defense, he should be fine as long as he can find some room with his legs and Travon McMillian finds a couple holes. VT's running game has been inconsistent this year and the win over ECU is proof of that after McMillan had just 10 yards on nine carries. On the other end of that, he had 127 yards in the Tennessee loss helped by a 69-yard carry.

The Hokies are 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games, while the Tar Heels are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 vs. a team with a winning record and 21-6 ATS in their last 27 home games against a team with winning road record.

Our Pick - Our model is at it's best when picking an underdog to win straight up, which is exactly what it's predicting here. Virginia Tech +2.5

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