It’s been a forgettable season for North Carolina and it’s not getting better any time soon with two of the best Coastal division teams coming up on the Schedule. Virginia Tech’s only loss was against Clemson, but the Hokies still have trips to Miami and Virginia to deal with. For this one, the Hokies were -21 point favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Virginia Tech dominated this matchup 34-3 last year and that was when these teams were close in skill level. Now, at much different ends of the spectrum, UNC is in danger of losing by even more points in this meeting. The Tar Heels haven’t been good, and while they’ve stayed somewhat close in ACC home Games, they were handled 33-7 at Georgia Tech. As for the Hokies, this is just their third Conference Game with previous opponents (Clemson, BC) being much different competition. The VT defense controlled this Game last year in a route, forcing Mitchell Trubisky to two interceptions and only 58 yards on 33 pass attempts. Of course, that Game was also bogged down by intense rain.
Either way, UNC hasn’t done many things right this season, whether it’s a defense that can’t stop anyone or an offense that can’t find its way. The Heels actually went back to Brandon Harris at starting quarterback last week after he began the season. Harris is completing just above 50 percent of his passes for one touchdown and six interceptions. Chazz Surratt is slightly better (6 TDs, 3 INTs) and should get the call again after how Harris looked last week. Nevertheless, this team will struggle to Scoreon the road against a defense allowing 13.7 points per Game. The Heels will look to running backs Jordon Brown and Michael Carter, but as long as they don’t break any long runs like last week, it won’t be easy sledding.
The other side is even more troublesome for UNC as Virginia Tech has a competent offense. Led by freshman quarterback Josh Jackson, the Hokies have looked solid against everyone but Clemson. Jackson is completing 65.6% of his passes and all Four of his interceptions have come in the last three Games. This could also be a good time for Tech to get their ground Game going as Travon McMillian (279 yards) hasn’t really done much with his legs, even while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Considering UNC allows about 230 yards both on the ground and through the air, this is the perfect opportunity for the Hokies to balance out their attack between Jackson and McMillian. Even if that doesn’t happen, everyone has scored on UNC, so at least 30 points should be expected for the Hokies.
The spread is big, but there is little confidence for UNC at the moment, especially on the road. The Tar Heels have failed to cover in their last six Conference Games, while the Hokies are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home Games. Virginia Tech has also covered in the last Four Games between these teams.
Our Pick – UNDER 52.5