Virginia Tech +4.5 2.2% play
North Carolina has not looked like the same offense so far this year, and again last week they had issues in protection of their QB, which led to an off day for Sam Howell. It won’t get any easier as Virginia Tech has shown they can get pressure with their front 4 without the need to bring blitzes, as they got to Duke for 7 sacks in the last game.
I think we are getting a bit of value with Virginia Tech here, as they are expected to get some starters back due to COVID reasons. Being 2-0 suddenly looks a lot better, especially when you consider they dominated NC State without 31 players, and NC State just went on the road to beat Pittsburgh. I think Virginia Tech can own the line of scrimmage here, and if they are able to eliminate the UNC big plays on offense this should be a tight game with Virginia Tech having a good shot at pulling an outright upset.
Virginia Tech’s offensive line has been excellent despite not having their star QB Herndon Hooker who will return for this game. Hooker is a clear difference maker, and I would argue he is just as good as Sam Howell, as a college football QB. UNC is getting a lot of credit on defense, but they faced two poor offenses in Syracuse and Boston College, while Virginia Tech comes in ranking 17th in success rate, and 5th in rushing success rate, and all of this without Hooker.
Turnovers will be a key metric in a game that is expected to be tight. So far UNC is -3 TO margin through two games, and the advantages that Virginia Tech have at the line of scrimmage lead me to believe they should be able to create some turnovers. Virginia Tech was -2 on two lost fumbles in this match up a year ago, but they were still able to hold on and win.
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