ACC football picks: Virginia Tech vs. Virginia & 3 more
It’s rivalry week across the ACC, with cross-conference matchups for most of the conference’s teams. One rivalry matchup that is within the conference, however, will decide the Coastal Division and who faces Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
Virginia Tech has won 15 straight games in this rivalry. Last year’s game required overtime, however, and Virginia has been competitive in five of the last six years. Both teams are 5-2 in conference play, and for close followers of this series, it feels like the tide might be turning.
Virginia Tech is 8-3 straight up and 6-4 against the spread. Virginia is also 8-3 straight up and 5-5 ATS. Since the Hokies turned to quarterback Hendon Hooker, they are 6-0. He averages 10.3 yards per pass attempt, an elite number that puts him sixth in the country at that statistic, and the defense has played inspired lately, in defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s final season.
For Virginia things are changing for the better under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The defense hasn’t played as well as many would hope, especially since it lost star defensive back Bryce Hall for the year, but quarterback Bryce Perkins is a dual-threat option who is helping the offense put up enough points each week to get the Cavaliers to the top of the division. Virginia has scored 55, 33 and 38 points in its last three games, and it will be fascinating to see if this success translates when the Hokies comes to town.
Virginia is 6-0 at home this year. Mendenhall understands the importance of this game, for both recruiting and national relevance, and if the Cavaliers are going to ever break the streak, this is as good of an opportunity as they’ve had in recent memory.
Pick: Virginia +2.5
Georgia Tech has improved as the season has progressed. Georgia knows it is the better team and likely won’t play to their full potential. And yet Georgia’s second string is still good enough to cover against this young and not fully developed Georgia Tech roster.
Pick: Georgia -28
Miami just lost as a 21-point favorite to Florida International. The Hurricanes have already clinched a bowl game, so what do they have to play for? They have serious quarterback issues and have shown no reason to be favored by this much on the road in a late-November conference game.
Pick: Duke +6.5
NC State is just 2-9 ATS this season and appears headed for 2-10. The betting public must not realize the extent of the Wolfpack’s roster decimation. North Carolina needs a win to get bowl eligible and will fight hard to secure it.
Pick: North Carolina -8
While Pittsburgh struggled on the road in rainy, cold conditions last week against Virginia Tech, Boston College similarly showed no competitiveness in a loss at Notre Dame. The difference is Boston College is not a good team, while Pittsburgh just ran into a bad situation.
Pick: Pitt -9.5
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