Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#397 North Carolina (UNC) -3.5 vs.
#398 Virginia Tech 57
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Lane Stadium, Blacksburg
Written by Scott Reichel

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#397 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
#398 Virginia Tech
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Week eight of college football continues as North Carolina travels to Lane Stadium to take on Virginia Tech on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 3:30 P.M. This will be the 41st meeting between these two teams and Virginia Tech has won each of the last three meetings. Last season, Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina by a score of 22-19.

North Carolina Looks To Take Advantage Of Bye Week

The North Carolina Tar Heels entered the 2019 season with hopes of potentially reaching a bowl game. Entering this game, that dream is still alive and well. Specifically, North Carolina is 3-3 and is on pace of reaching the six-win threshold required to make it into a bowl game. In addition, the Tar Heels have a bit of an advantage entering this game as they did not have to play last week. As a result, North Carolina had extra time to prepare for Virginia Tech which could play a pivotal role in its ability to win this difficult road game in such a hostile environment. Expect North Carolina to start this game extremely focused as a result.

The starting quarterback for the Tar Heels is freshmanSam Howell who looked great in the first six games of the regular season. Specifically, he has thrown for 1,544 passing yards along with 15 passing touchdowns and a 64.2 QBR. In addition, he has also only thrown three interceptions so he has done a great job at limiting turnovers despite having little playing experience entering this season.

North Carolina’s biggest threat on defense is junior linebacker Chazz Surratt who has looked solid so far this season. Specifically, he already has a team-high 46 total tackles along with three passes defended. In addition, he also ranks second on the team with three sacks so he is extremely effective when it comes to rushing the quarterback. Surratt's versatile skill set should make him a tough matchup for Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Virginia Tech Looks To Get Back To .500 In ACC Play

The Virginia Tech Hokies are currently in the midst of a decent season. After starting the season with a 2-2 record, Virginia Tech decided to make a change to its offensive depth chart which has paid serious dividends. After the change, Virginia Tech has won each of its two games by at least seven points. However, despite the 4-2 record, the Hokies are just 1-2 in conference games which is still underwhelming. Now, Virginia Tech has a chance to get back to a .500 record in ACC play if it is able to win this home game against North Carolina. Luckily for the program, it has dominated North Carolina in recent years so perhaps that level of success will also carry over into this game.

The starting quarterback for the Hokies is sophomore quarterback Hendon Hooker who has been great in limited action this season. Specifically, he has already thrown for 453 passing yards along with six passing touchdowns. However, he was not originally the starter when the season started but he became the starter a few weeks ago after quarterback Ryan Willis got benched after a terrible performance against Duke.

Virginia Tech’s biggest threat on defense is sophomore defensive back Jermaine Waller who has looked amazing so far this season. Specifically, he is tied for a team-high with three interceptions. In addition, he has also been effective at rushing the quarterback as he already has 1.5 sacks. Due to his ability to make an impact in a variety of ways, look for Waller to play well if Virginia Tech plans on winning this home game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

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Even though North Carolina is off a bye week, I cannot go against Virginia Tech at home in this conference game. North Carolina has struggled historically in Lane Stadium and I do not think that it should be favored by more than a field goal. Virginia Tech has played a lot better even since it switched quarterbacks and I expect this game to come down to the wire as a result. Regardless of who wins this game, it should be a three point game so I will take the home team plus the points.

Prediction: Virginia Tech +3.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Simply put, both teams possess mobile quarterbacks that should give the opposing defense some serious issues. Plus, both teams have scored at least 31 points in two of their last three games so they come into this game in solid form offensively. As a result, I think both teams should be able to score at least 28 points in this game so this total is too low. Give me the over as a result.

Prediction: Over 56.5
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.