North Carolina Tarheels vs. Virginia Tech Hokies – College Football (September 3, 2021)

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| August 31, 2021 10:28 am PDT

Mack Brown and the Tar Heels are coming off one of their best seasons in program history, and Virginia Tech is hoping for a better season under Justin Fuente.

Fuente enters his seventh season in Blacksburg, and the program hasn’t had a season with five wins or fewer since 1992. Frank Beamer was in his sixth season, and the Hokies were in their second year in the Big East conference.

Times have certainly changed for both programs, and North Carolina has College Football Playoff on its mind. Lofty expectations often make for exciting seasons, and returning Sam Howell at quarterback for one more season should be thrilling.

The Hokies will hope that former Oregon quarterback Braxton Burmeister solves its offensive woes.

It is time to look at the latest odds for this opening matchup between these two ACC Coastal squads, while also providing my prediction and top betting pick.

North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech Odds

North Carolina (-5)-110
Virginia Tech (+5)-110
North Carolina to Win-205
Virginia Tech to Win+175
Over 64.5-110
Under 64.5-110

The Heels vs. Hokies is a crucial showdown at Lane Stadium due to the potential tiebreakers in the ACC. The Hokies have had four consecutive seasons with a losing record against the spread. All have been under Justin Fuente, and he enters the season on the hot seat.

Mack Brown and the Tar Heels haven’t been a sure thing either against the spread. Last season they were 6-6, but that included five games in which they were double-digit favorites.

In games that had five points or fewer as a spread last season, UNC went 2-1. Virginia Tech under Fuente, 3-5, as a home underdog and is 3-5 straight up. Fuente is also 30-34 against the spread.

It is time to take a closer look at this pivotal divisional matchup by breaking it all down. If you’re ready to bet on North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech now, you can use these odds at BetOnline.

Why North Carolina Wins

Sam Howell is the perfect place to start. Howell is one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and may be the favorite to become the next top pick in the NFL Draft.

Whether he is or not, he has a bright future in the pros.

He has the pocket presence and ability to drop dimes in the pocket. He can escape pressure when the pocket collapses, and he checks all the boxes.

He is a calm and collected passer that thrives under duress. He often will run for first downs when it becomes hectic in the pocket, but he has a few favorite targets.

Josh Downs is a young star that emerged in the Orange Bowl performance last season. Many folks have made a lot of fuss about the losses of Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome, Javonte Williams, and Michal Carter.

This program has enough talent at its disposal to pick up right where they left off in ACC play.

They dominated Miami 62-26, and they will remain a balanced offensive attack. After they acquired Ty Chandler from Tennessee via the grad transfer, they should remain potent.

Wide receiver Beau Corrales has solid size and can become a threat in the red zone. Add all the weapons, and this could become the top offense in the entire ACC. With Howell, all things are possible. On third downs, he will expose a talented Hokies defense that features youngsters in the secondary.

Why Virginia Tech Wins

Once Enter Sandman hits the loudspeakers, the building goes into a frenzy. Lane Stadium is where Heisman dreams go to die with its rowdy atmosphere.

Howell might be a Heisman contender entering the game, but he could leave with his dreams completely dashed.

Virginia Tech has one of the better defenses in the ACC due to their athleticism in the front seven.

Chamarri Conner at nickel back and Dax Hollifield at middle linebacker are the two tacklers that will wreak havoc. The defense was an inconsistent mess last season against the Heels at Chapel Hill.

Blacksburg has been kind to Virginia Tech, and the defense is good enough for them to scratch out a late victory.

North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech Prediction

This game is going to have a relentless back and forth affair that should have the scouts drooling.

Howell will make a few lethal throws that some NFL quarterbacks would struggle to make. UNC will have a devastating offense, and it will be too much for Virginia Tech. They lost last season to the Heels, 56-45.

It was a classic ACC shootout, but things will have to change if Virginia Tech wants to pull off the upset.

A slower tempo would still favor the team with the superior quarterback. Burmeister and the Hokies passing attack was struggling for most of 2020. While Howell and the Heels were simply flawless at times.

North Carolina returns their entire defensive line from a unit that made tremendous strides from two years ago when they struggled at times. The inability to run the ball downhill will cost Virginia Tech.

North Carolina will win the battle at the line of scrimmage and make a few more explosive plays in the passing game.

North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech Pick

The value is on North Carolina as they are laying only five points.

The Tar Heels enter the game on upset alert. North Carolina is in the Top 10 and could struggle in this one. However, this is not a tremendous Hokies squad.

The point total is a bit high, so that is not worth a wager. The money line and spread are the picks in favor of North Carolina.

The Tar Heels have a much more proven and balanced offense to go along with an improved defense. The hype will be there on UNC, but they will avoid gagging this one away.

The crowd will be electric, but the Heels will come out victorious.

Pick
  • North Carolina (-5)
    -110

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