North Carolina-Virginia Tech: The Must-Know Facts and Trends

ctsports picksAnalyst IOctober 29, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Frank Beamer of the Virginia Tech Hokies talks to Matt Reidy #23 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The ACC conference is once again in the spotlight on a Thursday night ESPN game.

This week we see two teams that both have been disappointed so far with their records and are hoping that a late season push will put them back in the ACC title hunt.

Virginia Tech was off last week after a disappointing road loss to Georgia Tech. On the other hand, UNC is coming off a loss last Thursday at home after leading in the third quarter by 18 points.

The winner of this game must forget the recent loss and instead focus on what both teams are saying is a must win.

Oddsmakers have not made this a close line as Virginia Tech is a 15.5-point home favorite. Don't go at it on your own—check out the must know facts and trends from CT Sports Picks lead Handicapper Craig Trapp.

North Carolina comes into this matchup needing a signature win, as to this point they only have one good win against an average UConn team.

Butch Davis thought that his very good defense would be able to hold the huge lead last week against a reeling FSU team. The questionable conservative offensive play-calling in the second half has many Tar Heel fans very upset and questioning why.

A win against a very good Hokie team could halt all the critics, but the Tar Heels have to try to beat their first ranked team on the road since 2001.

The defense of the Tar Heels is ranked No. 7 in the country, but even this high ranking has not been enough to produce wins lately, as they have lost three of their last four.

Offensively the Tar Heels have been very inconsistent and really need to run the ball and play conservatively to win. Playing close to the vest on offense will not be enough to win tonight in Blacksburg, so Coach Davis will have to try some trick plays to stay in this one.

UNC betting trends are interesting going into this big game:

Virginia Tech has had to redirect goals, as they now have been eliminated from a National Championship game but still hold a goal of winning the ACC and going to another BCS bowl. Coach Frank Beamer has had a week off to try to fix the mistakes that cost them in a loss to Georgia Tech.

Offensively the Hokies need to cut down on the turnovers and maybe even be a little boring. The offense, led by Tyrod Taylor, just needs to run the ball and throw safe passes and let the Hokie defense and special teams dominate the opponent.

Beamer ball is great at home, and at night it's even better, but covering the spread is a whole different animal. Check out the betting trends for the Hokies:

Still not sure which game team to wager on? Check out our 20 EXPERT HANDICAPPERS GUARANTEED Winners!