#14 VIRGINIA TECH (-15.5) 28 North Carolina 10
North Carolina applies to a solid 115-57-9 ATS big road underdog bounce-back situation, but that trend will only serve to keep me from making Virginia Tech a Best Bet, as my math model likes the Hokies to cover.
North Carolina's only redeeming quality is a good defense that's allowed just 4.2 yards per play for the season (against teams that would combine to average 5.2 yppl against an average team), but Virginia Tech has proven to be a good offensive team that has averaged 6.5 yppl (against teams that would allow 4.9 yppl to an average team).
The Hokies haven't been as good, relatively, against very good defensive teams Alabama and Nebraska, which is a concern, but the Hokies did perform well offensively since then against good defensive teams Miami-Florida (6.2 yppl in that game) and Boston College (7.1 yppl). Overall, the Hokies have been 0.9 yppl better than average against good teams, which is what I expect from them tonight (rather than their all games rating of +1.6 yppl). Even with that downgrade, the Hokies are evenly matched with North Carolina's defense.
The mismatch in this game is when the Tarheels have the ball, as North Carolina's offense has been atrocious while the Hokies have been good defensively. UNC has averaged only 4.8 yppl this season despite facing mostly bad defensive teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yppl to an average team.
Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has given up only 4.9 yppl despite facing teams that would averaged 5.8 yppl against an average stop unit. I just don't see how North Carolina will be able to move the ball in this game and Tarheels' turnover prone quarterback T.J. Yates will probably throw a couple of picks out of desperation.
My math model favors Virginia Tech by 20 points, and the situation favoring UNC is not enough to keep me from leaning with the Hokies.
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