Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami Hurricanes
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Virginia Tech -2
Virginia Tech vs. Miami TV Coverage: ABC
The Hurricanes aren't the prettiest of the undefeated teams, but they're still sporting a donut in the loss column at this late juncture of the season. We'll see where the Selection Committee thinks they belong in the first College Football Playoff rankings, but the one thing that coach Mark Richt has preached is taking care of the business at hand. An 11-0 Miami team going into the ACC Championship Game will be playing for a spot in the playoff in Charlotte. Anything less, and the Canes will have their fate in someone else's hands.
The one thing that might be slowing down Miami is its growing list of injuries. Mark Walton is already out for the season, and we aren't sure what's going on with Malik Rosier at this point. The Miami quarterback was getting shoulder treatment after last week's win over North Carolina. Though he only missed a series and doesn't seem like he has a serious injury, if by chance he does miss time, these Hurricanes are far from the same team that ran out to 7-0.
Opportunity is knocking here for the Hokies. They've won three games in a row, including last week's 24-3 victory at home against Duke in a driving rainstorm. They haven't played many great teams this year, but they've got a virtually spotless record, the lone blunder of which came in a competitive game against Clemson.
The Hokies are no dead lock for the CFP if they win out, but you have to think they'll ultimately get there if that turns out to be the case.
We love what Josh Jackson is bringing to the table for the Hokies this year. His stats don't tell the story of a dominant quarterback, but he has a tremendous arm and is starting to learn how to use his legs effectively as well. The fact that he's averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt tells you all you need to know about the V-Tech pivot.
Betting Trends of Note
Miami might be undefeated, but outside of Wisconsin, there isn't a team in the nation that is more of a product of its own schedule than anything else. Sure, the Hurricanes were only short favorites at Florida State, but they've been favored in all of their games this year and won't have an exception to that the rest of the way in all likelihood.
Still, all of the top online sportsbooks are telling you what you need to know about this team. The Hurricanes were only -6.5 at home against Georgia Tech and were -5.5 at Duke. Even that Florida State game featured a spread of just Miami -2.5, and that was after FSU had already started its fall from grace.
The Hokies, meanwhile, were only +7 against Clemson, and they've been bigger favorites against comparable teams to most of what Miami has had on the board on its schedule.
Virginia Tech vs. Miami Free Picks
This Miami defense is legit, but we think it's due to run out of good fortune eventually. A North Carolina team that was playing without 21 scholarship players and is largely considered to be one of the least-talented teams in the ACC stuck with the Canes for the full 60 minutes. Syracuse was horribly outplayed here at Hard Rock Stadium and still had the ball with a chance to tie the game on the final possession. Florida State should have won the game in Tallahassee. And the Canes needed a miracle to fend off Georgia Tech.
At some point, good fortune runs out, and this feels like the time for that to happen. The oddsmakers have given us a great hint that the Hokies are winning this game by lining them as favorites. We have no doubt that they can come into the Sunshine State and walk out in total control of the ACC Coastal Division.
College Football ATS Pick: Virginia Tech -2 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Virginia Tech 26, Miami 23