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How and what to watch for No. 19 Virginia Tech vs. No. 8 North Carolina

Two undefeated ACC teams lock it in for a game with potential title game implications.

North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell drops back to pass during the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Adam Richins-USA TODAY Sports

It will be a meeting between two undefeated ACC foes Saturday afternoon when the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels welcome the No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies for what should be a good one.

The Tar Heels haven’t yet seemed to live up to the preseason hype that had them as low as +1000 to win the ACC. They almost suffered an upset loss to Boston College last weekend, and will look for more production out of sophomore QB Sam Howell, who was touted as one of the best QBs in the league in the preseason. So far he’s thrown for just 520 yards with three interceptions and touchdowns through two games. This will be the first time this season they play without a long layoff in between, so rust shouldn’t be a factor like it was last week.

The Hokies are dealing with a slew of unavailable players. Last week against Duke, five of the team’s top defensive backs were unavailable and its unknown whether or not they’ll be back in time for this week’s game. Going up against second and third string DB’s should be good for Howell, but the Tech defensive line could feast on him as well. Against Duke they recorded seven sacks and countless more pressures. Those pressures could result in turnovers via a poor pass or a strip sack.

The Tech offense is no slouch either, particularly in the ground game. Former Kansas Jayhawk Khalil Herbert has been a revelation, rushing for 312 yards and three touchdowns on only 26 carries.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch this game Saturday, October 10th at 12:00 ET on ABC.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Virginia Tech at North Carolina (-3.5) (38% of handle, 51% of bets on UNC)
Point Total: 58.5 (91% of action on Over, 49% of bets on Over)
Money line: Virginia Tech (+140), North Carolina (-175)

  • VT are 6-3 against the spread in their last nine games
  • The total has gone over in four of VT’s last five games
  • The total has gone under in four of UNC’s last five games
  • UNC is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games as the favorite

The Best Bet

Both of these teams can score a good amount of points when their offenses are humming. VT has a combined 83 points through two games, and UNC has 57 in the same span. With the potential missing pieces in Tech’s defensive backfield, Howell could have the breakout game we’ve been expecting.

Pick: Over 58.5

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