Georgia Tech has a must-win college football game on its hands
on Thursday night (7:30 PM ET, ESPN) at No. 20 Virginia Tech, but I doubt it’ll
cover its dog tag let alone win outright. Check out the NCAAF betting analysis and live in article odds from SBR.
The Yellow Jackets (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS) are 12-
to 13.5-point underdogs depending on the NCAAF betting odds outlet against the
Hokies (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS), but that won’t be enough room for them to cover the
Is it all
about the Run?
GT is known for its triple-option run-heavy
offense that has it ranked first in the nation in rushing (317.4 YPG), but it’s
its inability to stop the run that has me fading it heading into Blacksburg.
The Jackets are only 75th against the run
(162.2 YPG), and they’re up against quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the country’s
16th-ranked rushing attack (214.8 YPG) on Thursday.
The Hokies don’t depend entirely on the run,
either, even if it is their bread and butter. Taylor has emerged as arguably
the best dual-threat QB in college football to lead a VT offense that’s 14th in
scoring (37.0 PPG).
After starting the season with a tough
neutral site loss to Boise State and a shocking defeat to James Madison at Lane
Stadium, the Hokies have run the table to become the hottest spread wager in
Tech with the momentum
Virginia Tech should be getting more press.
Since going 0-2 SU and against the number through Week 2, the Hokies have
reeled off six straight in the standings and at the window.
VT’s offense is rolling, too. Outside of a
19-0 shutout win at Boston College, the Hokies scored at least 41 points in the
other five wins during their current streak.
Taylor, who isn’t in the Heisman Trophy
discussion but very well could be, leads the ACC with a 171.1 passer rating to
go along with over 1,600 yards passing, 15 touchdowns, and only three
interceptions. On the ground, Taylor has added 527 yards, and that’s been huge
for surging VT with top running back Ryan Williams banged up.
Williams (hamstring) is getting healthier
coming off a bye week, and it looks like he’s ready to take on a bigger role in
the offense after playing two series in the Hokies’ 44-7 win over Duke in Week
If Williams can step in even as a change of
pace, bettors could be in for a blowout in Blacksburg. Georgia Tech can’t stop
the run as it is, and with Williams firing, it could be lights out in a hurry.
If there’s a knock on Virginia Tech’s
profitable run, it’s that it hasn’t played a tough schedule in jumping out to
first place in the ACC Coastal. Yes, the Hokies won 41-30 as 3.5-point chalk at
an underrated North Carolina State team, but the list of the other opponents
during their run looks like this: Duke, Wake Forest, Central Michigan, Boston
College, and East Carolina.
down the College Football Betting Odds
The Jackets are also coming off a bye week as
they prepare to contain Taylor and the Hokies. GT fell 27-13 at Clemson (-3.5)
in Week 8, as it allowed 236 yards rushing to the Tigers.
In other games against notable opponents this
season, the Jackets lost 45-28 at home to NC State (+8) and 30-24 at North
Bettors should also be concerned with Georgia
Tech’s virtually non-existent passing game. The Jackets rank second-last
through the air in front of only Army this season with 84.8 yards passing per
Last season, Georgia Tech had wide receiver
Demaryius Thomas, and he was key in its 28-23 win over Virginia Tech at Bobby
Dodd Stadium last October.
QB Josh Nesbitt completed only one pass to
Thomas in the payday as 3.5-point underdogs, but the threat of the big play
kept the Hokies’ defense relatively honest. The Jackets won’t have that same
luxury in this year’s matchup.
The total for Thursday’s game is listed at 56
nearly across the board, although one sportsbook has the number at 56.5. In
addition to its strong ATS record, Virginia Tech is 6-2 O/U this season.