College Football Picks Against The Spread - East Carolina vs. Virginia Tech

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 4:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016 4:46 PM UTC

When an opposing team plays you tough year over year there is usually a reason, and our College Football handicapper spots just the matchup as he backs a huge underdog and makes his pick.

East Carolina Pirates vs Virginia Tech Hokies  
In what has become a yearly tradition, the East Carolina Pirates of the AAC play the Virginia Tech Hokies in Week 4 of College Football action. With both teams sitting at 2-1 and looking to stay competitive within their respective divisions, this is a game that neither can afford to lose, but with the Hokies sitting as an 11-point favorite at BookMaker it is not one that they are likely to lose either. The total has opened at 56 points across the board.

East Carolina has powered to their two wins on the back of their new Minnesota transfer quarterback, senior Philip Nelson. Nelson has an incredible 1,095 passing yards and 7 touchdowns through three games, which is good for a 365 yards per game average and 161.0 QB rating. Even in East Carolina’s loss to South Carolina last week, Nelson put up 400 yards with a 75.9% completion rate but did give up 2 interceptions in the process.

Unfortunately for East Carolina, Nelson is about to go up against the best passing defense in the country in Virginia Tech. The Hokies have only given up 241 yards in total in 3 games this year. Yes, Nelson eclipsed that mark nearly 5 times over already. They have allowed just a 37.3% completion percentage and less than 10 completions per game. The only way that teams have been able to move the ball against Virginia Tech has been on the ground, where they have given up an average of just over 124 rushing yards per game.

Luckily for East Carolina, they have a pretty balanced offense, all things considered. They average over 180 yards on the ground per game and 5.2 yards per carry. That is just less than the Hokies, who have averaged 205 yards per game, but with 4.3 yards per carry.

The Virginia Tech Hokies are coming off of a 49-0 shellacking of Boston College last week, a game in which they limited their opponent to just 124 total yards and six first downs. Things won’t come as easy against East Carolina, who has shown they can hang with Virginia Tech over the last few years. The line has favored Virginia Tech by 10 points in each of the last two years, with East Carolina covering the spread last year and winning outright as a road dog in 2014. In each game, the Pirates have led at halftime. I like the other point and a half we are getting here, and I like the prospect of East Carolina going pass-happy against a prevent defense to backdoor cover if Virginia Tech has a lead. I hope you have multiple books to choose from as 5Dimes has the best odds and a 50% Free Play Sin Up Bonus to take the underdog here at +11.5 points.                                     

2016 College Football Record: 9-7-1, +1.20 Units

Free College Football Pick: East Carolina +11.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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