College Football Picks: Virginia Tech/Georgia Tech Will Go 'Over'

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:26 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 7:26 PM GMT

Two of the more disappointing teams in the ACC collide Thursday night in Atlanta, and we've got a preview plus a free college football pick for the Hokies-Yellow Jackets matchup.

Back before the season started, a matchup between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets provided enough promise to draw a crowd for a Thursday night ESPN broadcast. Now? Not so much.

Despite disappointing seasons that have produced sub-500 records for both teams to this point, the show must go on with ESPN's broadcast beginning at 7:30 PM (ET). Georgia Tech officially went out at -5 according to SBR's live college football odds, that spread now down to 3½ at Bookmaker. The total entered at 54 but was quickly pared down to 52½.

Currently sitting in the lower half of the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division, the Hokies and Yellow Jackets are meeting for the lucky 13th time. Virginia Tech leads the series 8-4, the first clash in 1990 serving as the only contest that didn't come as ACC foes.

Georgia Tech won that first meeting at home but has since dropped four of five encounters at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Three of the last four games played in Atlanta never made it to the totals which closed as low as 40½ and as high as 54½. The Yellow Jackets snapped a 4-game losing streak against the Hokies with a 27-24 victory in Blacksburg as 7½ point underdogs.  Harrison Butker's 24-yard field goal as time expired provided the final margin.

 

Beamer To Step Down At Season's End
Virginia Tech (4-5 straight up & against the spread) opened the season with a one-sided loss to Ohio State and has only managed to tread water with four wins in the subsequent eight games. The Hokies have split their four road contests while dropping three of four at home, including that Week 1 defeat to the Buckeyes.

One of the most disappointing setbacks came at home a little more than two weeks ago when Frank Beamer's bunch were 4 point favorites against Duke. The game went back-and-forth through four quarters with the Hokies knotting the score 24-all late in the fourth quarter thanks to a 2-point PAT conversions. They could not repeat that following a touchdown in the fourth overtime while the Blue Devils did manage to pull it off for the 45-43 decision.

The offense has been lethargic overall, ranking 86th in total yards (373.2 ypg). Special teams play also has not lived up to the usual excellence we've seen from the Hokies, though Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster have managed to put a decent stop unit on the gridiron. Virginia Tech is 34th in the nation allowing 345.4 yards per game, and 17th in disrupting opponents' passing games (179.1 ypg).

 

Preseason Favorites, GT Unable To Live Up To Expectations
No ACC team has confounded fans and bettors more than Georgia Tech (3-6 SU & ATS). The Yellow Jackets were the favorites to win the Coastal Division back in August only to have one victory in six conference matchups so far, that win an upset of then No. 9 Florida State a little more than two weeks ago.

Paul Johnson's option attack is still churning out yardage on the ground, 8th-best in the country at nearly 268 yards a game. The defense is a respectable 43rd in the land giving up 365 YPG, but the combination hasn't been nearly good enough against a tough slate that has included Notre Dame, North Carolina and top-ranked Clemson in addition to the Seminoles. The Ramblin' Wreck sputters into this game banged up on both sides of the ball, but especially thin in the defensive backfield.

It could be wet in the greater ATL area Thursday morning, but the showers are supposed to be gone by kickoff when partly cloudy skies and the mid-50s are expected on the thermometer. During the bye week, Beamer announced he will step down at Virginia Tech after 29 seasons on the job, and the Hokies would love to gift him with a 23rd-straight bowl trip, but I simply don't have that much confidence in either side. So, I'm making my free college football pick on there being enough scoring to pop an 'over' winner.

College Football Picks: Va Tech/Ga Tech Over 52.5 at Bookmaker

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