Virginia Tech Over Georgia Tech for Week 4 College Football Picks

Darin Zank

Monday, September 15, 2014 4:05 PM GMT

Virginia Tech is riding the college football roller coaster; sky high one week, down in the doldrums the next. So might we expect a rebound effort when the Hokies host ACC Coastal Division rival Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon (noon ET, ESPN)? Who will we take for our free NCAAF pick?

The Betting Odds
In the very early action most of the college football odds market was chalking Virginia Tech at -7.5 for this game, but some shops were offering Georgia Tech at +8. Those who might think of eschewing the point spread could get the Hokies at around -300, while the Rambling Wreck could be bet getting +250 to win this game straight-up.

Take a Look at the Inflated Week 4 NCAAF Odds Due to Week 3 Results!

The Situation
Virginia Tech opened this season with a 34-9 win over FCS William & Mary, covering at -23. The Hokies then went into the Horseshoe in Columbus and beat Ohio State 35-21, winning outright as 10-point dogs. But last week Virginia Tech suffered a classic letdown, losing at home to East Carolina 28-21 as 10-point favorites.

The Hokies fell behind the Pirates 21-0 in the first quarter Saturday, rallied to tie the score at 21-21 with just over a minute remaining in the game, but gave up a three-play, 65-yard drive in that final minute to lose.

Virginia Tech returned 14 starters this season from a team that went 8-5 last year. Nine starters came back on offense, including last year's leading rusher, top three receivers and four along the offensive line. And five starters returned on defense, just one on the front seven but all four in the secondary.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, is off to a 3-0 start to this season, but it's only 1-2 ATS. The Wreck opened with a 38-19 victory over FCS Wofford, but couldn't cover at -29; they then won at Tulane 38-21, covering as eight-point road chalk; and last week they beat FCS Georgia Southern 42-38, but gave away the cover at -15, and nearly the game itself. The Yellowjackets led the Eagles 35-10 at the half, but gave up four unanswered touchdowns to fall behind 38-35. The Wreck then bailed themselves out with a game-winning touchdown with 20 seconds left.

Georgia Tech returned just 10 starters this season, from a team that went 7-6 last year. Six starters came back on offense, including three along the offensive line, but they had to replace their starting QB, last year's top three rushers and top receiver. And just four starters returned on defense, just one apiece on the front line and in the secondary.

 

Jackets-Hokies Recent History
Virginia Tech has beaten Georgia Tech four times in a row, by an average score of 25-19. Three of those four games stayed 'under' on the totals.

Last year Virginia Tech led 14-0 early in Atlanta, let the Jackets get within 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter, but held on for the 17-10 victory. The Hokies won that game outright as seven-point dogs.

Georgia Tech actually out-rushed Virginia Tech that day 129-55, but turned the ball over three times, one of which led to a Hokies touchdown.

Four years ago Virginia Tech allowed the Jackets' option attack to rush for 346 yards; a year later they “cut” that to 243; a year later they cut that to 192; and last year the Hokies held the Wreck to 129 yards on the ground. 

 

Jackets-Hokies Betting Trends
Georgia Tech is 6-8-2 ATS on the road over the last three seasons.

The 'under' is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in this series.

 

Free NCAAF Pick
Virginia Tech is good enough to beat a Braxton-less Ohio State, and normal enough to suffer the predictable letdown against East Carolina. But the Hokies are still the better team in this match-up, and they've got the bounce-back factor on their side. So we'll go with Virginia Tech, minus the points, for our free college football pick in this spot.

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