NCAAF Articles

UNC Vs VA Tech. UNC worthy of #10 ranking?

The #10 ranked team in the country the North Carolina Tar Heels begin the season in Blacksburg, VA, facing off against the Hokies. Virginia Tech enters this season coming off a 5-6 season last year. UNC boasted an 8-4 record last season. The Tar Heels had a stellar offense last season that finished 5th in the country in total yards. This offense is led by one of the top QB’s in the country Sam Howell. Howell enters this season with a whole new set of weapons. Howell lost all 4 of his top playmakers to the NFL draft; Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dyami Brown, and Dazz Newsome. It will be tough for his new weaponry to pack the same punch as those 4 players did last season. At running back, UNC will rely on Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler.  Chandler will be running behind an offensive line that returns all starters. UNC’s wide receivers are a question mark entering this season. On the defensive end, UNC boasts a very strong secondary and a strong middle presence with 6 year LB TomonFox. This unit struggled last year and needs to take a step forward this season if UNC wants a chance at a playoff berth. 

The Hokies enter this season with plenty of question marks of their own. The Hokies lose 3 massive pieces of their offensive success with their RB Khalil Herbert and LT Christian Darrisawheading to the NFL. The offense also loses their leader as mobile QB Hendon Hooker packed up and transferred to Tennessee. Replacing Hooker is Braxton Burmeister. Burmeisteris a dual threat QB with a lot of athleticism. He started the first 3 games and the last 2 games of last year’s season. Standing next to Burmeister will likely be RB Raheem Blackshear. Blackshear received limited carries last season as he spent time in COVID protocol. This year he will get the chance to run behind an offensive line that returns 4 of its starters. 

Sharp Report: 

The line opened with UNC as the favorites by 6.5 points. The public jumped all over this number with UNC receiving over 80% of all spread wagers. While the public has been hammering the favorite, the line has moved from -6.5 to -5.5. Sharp money is hammering the Hokies. The total for this game opened at 67 and is currently at 64. The public and sharp money may be in agreement with this line as 60ish% of wagers have come in on the under. 

My Pick: 

For Tech to have a chance in this game, they must be able to establish the run. UNC’s secondary is too talented for VA tech to have consistent success in the air. UNC is going to walk into a hostile environment in Blacksburg and I expect them to start slow. Having some UNC’s unknowns at skilled positions should lead to more short crossers and screens and a more aggressive approach to establish the run behind their 5 returning OL. Look for UNC to put together slow and methodical drives. With both teams decreasing their chances for the big play, I am hitting under 64. As we currently stand, I have no action on the spread. Keep an eye on CSharps twitter for a spread play closer to game time.

The Pick: UNC VA Tech U 64

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