Virginia Tech Hokies vs Duke Blue Devils
Wallace Wade Stadium – Durham, NC
Saturday October 29 – 12:30Moneyline: Virgina Tech -650, Duke +475
Spread (ATS): Virginia Tech -15
Odds courtesy of 5Dimes
The Virginia Tech Hokies have won three straight since being embarrassed by Clemson. They are in control in the Coastal Division of the ACC provided there are no hiccups, which seem unlikely. This is a team that is good and should continue to get better as quarterback Logan Thomas gets more experience. This is the first of back to back road games so as long as the team is focused Duke should not be much of a concern.
When you have an inexperienced QB it is nice to have the most productive tailback in the country. David Wilson is finally getting his chance and making the most of it – he is the only back with 1000 yards this season. Duke is solid against the run statistically but I can easily see the Hokies wearing them down up front. They can make this a very easy day for Thomas if they want to by keeping it simple.
It is no surprise that the Hokies have dominated the Dookies since joining the ACC. VT is a perfect 7-0 but just 3-4 ATS so it might be said that Duke gets up for Tech. I think it is more that coach Frank Beamer has never been one to embarrass opponents for style points. 4 times in seven games Duke hasn’t even scored double digit points.
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After winning three in a row the Duke Blue Devils have dropped their last two. Even though they don’t have a winning record they can be a thorn in your side, just ask Wake Forest who escaped Durham with a 1 point victory last week. Duke dominated that game, controlling the ball for almost two thirds of the game but they lost the turnover battle and that might have been the difference.
Duke entered the season expected to have one of the better passing offenses in the ACC. They had one of the few experienced QBs in Sean Renfree and a couple of decent receiving threats in Conner Vernon and Donovan Varner. This week will be in tough because on every play one of those is likely to be covered by Jayron Hosely, likely the best cover corner in college football. Renfree is going to have to make smart reads to give Duke a chance.
The problem for Duke seems to always be defense. They are second worst in the ACC in points per game allowed at nearly 30 and may just get bulldozed by the Hokie running game. Not only do they need to stop David Wilson and Co. but they need to get some pressure on Logan Thomas as he is prone to making errors when pressured. I think that is asking a bit too much for a defense without great talent or even athleticism.
ATS Pick: Virginia Tech -15
Over/Under Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Virginia Tech 38 – Duke 24