We kicked off the official start of the college football season last night, with Ohio State toppling a scrappy Minnesota team, 45-31. Tonight presents more college football betting opportunities, with North Carolina vs Virginia Tech being one of the most exciting games on the schedule.
Justin Fuente and the Virginia Tech Hokies will host Mack Brown, Sam Howell and (9) North Carolina. Fuente’s seat has only gotten hotter this year, so this will be a big game in determining if he’s the coach of the future for the Hokies. In Chapel Hill, this might be Mack Brown’s best Tar Heel team yet, led by future first-round pick, quarterback Sam Howell. Let’s take a look at how this North Carolina vs Virginia Tech matchup could play out for college football betting purposes.
North Carolina vs Virginia Tech College Football Betting Preview
Date: Friday September 3rd, 2021
Time: 6:00 PM ET
Location: Lane Stadium — Blacksburg, Virginia
North Carolina vs Virginia Tech College Football Betting Odds
Spread: UNC -6 (-115) | VT +6 (-105)
Moneyline: UNC (-240) | VT (+200)
Total: 63 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)
What to Watch for North Carolina Football
As I stated above, this might be Mack Brown’s best chance to get to the College Football Playoff. Quarterback and All-ACC player Sam Howell is the real deal, and he’s looking to put his stamp on college football early in the season. On the offensive side of the ball, the Tar Heels lost a lot to the NFL. Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown are both gone from the receiver room. Along with Newsome and Brown, Carolina’s two best rushers from last year, Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, are also playing on Sunday’s. However, Howell is good enough to carry the rest of the offense. Last season, they finished ninth in the country in scoring. Khafre Brown, a play-making wide receiver, is the man Howell should target the most, as he is a big-play threat every time he’s on the field. The offensive line needs to keep Howell clean for them to succeed. Taking over for Williams and Carter is Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler. A lot is expected of him this year.
On defense, linebacker Chazz Surratt is in the NFL, and that’s a big blow. However, other than him, most of the Heels defense returns. Cornerback Tony Grimes is a stud and still only 19 years old. Look for Virginia Tech to throw away from Grimes. The Heels also have a good linebacker corps, led by Eugene Asante and Jeremiah Gemmel. Raymond Vohasek is a beast at nose guard and is the lynchpin of the Heels rush defense.
What to Watch for Virginia Tech Football
The Hokies are probably hoping all the production the Heels lost to the NFL will hamper them. While it might early on, the Hokies will need to play very well for the full game to pull out the win. On offense, Braxton Burmeister is a solid quarterback. The transfer from Oregon has good poise in the pocket, but he will need help from his receivers to pull out the win. Speaking of receivers, Tayvion Robinson and Tre Turner are legitimate threats on the outside. The offensive line may struggle, meaning that Robinson and Turner need to get open, and quick.
On defense, the Hokies need to have a better year than they did last year. In last year’s 56-45 loss to Carolina, they were really exposed. On the line, Emmanuel Belmar and Amare Barno need to get pressure in Sam Howell’s face early and often. Clemson transfer Jordan Williams can make a solid impact on the inside. Veteran Dax Hollifield is a leader for the linebackers. Alan Tisdale is menacing on the outside. The secondary lost Caleb Farley, but after he opted out last year, they’re used to playing without him. The safeties are solid, but the corners need to step up. Jermaine Waller had a good season last year filling in for Farley. I expect the Hokies to be just fine on the back end.
North Carolina vs Virginia Tech College Football Betting Picks
Prediction: (9) North Carolina 41, Virginia Tech 27
I’ve stated it throughout the college football offseason, Sam Howell is the best quarterback in the country. He’s going to go out an show that to the world tonight. He will carve up the Hokie secondary, and Chandler will have over 80 yards rushing in his first game in Carolina blue. The defense will force a couple of turnovers, and Tony Grimes will play a major factor. Braxton Burmeister is a solid ACC quarterback, but in a pivotal game like tonight you need a superstar, and he’s just not that right now. I expect this to be rather close throughout the game, until a late turnover pushed the Heels over the edge. Mack Brown starts his season off 1-0. (North Carolina -6, Over 63)