Virginia Tech Hokies vs. North Carolina Tar Heels: ACC Football Preview and Predictions

Virginia Tech Hokies at North Carolina Tar Heels
Saturday, 10/6/12, 12:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  North Carolina -3.5
Current Betting Line:  North Carolina -4.5
Opening Total:  49.5
Current Total:  49.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

North Carolina Tar Heels RB Giovani Bernard will need to be great against the Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it comes off a 27-24 setback to the Cincinnati Bearcats as 6.5-point road favorites.  The Hokies are looking to start fast this week, something they haven’t done during the 2012 college football season.  “Well, we discussed that as a staff and we’re going to keep it within our staff and try to do better this week,” commented Hokies head coach Frank Beamer.  Virginia Tech is 7-4 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, while the UNDER is 7-4 in that situation.

The Hokies have a great opportunity to bounce back, considering they’ve won all 13 of their ACC games in the state of North Carolina, while also winning 23 straight road conference openers.  Virginia Tech has won seven of eight meetings in this particular series since joining its current conference, including a 24-21 win as 9.5-point home favorites last year, while the UNDER has cashed in the last five overall meetings.  Four of the last five games in the series have been decided by seven points or less.

North Carolina has won three games by a combined total of 149 points, while its two losses were decided by just six points.  The Tar Heels really get things going in the second half, outscoring opponents by a 99-10 margin, including a 66-0 mark in the final 15 minutes.  The program is seeking its first home win in this particular series since 1938, losing all five tries since that point in time.  North Carolina is 9-5 ATS as a home favorite, including a perfect 3-0 ATS this year.

The Tar Heels have gone with a balanced approach in terms of having success on the field under first-year head coach Larry Fedora, ranking second in the league in scoring offense and second in scoring defense.  North Carolina set a single-game school record for points with 66 last week against the Idaho Vandals, as it has out-gained four of five opponents on the year.  Tailback Giovani Bernard is a difference-maker for this squad, scoring 21 touchdowns in 16 career games.

Sports bettors will likely back the Hokies due to their 22-9 ATS mark on the road against winning home teams, while the Tar Heels are 1-6 ATS following a straight-up win.

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