College Football Picks Week 12: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

North Carolina Tar Heels at No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies
Thursday, 11/17/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Virginia Tech -10.5
Current Betting Line:  Virginia Tech -10.5
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  47
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Virginia Tech Hokies simply dominate opponents in November

North Carolina got an opportunity to rest last week after playing in 10 consecutive Saturday contests, while the team is bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season.  The Tar Heels were last seen suffering a 13-0 loss to the NC State Wolf Pack as 3.5-point road favorites.  Quarterback Bryn Renner is expected under center Thursday night, after suffering from a mild concussion in the last contest.  “He’s doing fine now,” commented Tar Heels coach Everett Withers.  He’s an important piece of the offense, ranking seventh in the nation in pass efficiency.  North Carolina is 6-6 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Tar Heels rank third in the league in rush defense, allowing 108.3 yards per game, sitting just behind this week’s opponent.  North Carolina has scored on 29 of 36 opportunities inside the red zone, while limiting opponents to just 15 touchdowns in 34 trips inside the 20-yard line.  The program brings in a 5-3 record when playing on ESPN Thursday Night Football.

Virginia Tech has rattled off five consecutive wins that includes a resounding 37-26 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as two-point road favorites.  The Hokies are certainly in position to reach the ACC title game.  “We’re in the driver’s seat,” commented Hokies wide receiver Danny Coale.  Playing in November is something this program looks forward to, posting a 25-2 record since the start of the 2004 campaign.  Virginia Tech is 8-1 ATS in November the last two-plus seasons.

The Hokies are led by running back David Wilson offensively, rushing for over 100 ayrds in nine of 10 games this season.  He currently leads all runners nationally with 1,360 rushing yards this season, putting him in position of potentially breaking the school record of 1,655 that was set in 2009.  Quarterback Logan Thomas simply needs to manage the game under center, as the unit has gone over the 400-yard mark in five consecutive games.  Virginia Tech is a dominating 121-32-1 at home under head coach Frank Beamer’s direction.

Bettors will likely back the Tar Heels due to their 4-0 ATS mark as an underdog of 10.5 or more points, while the Hokies are 0-5 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 or more points.

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