College Football Week 8 Picks: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Thursday, 10/16/14, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Virginia Tech -3
Current Betting Line: Pittsburgh -1
Opening Total:  45.5
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Pitt Panthers are trying to end a three-game losing streak Thursday night
The Pitt Panthers are trying to end a three-game losing streak Thursday night

Virginia Tech has put together a pair of two-game win streaks this season, as it comes off a 34-17 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels as 2.5-point road favorites Oct. 4, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in four contests.  The Hokies hold an 8-5 all-time advantage in this series, which is important to consider when making your Week 8 college football betting picks, but they’ve dropped four of the last five meetings.  Virginia Tech is 7-5 SU and 4-8 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons, with no clear edge in terms of the total (6-6 Over/Under).

The Hokies and Panthers have played some high-scoring affairs, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football odds page, as their 13 previous meetings have produced 51.3 combined points.  Virginia Tech will be making its 28th appearance on ESPN Thursday Night Football—compiling a 20-7 SU overall record in that situation.  It’s important to point out that the program has dropped its three previous visits to Heinz Field in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh has dropped three games in a row, including a 24-19 setback to the Virginia Cavaliers as five-point road underdogs in Week 6, while going UNDER the betting total in all of those affairs.  Panthers running back James Conner is the main player to handicap in this matchup, as he ranks fifth nationally in gaining 874 rushing yards on the season.  Defensively, the team sits behind just three teams in major college football, as it enters holding opponents to an average of 278.7 total yards per game.  Pittsburgh is 2-4 SUATS when the betting line is between +3 and -3 since 2012.

The Panthers are fielding one of their youngest rosters in recent history, with 81 underclassmen on the sideline—the highest total of any FBS team this year.  Pittsburgh quarterback Chad Voytik is among that group, as the sophomore paces the squad with 1,118 yards of total offense.

Sports bettors will likely back the Panthers due to their 5-0 ATS mark after two or more consecutive losses over the last two-plus seasons.

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