Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
7:30 PM EST. The points look extremely enticing here in what many experts care calling a complete toss-up between two evenly matched teams that will be played on a neutral site at FedEx Field in Washington. We have recently discussed (in our last podcast), the importance of monitoring line movements and this one is a prime example of that. The market is revealing that most of the money is coming in on the dog but most books have not budged on the number. We see many different lines depending on where you shop but our most notable sportsbook, Pinnacle, has stayed firm by dealing Va Tech at -5 this entire morning. Some also had it at -5 but there were some -4½’s out there too. We’re glad you’re listening because some of our readers pointed out Pinny’s influence here. The market has now moved this number to -4.
It would be real easy to sell the Mountaineers here with points. You will likely read about Va Tech’s futility on a neutral site, which influences the market. In fact, the Hokies are on a 22-year regular season, neutral-site winless streak. Three of them have come at FedEx Field with the trio of opponents being USC in 2004, Boise State in 2010 and Cincinnati in 2012. Interesting enough, we also have an in-depth discussion on “trends” in football in our last podcast, pointing out that it is useless information that means nothing. Furthermore, Va Tech will send out Josh Jackson, a rookie quarterback that will be taking his first game snaps in a real game. The market does not like to spot points with a rookie QB. Meanwhile, QB Will Grier is back for the Mountaineers and he’s a proven commodity that some experts are calling the “real deal”. The question posed for bettors is whether to spot points with a rookie QB with a team that hasn’t won on a neutral site in 22 years or take back points with Will Grier and the 22nd ranked Mountaineers? Again, selling WVU would be easy here but we’re not in the X’s and O’s or trends business. We are in the “finding the right play” business and when everything points one way, it’s usually the time to go the other way.
What we know for sure about this game is that Va Tech’s defense was one of the best in college football last year that played Clemson, North Carolina, Tennessee, Miami, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Arkansas among others. Virginia Tech has a defense it can fall back on even if redshirt-freshman quarterback Josh Jackson comes out with jitters, as he probably will. Tech’s defense looks as solid as any in the program’s recent history, and that’s saying a lot, given the level of the units that defensive coordinator Bud Foster has orchestrated. Will Grier may indeed be the real deal but he hasn’t played in 18 months and he’ll now be facing a ferocious defense while the Mountaineers “D” may not be all that good. The last question we’re faced with is why is this line not -3, like close games between evenly matched teams on neutral sites usually are? Before you take the points, you would be advised to answer that question. The line and everything else that doesn’t meet the eye strongly suggests to us that Va Tech is the prudent choice here and so that’s how we’ll proceed.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
VIRGINIA TECH -4 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)