Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, VA
VIRGINIA TECH -12 over Boston College
Streaming: ACC Network in the Sports Group
8:00 PM. Boston College has emerged as “the dog of the week” thanks in large part to the poor showing by Virginia Tech last week when it gave up 56 points to North Carolina. In the build-up to the affair, VT was getting all sorts of market adoration from the moment it opened as a 5½-point pooch. Tech had been riding a hot hand overall against the Tar Heels and all sorts of trendy trends if you will, which further embellished activity on the Hokies where they closed as a 3½-point pup. Virginia Tech’s poor defensive performance has created a negative reaction that we’re paying attention to. We have stressed it before and it’s worth reiterating how one result can cultivate enormous overreactions. This week, we’re the beneficiaries of the Gobblers spotting a deflated price.
Tech wasn’t just beaten in Chapel Hill by UNC by a double-digit margin. The final tally does not reveal how the game was played. You see, the Tar Heels jumped out to as much as a 25-point lead before the Gobblers would explode in the third quarter to narrow the lead to five points. Virginia Tech scored three times in under six minutes, generating three unanswered touchdowns against what many have called a “respectable” defense in North Carolina. UNC would continue on to pull away thereafter with two unanswered scores of their own, but VA Tech trailed by over 20-points on two occasions throughout the contest and that sort of performance leaves a sour taste in a fickle market. One can only surmise what could have transpired had the Turkeys not needed to chase North Carolina all game. Regardless of last week’s performance, the line speaks volumes about what is expected of the Hokies this week.
Unlike Virginia Tech, Boston College gave North Carolina fits when the two sides met in early October. Unlike the shootout that materialized in Chapel Hill, B.C. and UNC had a defensive battle where the Tar Heels emerged victorious by a mere four points in a 26-22 thriller. Boston College was being spotted 14½ points against UNC that day and covered comfortably. Boston College looks like a drop in the bucket here taking back nearly the same amount of points against a perceived lesser opponent who got defeated more substantially by North Carolina. Unfortunately, that type of math has been killing bankrolls for years. The market is comparing scores between how these two teams have fared vs. Duke and UNC in completely different settings and situations.
Spotting 12-points in what appears to be a much closer matchup than the price suggests is not in our wheelhouse. Hell, the chalk has to be up by three TD’s late to even feel slightly comfortable and if the dog happens to score the first major, one’s ticket is practically dead. However, we can also recognize a proverbial carrot when we see one and this price is screaming at us that the oddsmakers expect the Hokies to put up big points and that the underdog will run out of counterpunches. We’re not playing the teams here, we’re playing the number.
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VIRGINIA TECH -12 -111 (Risking 2.22 units - To Win: 2.00)