Virginia Tech Hokies at Miami Hurricanes (+1.5, 57)
Despite recent struggles for both teams, a berth in the ACC championship game may be on the line when Virginia Tech visits Miami on Thursday. Virginia Tech has dropped three of four games, but the Hokies have beaten Duke and Georgia Tech in the Coastal Division already and North Carolina is not eligible for postseason play.
The Hurricanes have lost three consecutive games after a strong start and still have destiny in their own hands. Both teams have been inconsistent running the ball, so the game will likely be in the hands of quarterbacks Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech and Miami’s Stephen Morris.
The Hokies won last year’s battle 38-35 and another shootout is expected with the Hurricanes allowing 32.4 points per game and the Hokies 24.0 – 35.3 in the last three.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE: Virginia Tech opened as high as -2.5 and has been bet down to -1.5. The total is set at 57 points.
WEATHER: The forecast for Sun Life Stadium is calling for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 70s. Winds are expected to blow WSW at 8 mph.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (4-4, 2-2 ACC, 2-6 ATS): The Hokies are off to their worst start through eight games since 1992 and are winless in three road games. Coach Frank Beamer said the effort has been there, but execution needs be more consistent. Thomas has been intercepted 10 times in the last six games and completes only 53.6 percent of his passes. The Hokies are in the lower half of the nation in rushing and J.C. Coleman has the only 100-yard effort. Virginia Tech has turned the ball over 15 times and allowed an average of 409.2 yards in the last six contests after allowing 254.5 in the first two with one turnover. The Hokies' Cody Journell has made 10 straight field goals.
ABOUT MIAMI (4-4, 3-2, 5-3 ATS): The Hurricanes lost to North Carolina and a pair of teams now ranked in the top seven – Notre Dame and Florida State – in the last three games. Miami comes in off 12 days of rest for the final stretch, where it can achieve its goals with improved defense. Miami has allowed almost 500 yards per contest, ranking 116th out of 120 teams in the nation, and is second to last in rushing defense (249.3). One problem is that opponents have possessed the ball an average of 10:14 more per game. Running backs Mike James and Duke Johnson - both with more than 400 yards - have the talent to help turn those numbers around.
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Miami.
* Hokies are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings in Miami.
* Hokies are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Under is 7-2 in the last nine meetings.
* Underdog is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
* Road team is 6-2 ATS in their last eight meetings.
1. Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman has 31 tackles combined over the last three games.
2. Virginia Tech’s Kyshoen Jarrett is fourth in the nation in punt returns (18.1).
3. Miami leads the series 17-12, but Virginia Tech has won the last three meetings.