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Virginia Tech at Miami: What bettors need to know

Virginia Tech Hokies at Miami Hurricanes (-7, 44)

Virginia Tech has represented the Coastal Division five times in the eight years the ACC Championship game has existed. However, No. 14 Miami can do a lot to end the Hokies’ stranglehold with a home win against them on Saturday. The Hurricanes still control their destiny despite last Saturday’s 41-14 loss at Florida State and can almost guarantee themselves their first title-game appearance since joining the league in 2004 with wins over Virginia Tech and Duke over the next two weeks.

Along with Georgia Tech, the Hokies are the only other team from the Coastal to appear in the ACC Championship Game. Virginia Tech has lost two straight following a 34-27 setback at Boston College last weekend and runs the risk of falling out of the race completely with another loss in its tightly packed division. The Hokies are 27-5 overall in ACC games during the month of November since they left the Big East with Miami, but three of those losses have come against the Hurricanes.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN.

LINE: Miami opened -6.5 and is currently -7. The total is currently 44.

WEATHER: There is a 40 percent chance of rain in the forecast with wind blowing across the field at 11 mph.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (6-3, 3-2 ACC): Logan Thomas posted a career-high 429 yards of total offense against Boston College to give him 9,463 for his career, moving him past Tyrod Taylor for the most in school history. Thomas also committed two of the Hokies’ four giveaways and has turned the ball over 31 times since the start of the 2012 season – the third-highest individual total in FBS over that span. Cody Journell drilled a 56-yard field goal last Saturday, which is the longest kick by a Hokie since 1977 and tied for the longest field goal in FBS this season.

ABOUT MIAMI (7-1, 3-1): Duke Johnson – the second-leading rusher in the conference – will miss the rest of the season after he broke his right ankle against Florida State. Dallas Crawford, who replaced an injured Johnson during the team’s Oct. 17 victory over North Carolina with 137 yards rushing and two scores, will be one of three backs to fill the void of a player who has posted an ACC-high 1,393 all-purpose yards. He will be joined by senior Eduardo Clements and freshman Gus Edwards, who have combined for 311 rushing yards on 49 carries in 2013.

TRENDS:


* Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Miami.
* Hokies are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings.
* Hurricanes are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
* Under is 8-2-1 in Hokies last 11 games overall.

EXTRA POINTS:


1. Miami allowed Florida State to convert 11-of-15 third-down opportunities, but the Hokies rank 13th in the 14-team ACC in third-down conversion percentage (32.6).

2. Virginia Tech has committed eight turnovers over its last two contests after recording seven during its first six games.

3. The Hurricanes have 21 takeaways in 2013, one shy of last season’s total in 12 games.

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