The Virginia Tech Hokies lost their first ACC game of the season and then looked unsteady in wins against inferior opponents. They hope to turn things around on Friday in their conference home opener as the host the Duke Blue Devils. Kickoff from Lane Stadium in this nationally-televised contest is set for 7 p.m. ET. Virginia Tech (2-1) is looking to bounce back from its first losing season this decade, but has been inconsistent through three games. The Hokies dropped their season-opener to Boston College, then struggled against lesser opponents the following two weeks. They come off a bye to host a Duke (2-1) team that has shown promise despite losing quarterback Daniel Jones to the NFL. The Hokies are three-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 52.5 in the latest Virginia Tech vs. Duke odds after the total climbed as high as 56.5. Before finalizing your Duke vs. Virginia Tech picks and college football predictions, make sure you hear what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.
A Reno-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in collegiate athletics and was SportsLine’s top college football analyst last year by hitting 60 percent of his spread picks. What’s more, he has had a keen sense for the tendencies of both of these ACC programs. In fact, he has posted a stunning record of 9-2 on against the spread picks involving the Blue Devils or Hokies the past two seasons.
In Week 1, Nagel told SportsLine members that Boston College (+4.5) was undervalued against Virginia Tech in a rivalry the Eagles had dominated. He recommended a strong play on the underdog, and the Eagles rolled to a 35-28 outright victory. Anyone who followed Nagel’s advice booked an easy winner and those who have consistently followed him are way up.
Now, he has zeroed in on Duke vs. Virginia Tech from every angle and released another strong against the spread pick that he’s sharing only at SportsLine.
Nagel knows that under iconic former coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies were known for their standout play on specials teams and regularly led the nation in blocked kicks and special teams touchdowns. They have faded a bit in reason seasons, but current coach Justin Fuente hopes to make this an area of strength once again. During the bye, he hired former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill to take over special teams. Kill has a career record of 152-99 as a head coach with five different programs.
Fuente also told the media he was impressed with the defensive effort in the second half against Furman. The Hokies trailed 14-3 at the break, but outscored the Paladins 21-3 in the second half. Virginia Tech scored off two consecutive defensive stops, one of which included recovering a fumble, to take the lead in the third quarter. Furman was limited to 231 yards of total offense.
Even so, the Hokies are far from assured of covering the Virginia Tech vs. Duke spread against a Blue Devils team that again appears headed toward a winning record despite the loss of a top-10 draft pick at quarterback and several other key pieces.
The Blue Devils started the season with a 42-3 thumping at the hands of second-ranked Alabama, although they were reasonably competitive for most of three quarters. They bounced back with a 45-13 victory over North Carolina A&T before notching an impressive win over a tough Middle Tennessee State club. Duke piled up 463 yards of total offense while scoring on its first five possessions and amassing a 31-3 halftime lead.
Quentin Harris, the heir apparent to Jones at quarterback, went 23-of-27 for 237 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. He added 107 rushing yards as the Blue Devils powered their way past the finesse Blue Raiders for 226 rushing yards.
Nagel has broken down this matchup from every angle and identified the critical x-factor that has him all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine.
Who wins Duke vs. Virginia Tech? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Duke vs. Virginia Tech spread you should jump on Friday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit 82 percent of his against the spread picks on these teams, and find out.