Virginia Tech Hokies at West Virginia Mountaineers Betting Preview
West Virginia and Virginia Tech were feature members in the old College Football version of the Big East conference but have only met on the field once in the past 15 years. Known as the battle for the Black Diamond Trophy, Virginia Tech has taken 7 of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry, but that may as well be ancient history at this point.
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Virginia Tech Hokies Team Preview
The Hokies started off the season with one of the biggest wins in the country in Week 1, knocking off top ten conference foe, North Carolina. Virginia Tech’s defense frustrated Sam Howell and the Tar Heels offense and were able to pull off the upset in Blacksburg. The Hokies are now up to 15th in the national rankings after knocking off Middle Tennessee State in week 2.
Justin Fuente’s team has shown a bit of the old “Beamer Ball” in their two games this season. The special teams’ play was big a week ago with explosive kick and punt returns, and the Hokies’ defense has intercepted four passes in their two games so far.
Offensively Tech has found success running the ball, and quarterback Braxton Burmeister has done a good job managing the offense. The signal-caller took a scary hit to the back this past weekend but was able to remain in the game. If the Hokies want to take the next step offensively, he’ll need to add more in the passing game than what he’s shown so far.
West Virginia Mountaineers Team Preview
The Mountaineers started off the year playing at Maryland and lost to the Terrapins 30-24. Terps quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, younger brother of Tua, threw for 300+ yards and three scores on the West Virginia defense, including a 60-yarder to wide receiver Rakim Jarrett to put the game out of reach. The Mountaineers bounced back in week two with a dominant win over Long Island University 66-0.
Turnovers have been an issue for West Virginia early in the season as the team had four of them against Maryland in the opener and added another in Week 2. Ball security will be key against an opportunistic Hokies defense who has found their way to the ball often in the first two weeks.
The Mountaineers have found most of their success offensively through the air as quarterback Jarret Doege has thrown for over 500 yards and four scores through the first two games. The ground game got going against Long Island, but the 48 rushing yards against Maryland are a cause for concern.
The Hokies are 2-0 against the spread to start the season, and West Virginia is 1-1, matching their overall records. BetOnline, BetUS, and Bovada all have the spread favoring the Mountaineers by 3 points at home and have the betting line for the over/under total set at 50.5 points.
West Virginia’s game against Long Island doesn’t add much to provide a prediction on this game as the talent gap between the two teams was so vast that it was hard to get a good read on the Mountaineers in Week 2. The Mountaineers will have to stop the run and prevent turnovers to slow down Virginia Tech and keep from giving them a short field.
If the Hokies can find the hidden yards in this game on special teams and by forcing turnovers, they should be well on their way to improving to 3-0. The play here feels like the Hokies +3 and possibly even outright. If playing the total, look for the under with the success the Hokies defense has had so far this year.