Virginia Tech Betting Odds Preview
For the first time in nine seasons Virginia Tech failed to hit double-digits in the win column last year, and nearly had its 19-season bowl streak snapped. Now it's up to head coach Frank Beamer and his 15 returning starters to prove last year was just a bump in the road, rather than a sign of things to come. Most experts figure the Hokies will jump back into contention in the ACC this year, and for a program that's played in and won more ACC championship games than anybody else, nothing less than a division title will be considered a success.
Virginia Tech, almost by default, was the favorite to win the Coastal Division last year, but even with North Carolina and Miami serving postseason bans the Hokies couldn't do it. Tech opened 2-0, with a less-than-impressive victory over Georgia Tech, but then got toasted by Pittsburgh. A couple weeks later they lost back-to-back games to Cincinnati and UNC, rallied to beat Duke, but then lost three games in a row to Clemson, Miami, and Florida State.
In fact, Virginia Tech had only lost more than three games in an entire season once in the previous eight seasons. At 4-6 the Hokies had to win their last two games to become bowl-eligible, and while they beat Boston College and Virginia, both were tough games against teams that didn't even go to a bowl game. Virginia Tech then managed to defeat Rutgers in overtime in the Russell Athletic Bowl to finish at 7-6, staving off the program's first losing record since 1992. But for the second year in a row the Hokies went 4-9 ATS, thanks in part to their first negative turnover ratio, -5, in recent memory.
This year, with 15 starters back, Virginia Tech is again the favorite to win the Coastal Division. Six starters return on offense, led by third-year starter Logan Thomas at quarterback, but they've got to replace last year's top three receivers and a couple of key people on the offensive line. And nine starters are back on defense, five of them seniors, including the entire line and secondary.
This year's schedule opens with a good one, as Tech takes on Alabama at the Georgia Dome. The Hokies later play at Georgia Tech, at Miami, and at Virginia, host North Carolina, Pitt, Duke, and Maryland, and notably miss Florida State and Clemson, at least until a possible ACC championship game meeting.
ACC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 30
Florida State +240
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Wake Forest +15000