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Virginia Tech Betting Odds Preview

The Hokies have made a bowl each of the last 21 seasons, the longest streak in college football (along with Florida State). But it seems Virginia Tech has taken a step back the last couple of seasons, falling short of 10 victories, missing out on playing in the ACC championship game, after playing in five of their first seven.

This trend could potentially hang a stink on the end of the Frank Beamer era in Blacksburg. This year the Hokies could again contend for the Coastal Division title, but they'll have to replace their starting quarterback and fill half a dozen holes on defense. And returning to national prominence this year is unlikely.

Virginia Tech Odds to Win ACC: 12/1 at Bovada
Virginia Tech Odds to Win College Football Championship: 150/1 at Bovada
Virginia Tech Regular Season Win Total: 8 at Bovada

Virginia Tech opened last season with a 35-10 loss to two-time defending national champion Alabama, even though the Hokie defense only allowed 206 yards. They then won six in a row, including a victory  at East Carolina and a 3-0 start in conference play with wins over Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Pitt. But in the game that ultimately kept the Hokies out of the ACC title game they lost at home to Duke as 12-point favorites. They then lost at Boston College. Tech won at Miami, but got upset at home by Maryland as 15-point chalk, before beating rival Virginia. The Hokies then got blown out late by UCLA in the Sun Bowl to finish 8-5 SU, just 4-8-1 ATS.

Once a darling among college football bettors, Virginia Tech is now 12-26 ATS over the last three seasons. The Hokies are also just 9-7 SU, 6-10 ATS in ACC play the last two seasons.

This year Virginia Tech returns 14 starters, fourth most in the conference. Nine starters return on offense, including last year's leading rusher, top three receivers and four along the offensive line. But they’ll have to replace QB Logan Thomas. And only five starters are back on defense, although four of those comprise what should be one of the toughest secondaries in the nation.

This year's schedule calls for road games at Ohio State, North Carolina, Pitt (on a Thursday night) and Duke, and home dates with East Carolina, Georgia Tech and Miami. And they miss Florida State, Clemson and Louisville, the top three contenders in the Atlantic Division.

When all is said and done the meeting with the Heels at Chapel Hill on October 4 might be regarded as the game that decided the Coastal Division. Win that one, and the Hokies might have a shot at 10 victories.

ACC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Florida State 4/11
Clemson 10/1
Louisville 10/1
North Carolina 10/1
Miami 12/1
Virginia Tech 12/1
Duke 20/1
Georgia Tech 25/1
Pittsburgh 40/1
Syracuse 66/1
Virginia 66/1
North Carolina State 100/1
Boston College 200/1
Wake Forest 200/1

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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.

Odds to Win ACC: +775 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 8.5  at Bovada

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
 
Clemson +235
Florida State +240
Miami +575
Virginia Tech +775
North Carolina +850
Georgia Tech +1050
Pittsburgh +3500
Virginia +3800
Syracuse +6500
Maryland +6700
NC State +7000
Boston College +8500
Duke +12500
Wake Forest +15000