The college football wheel keeps spinning and for the Wahoos it's now sitting at conference play as we see how the bye week played into the momentum they had after the Boise State win. The later we get into the year, the more situational plays will come into effect. That will certainly be the case with the Hokies who travel to Chestnut Hill to play Boston College. With that let's take a look at some of this weekend's slate.
Let's get started...
Duke at UVa (-2.5)
Duke opened as a 2.5-point favorite but the money move took it quickly to the team out of Charlottesville. Not really sure how long that lasted but we usually don't see things like that happening too often. The Blue Devils were undressed by a Miami team whose athletes overwhelmed them last Friday night. Duke's offense had two turnovers but struggled to slow down the Hurricane attack. They were able to hold down their earlier opponents so who knows if that's a temporary thing or if something got exposed. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, beat Boise State at their place and had a week off afterwards. On the one hand you can say that the time off may have messed with their mojo but on the other hand you can say if they got Duke the week after, focus could have been an issue. UVa's offense has clicked and has had just one turnover in four contests. The defense also clamped down on the Broncos run game. The Blue Devils have covered in each of their last six games as a road underdog of three points or less. To me, this game could say more about the rest of the season for the Hoos than any of the others so far. I probably won't play this one as I want to see what each team has.
Virginia Tech (-16.5) at Boston College
All the hype of last week's contest against Clemson has gone away and now it's a trip to sleepy Chestnut Hill for the Hokies. Perhaps we all realized after that night that the hype train for the squad out of Blacksburg was getting out of control. Tech is a good team, but very few groups are going to slow down the Tigers. BC is coming off an ugly 28-8 win over Central Michigan after its defense failed to show up at home against Wake Forest and Notre Dame, who put up a combined 83 points. The Eagles have covered seven of their last 12 home meetings in this series though Boston College has covered just four of its last 16 games at home. Still, I don't know if I can back Virginia Tech in this one. I probably like the under the most if anything. BC has played 21 unders in its last 30 contests which is why I think this has an ugly start with an ugly finish leading to a Hokies win.
Miami (-3) at Florida State
It's still weird seeing the 1-2 record next to the Seminoles, but that's what happens when you lose your stud quarterback and fall at home to NC State. Luckily for FSU, it got a win at Wake Forest and has a little confidence entering this rivalry game. The defense finally played well too, which is important since they have been equally as disappointing as the offense has. Miami is rolling right now with three huge wins over Bethune Cookman, Toledo, and Duke. The offense has played well under Malik Rosier and Mark Walton is running it hard. This series has seen it's fair share of close games in recent. The Canes have covered seven of their last 12 games in Tallahassee despite only winning four of them outright. I think this sets up nicely for the Noles. Their defense will step up this week and in a low-scoring affair, I think they can get the upset.
Pitt at Syracuse (-3)
We can only hope that this one is as exciting as last year's 76-61 game in Pittsburgh. That one saw oodles of yards on both sides and it was a lot of fun. This year, the Orange are 2-3 and running out of winnable games for them to become bowl eligible. They lost a tough one to NC State last time out and have wins over Central Connecticut State and CMU to date. Eric Dungey has been very good but as of late, he's not getting help from the run game. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is coming off a 42-10 win over Rice but that doesn't really tell us much since the Owls are so bad. To me, this one should be another over with both defenses being mighty leaky. Pitt has gone over in 11 of its last 15 games as an underdog. I'd love to think my alma mater can defend home turf but I don't know if I can trust them.
For more insight on the odds, follow Matt on Twitter at @MidMajorMatt and find more of his picks and selections at Sportscapping.com where he handicaps college football and specializes in the Group of 5 (although the ACC is also in his wheelhouse). You can also listen to his show "Border to Border" from 11 a.m. to noon on ESPN 950 AM and 102.7 FM in Richmond.