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Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner: UNC at Virginia Tech

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Oskeim Sports provides a betting preview and free pick in Friday’s college football game between North Carolina and Virginia Tech.  Be sure to check back daily for more free pick winners from the #1-Ranked handicapper in the industry.

Virginia Tech applies to a very good 34-10 ATS system of mine that invests on certain underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points that averaged 400 or more yards per game the previous season and return eight or more offensive starters, including the quarterback.

After two outstanding seasons at Memphis, Justin Fuente was hired to replace legendary head coach Frank Beamer.  Fuente’s first two seasons were respectable – 10-4 and 9-4. Since then though, the Hokies have gone 6-7, 8-5, and the 5-6 mark last year.  The Hokies’ defense struggled last season, allowing over 447 yards and 32.1 points per game.

Virginia Tech’s defense should be vastly improved this season under second-year coordinator Justin Hamilton. The Hokies’ defensive line returns four players who have at least six starts and head coach Justin Fuente added Clemson transfer Jordan Williams for added depth.

Virginia Tech’s secondary is the 12th-best in the nation according to my ratings and the unit returns eleven players with starting experience. Vanderbilt transfer Tae Daley started nine games in 2019 and gives Hamilton more options in the backfield.

The Hokies will be challenged by a very talented North Carolina offense that averaged 537.2 yards and 41.7 points per game last season.  Those numbers ranked fifth and ninth in the country, respectively.  Tar Heels fans can expect more of the same from offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s Air Raid offense.

Quarterback Sam Howell returns after throwing for 3,586 yards (61%) and 30 touchdowns in 2020.  However, the Tar Heels’ attack no longer has running backs Javonte Williams and Michael Carter and wide receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. Those four players combined for 2,406 rushing yards and 2,355 receiving yards last season!

 North Carolina’s receiving corps has sustained additional attrition in training camp as senior Beau Corrales is out and sophomore Khafre Brown has been limited.  The Tar Heels will rely on Tennessee transfer Tyson Chandler (2,046 career yards) at running back, and he should have a solid season behind an offensive line that returns all five starters.

Let’s also note that 21 players have transferred out from Chapel Hill so I expect regression for Mack Brown’s squad.  Virginia Tech has covered the Vegas number in six of its past eight meetings with the Tar Heels, while the host is a perfect 4-0 ATS in this series.

In the two seasons since Brown took over at UNC, both games between these teams have resulted in well over 80 points scored. North Carolina went Over in seven of their 12 games last year while Virginia Tech went Over in six of eleven.  Take the points with Virginia Tech as Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Friday, September 3.