Welcome back to LazyBets NCAAF picks and Parlays. The biggest game this week featuring an ACC team only involves one ACC team. It's Notre Dame vs Virginia Tech in our NCAAF free pick for Saturday, October 6th. Irish. Both of these teams ranked. Notre Dame looks like a serious contender to qualify for the College Football Playoff. There are some really high stakes here for both teams and their chances of a major bowl bid or even the big dance.. Notre Dame is a 6.5 point favorite for this game at BetOnline, with a total of 55.5.
Quarterback Ian Book has over 600 yards passing in just a couple of games for the Fighting Irish. Book's performances are a big part of Notre Dame's improved offensive efficiency in recent weeks.
Book helped the Irish put up 56 points against a Wake Forest team thought to be good on defense. He followed that debut up with a four touchdown performance against Stanford’s stout defense. Book has been a substantial upgrade over previous starter Brandon Wimbush.
Notre Dame will be counting on him in their campaign for the college football playoff. He is imperative the rest of the way and has been like a light-switch. A once inept offense has been fixed since his entrance.
Notre Dame is just outside of the top-50 in scoring average this season. They've put up just over 32 points per game. While the ranking is middling nationally, a lot of the average was constructed when Wimbush was the quarterback. Season averages for Notre Dame should be taken with a grain of salt.
Defensively, Notre Dame is giving up just a shade under 19 points per game. It's an impressive number considering that the Irish have already played four Power Five opponents through their first five games. While a win over Vandy isn’t the biggest resume win, holding Power Five offenses under 20 points per game in today’s college football is no small feat.
The Irish held both Michigan and Stanford to 17 points in their match-ups respectively. Both teams ranked in the top-15 in the country when they made the trip to South Bend. Coach Brian Kelly will hope for a similar performance here against a Virginia Tech team ranked just inside of the top-25.
This is the only real road test that Notre Dame has faced to this point in the season. Their games against Michigan and Stanford were both at home. Their only road game on the season was a victory over an unranked Wake Forest team that had far from a competitive defense.
A win here over Virginia Tech would do a lot to prove that the Irish can win legitimately tough games away from Touchdown Jesus. Still, nearly a touchdown is a lot to give.
Virginia Tech Hokies Week 6 Analysis
Josh Jackson was averaging 9.91 yards per pass attempt this season. It doesn't do the Hokies any good now. He's injured indefinately and couldn't put any weight on his ankle after the Hokies suffered their insane upset loss @ Old Dominoin. The Hokies have to rely on the inexperienced Ryan Willis to get them past possibly their toughest test of the season. The ACC is pretty weak this year outside of a dominant Clemson. It remains to be seen how strong Virginia Tech can be using their backup.
Willis led the Hokies to a 31-14 win over Duke, where he threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. If Virginia Tech is going to have any chance at pulling an upset here, it will start with Willis playing mistake-free football and keeping the chains moving as needed.
That 332 yard performance by Willis equaled more than half of Josh Jackson’s total passing yardage output for the season. That's pretty impressive considering it was just one start. While the perception that losing a starting quarterback will hurt the Hokies could be valid, statistics show that the Hokies might be a more explosive offense with Willis. It's a small sample size, but it's what we have.
Virginia Tech has a strong defense to fall back on. The unit has only given up more than 17 points once this season. The one instance was costly. Giving up 49 points to Old Dominion ended up in one of the most embarrassing losses for the Hokies in recent memory. We must consider the Hokies shell shock after the loss of Jackson and the complete chaos of an under-prepared roster.
Virginia Tech will have the loss to Old Dominion in the rear view here. In a big game like this, the only thing you can see is what's on the field. With a win to wash out the taste, Va Tech should be back, steady, and prepared for a tough Irish team. This should be a real fight.
Virginia Tech has had a weird season this year. Injuries have made it hard for them to sustain momentum. First they destroyed a ranked Florida State team at home. They followed that up with a game cancelled due to storms in the Carolina's. Then their QB got hurt and the defense fell apart against Old dominion in a complete anomaly.
The best thing about football is that there is always another game to be played. This game against Notre Dame could be just what the Hokies need to get their season back on track.
Notre Dame vs Virginia Tech Trends
Both of these teams come into this games with some solid situational trends on their side. Notre Dame is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games. Virginia Tech is 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 home games in Blacksburg.
It should be noted that when Notre Dame goes on the road, it is usually to play Power Five schools. Given their status as an independent with a friends-with-benefits sort of relationship with the ACC, the fact that Notre Dame is so good against the spread away from home is impressive.
Virginia Tech often plays some smaller schools on their home schedule. These games are easier to win but that doesn't mean much in gambling. These games can be more difficult to cover in. The spread is often larger and the scores are much more variable in nature.
Virginia Tech's unpredictability and variability in performances this season makes this a tough game to gauge. Injuries at the QB position make it even harder to predict which Virginia Tech offense will show up.
We're banking on a defensive contest here, but both QB's do look capable of moving the ball. Given the homefield advantage, we had this game initially as a -4.5 edge to the Irish in simulations. That gives Virginia Tech 2 points in clear value at the current spread.
This line opened at 5.5 and has moved to 6.5. It is normal for this to happen in games where Notre Dame is playing due to their heavy fanbase. They receive a large amount of volume and get the line moving one way or another.