Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (10/9/21)

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech Betting Odds

Two one-loss teams match up in Blacksburg this Saturday, as the 4-1 Fighting Irish face-off with the 3-1 Hokies.

Notre Dame just took a crushing loss to Cincinnati, although they picked up wins over Wisconsin, Purdue, and Florida State in the three games before that. Notre Dame is just 2-3 against the spread (ATS) however.

Virginia Tech is coming off a win against Richmond, but their big win this season was over UNC in Week 1. Their loss to West Virginia last week may have humbled the team a bit, however.

Tech opened as short home underdogs, but this line has been pushed to a pick’em at most books.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Odds

In my not-so-humble opinion, Notre Dame is completely fraudulent.

Specifically on the offensive end. Yes, the Irish have scored 30 points per game. However, they’ve done it with a non-existent run game (127th in Rushing Success Rate, 124th in yards per carry) behind an awful offensive line (126th in Line Yards).

As such, this offense cannot move the ball consistently. Notre Dame ranks just 120th in Standard Downs Success Rate.

So, they fall back on quarterback Jack Coan, who grades out as PFF’s 132nd best college quarterback. He’s completing over 60% of his passes, but for only 7.2 yards per attempt, and he’s completed only seven of his 26 attempts 20+ yards downfield.

https://twitter.com/PFF_College/status/1444375399929106438?s=20

The defense is for real, ranking top-20 in almost every meaningful statistic. That includes Bill Connelly’s SP+ ratings, where the defense ranks 17th.

However, they’ve played a pair of Big Ten offenses and Florida State (who got their only win this season last week against Syracuse). It’s hardly been the most difficult schedule.

Virginia Tech Hokies Odds

Like the Irish, the Hokies have a talented defense.

That defense is built around stopping the pass. Virginia Tech’s defense ranks among the top five FBS teams in Passing Success Rate and in creating Havoc. The Hokies have held opposing quarterbacks to less than 200 yards per game on less than 60% completion rate, while also recording as many interceptions as they’ve allowed touchdowns.

So, while the Notre Dame defense ranks 17th in Success Rate, Virginia Tech can go toe-to-toe with them, ranking 15th.

However, also like the Irish, the Hokies have an underwhelming offense.

They rank in the back half of the FBS in most metrics. However, Virginia Tech does have an interesting option at quarterback in Braxton Burmeister, who they can use in the RPO or dual-action game.

https://twitter.com/PointsBetUSA/status/1433916933934497794?s=20

Burmeister has completed 62% of his passes with a 5:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and he’s added 140 yards on the ground as well. He’s the team’s leading rusher, although he’s averaging only 3.2 yards per carry.

Prediction and Pick

My pick: Virginia Tech PK (-110)

All the smart money is on Tech in this spot. At the time of writing, the Hokies are pulling in less than 50% of the best but more than 75% of the handle.

I’ll be on the sharp side in this matchup.

Not only do I believe Virginia Tech has slight advantages across the board, but they’re also coming off a bye week. They are going to be fresh and rested, and I’m expecting Justin Fuente and Burmeister to come up with different looks to fool the Irish defense.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame just played three physical, high-level games in a row. Plus, the Irish’s inability to run the ball is going to play right into Virginia Tech’s hands. You do not want to see Coan have to go head-to-head with Tech’s pass defense.

The market, situation, and schemes all point towards Virginia Tech in this spot. The last time these two faced off, Notre Dame came away with an ugly, 21-20 victory. I’m expecting Justin Fuente to get his revenge today, and squeak out an ugly Week 6 win.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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