North Carolina Tar Heels vs  Virginia Tech Hokies Prediction, Pick and Preview, September 3 (9/3): NCAAF

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Virginia Tech Hokies Prediction, Pick and Preview, September 3 (9/3): NCAAF

Credit: photo by Rob Kinnon-USA TODAY Sports



Time 6:00 p.m. EST
Owls money line -225
Owls spread -6 (-110)
Scarlet Knights money line +180
Scarlet Knights spread +6 (-110)
Over / under 64 (-110)



The Virginia Tech Hokies will open their season Friday when they welcome North Carolina Tar Heels to Lane Stadium. UNC won last year's meeting, a 56-45 shootout in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina finished 8-4 last season, finishing fourth in the ACC and earning an Orange Bowl berth. Head coach Mack Brown will enter his 12th season at UNC, and the legendary coach has posted a 15-10 record since he returned to Chapel Hill.

Sam Howell enters the season as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He's thrown for over 3,300 in both of his first two years starting, and he thrown 62 touchdowns to 13 interceptions leading UNC's high powered attack.

The Tar Heels were spearheaded by the dynamic 1-2 punch of Javonte Williams and Michael Carter last season, but both are now in the NFL. The run game has been a staple in Mack Brown's gameplan for years, and he'll have this year's crop of backs ready for whatever Blacksburg has to offer.

Along with losing WIlliams and Carter, UNC lost leading receivers Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome as well. They will be retooling the entire offense around Howell, and Khafre Brown figures to be a name to watch after catching 13 passes for 297 yards.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech enters the 2021 season after missing a bowl game for the first time since 1993. The Hokies went 5-6 and finish eighth in the ACC last year, and improvements must to be made. Justin Fuente will enter his sixth year at the helm in Blacksburg, and he's posted a 38-26 record through five seasons, with one bowl victory.

Oregon transfer Braxton Burmeister will likely start at quarterback. In four games last season, he threw for 581 yards, with two touchdowns to one interception. Burmeister added 136 yards on the ground, and two scores.

Khalil Herbert went pro after leading Virginia Tech with 1,183 rushing yards, leaving third-leading rusher Raheem Blackshear as the leader to replace him. Blackshear transferred in from Rutgers and ran for 225 yards and a score last season. The Hokies do return their top three pass catchers from 2020 in Tre Turner, Tayvion Robinson, and James Mitchell. Robinson led VT with 38 catches and 592 yards, while Turner posted identical numbers of 34 catches and 529 yards. Both wideouts snagged three touchdowns catches.


It's a make or break year for Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech. Six years in, and his regime hasn't progressed very well. If Tech went into this contest with less question marks and more than home field advantage on their side, they'd be an appealing underdog at Lane Stadium Friday night. Sam Howell will be the best player on the field, and we like him leading his team to the road victory. Bet on North Carolina to cover the managable spread, and sprinkle their moneyline in a parlay.

PICK: UNC Tar Heels (-6)

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