Florida State vs. Virginia Tech -3.5 O/U 52
Saturday, 4:45 pm PT - ESPN
The ACC was pretty embarrassed about the lack of fan support for its championship game last year. Nearly 30,000 tickets went unsold and you could hear a pin drop in the background. They picked up and moved the title game to Charlotte this year and as a result are expected to have nearly 70,000 people on hand. Most of the fan support is reportedly coming from Blacksburg which is just a couple hours away by car.
The matchup between Florida State and Virginia Tech represents a rematch from the first ever ACC title game back in 2005. For the Hokies this will be the fourth time in six years they have played for the title, having won the last two. For the Seminoles it marks the first time they’ve been to the title game since 2005 when they knocked off Virginia Tech as 14.5-point underdogs.
With the two division championship game format just coming to fruition five years ago there isn’t a big enough sample size to draw conclusions from. Underdogs did win outright the first two years but the Hokies won twice in 2007 and 2008 as favorites and Georgia Tech won as a favorite in 2009. The last four ACC title games have been competitively priced at -5 or below; right in line with this year’s pricing. Three of the five games went over the posted totals.
These are two solid yet unspectacular football teams. They finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the ACC in yards per play offensively, with Tech averaging 6.3 and FSU 6.1. They were the two best non-option rushing teams in the conference. Both teams have quarterbacks that threw 20 touchdowns and both took fairly good care of the football.
Where we might see a little separation is on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. Virginia Tech’s reputation as a defensive juggernaut holds little water in 2010. They finished eighth in the 12-team league in defensive yards per play allowed this season and according to our true rushing numbers they ranked 112th in the nation in yards per carry allowed. On the flip side FSU ranked second in the conference in defensive yards per play allowed, and was among the leaders in both tackles for loss and sacks.
It’s hard to argue with Virginia Tech’s success over its current 10-game winning streak. They’ve made enough plays on offense and defense to cover nine of ten pointspreads. And from a strictly power rating sense they may actually be priced a little cheap here. Still I can’t help but feel the power ratings are failing to recognize that Florida State is just two plays away from being 11-1. Had FSU made those plays perhaps this game would be close to a pick? Either way I believe this will be a very entertaining game and one that should be close throughout.
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