The Virginia Tech Hokies have gotten the best of recent matchups with Duke, but they can’t take anything for granted when they host the Blue Devils on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET from Lane Stadium. The Hokies (2-1) have won four of the past five meetings against Duke and two straight by 38 combined points, but the one loss during that span was a four-overtime thriller at Lane Stadium in 2015. The Blue Devils (2-1) won eight games last season and have seen their performance improve with every outing so far this year. They decisively defeated Middle Tennessee State 41-18 in their last game. The Hokies are 2.5-point favorites, down from an open of three, and the over-under for total points scored is 52 in the latest Virginia Tech vs. Duke odds. The total is down sharply after opening at 56. Before making your Duke vs. Virginia Tech picks, make sure you listen to what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.
A Reno-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in collegiate athletics and was SportsLine’s top college football analyst last year by hitting 60 percent of his spread picks. What’s more, he has had a keen sense for the tendencies of both of these ACC programs. In fact, he has posted a stunning record of 9-2 on against the spread picks involving the Blue Devils or Hokies the past two seasons.
In Week 1, Nagel told SportsLine members that Boston College (+4.5) was undervalued against Virginia Tech in a rivalry the Eagles had dominated. He recommended a strong play on the underdog, and the Eagles rolled to a 35-28 outright victory. Anyone who followed Nagel’s advice booked an easy winner and those who have consistently followed him are way up.
Now, he has zeroed in on Duke vs. Virginia Tech from every angle and released another strong against the spread pick that he’s sharing only at SportsLine.
Nagel knows that under iconic former coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies were known for their standout play on specials teams and regularly led the nation in blocked kicks and special teams touchdowns. They have faded a bit in reason seasons, but current coach Justin Fuente hopes to make this an area of strength once again. During the bye, he hired former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill to take over special teams. Kill has a career record of 152-99 as a head coach with five different programs.
Fuente also told the media he was impressed with the defensive effort in the second half against Furman. The Hokies trailed 14-3 at the break, but outscored the Paladins 21-3 in the second half. Virginia Tech scored off two consecutive defensive stops, one of which included recovering a fumble, to take the lead in the third quarter. Furman was limited to 231 yards of total offense.
Even so, the Hokies are far from assured of covering the Virginia Tech vs. Duke spread against a Blue Devils team that again appears headed toward a winning record despite the loss of a top-10 draft pick at quarterback and several other key pieces.
Although Duke likely will forever be better known for its basketball prowess, coach David Cutcliffe has proven that the school can be consistently competitive in ACC football. The Blue Devils have had just one losing season since 2013 and played in the ACC title game that season. They have reached bowl games in three of the past four seasons and won all of them.
There are currently nine Duke alums in the NFL and two have been taken in the first round this decade. Daniel Jones made program history by being the first top-10 pick. He replaced the fading Eli Manning in the Giants lineup and won his first game as an NFL starter last Sunday. The other first-rounder is guard Laken Tomlinson, who was taken in 2015 by the Detroit Lions. Last year, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, who signed him to a three-year extension.
Nagel has broken down this matchup from every angle and identified the critical x-factor that has him all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine.
Who wins Duke vs. Virginia Tech? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Duke vs. Virginia Tech spread you should jump on Friday, all from the seasoned expert who has hit 82 percent of his against the spread picks on these teams, and find out.