We all know that the Commonwealth Cup has been extremely one-sided in recent years, with Virginia Tech winning 16 of the past 17 meetings against Virginia. But from a betting perspective, the Cavaliers haven’t been quite as much of a pushover as it might seem.
UVa has covered the spread in four of the past 10 meetings in the rivalry. In 2015, the Cavaliers lost by three as a 3.5-point underdog. In 2013, they were 11.5-point underdogs and lost 16-6. The year before that, they were 9.5-point pups and lost 17-14.
But when the Hokies cover in this series, they often do so emphatically. Of their six successful covers in the past 10 meetings, four have bettered the line by double digits, including their 38-0 rout in 2011 as a 4.5-point favorite.
Virginia opened Saturday’s meeting as a 7.5-point favorite, but that’s been bet down to a touchdown. The Cavaliers have been a mid-range favorite (7 to 13.5 points) twice this year and have taken care of business in both, dragging Duke 48-0 as a 10-point chalk and blasting Illinois 42-14 as an 11.5-point fave.
One other factor pointing in UVa’s direction: The home team has covered in seven of the past eight meetings in the Commonwealth Cup.
Look for the Hokies to try to shorten this game with a lot of running, but UVa’s offense is going to be a major problem for Tech.
Toutville’s prediction: Cavaliers 40, Hokies 28.
Other ACC games Georgia (-35, O/U 54.5) at Georgia Tech: The favorite has covered in four of the past five meetings in this rivalry. Remarkably, the road team is 14-2-1 in the past 17 clashes, and the Bulldogs have covered in 10 straight in Atlanta.
Wake Forest (-4.5, O/U 63.5) at Boston College: Don’t sleep on the Eagles, who are much better at home than they are on the road. They’ve covered in seven of their past 10 games at Alumni Stadium, and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the past five in this series.
Miami (-21.5, O/U 68.5) at Duke): The Blue Devils aren’t just losing. They haven’t covered a spread since Oct. 9. Over the five games since, they’ve been on the wrong side of the line by a whopping 101.5 points combined despite being a double-digit dog in all of them.
Kentucky (+2.5, O/U 57) at Louisville: The road team has covered in six of the past seven games between these teams. The Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their past six matchups with SEC foes.
Pitt (-13, O/U 58) at Syracuse: The Orange’s regression to the gambling mean after an 8-1 ATS start has been a killer for Toutville the past two weeks. The Panthers have covered in six straight as a road favorite.
Clemson (-11.5, O/U 43) at South Carolina: Kudos to Shane Beamer for getting bowl-eligible in Year 1 as coach of the Gamecocks. Fans might build a statue for him on Saturday night if he can pull this off. Oddsmakers respect the defenses; the total here is the seventh-lowest on this week’s board.
ACC lock of the week
Pup of the week
Oregon State +7 at Oregon: Oregon is smarting after last weekend’s prime-time de-pantsing at the hands of Utah, and their in-state rivals are good enough to extend their misery. The Beavers have the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing attack, which should help shorten this game a bit. They’re also 10-1 against the spread in their past 11 as a road underdog. They’ve covered in six straight against teams with winning records and are 5-1-1 against the spread in their past seven meetings at Eugene.