The ACC's Coastal Division was a mess last year, and it looks like it might be again this year.
The “defending champion” Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets figure to be in the mix once again, as do the Virginia Tech Hokies.
In a key Atlantic Coast Conference contest, the 3-0 Jackets and 3-1 Hokies meet up Thursday night in Atlanta with the Jackets installed as 7.5-point favorites over the Hokies, according to OddsShark.com. The over-under number was 42 but had climbed to 43.5 as of Wednesday.
Georgia Tech, which was granted the Coastal Division's berth in the ACC championship game last year because Miami and North Carolina were both serving postseason bans, opened this season with a 70-0 romp over FCS Elon, then opened ACC play with a 38-14 victory over Duke.
The Yellow Jackets covered as 45-point favorites over the Phoenix and as nine-point faves over the Blue Devils.
Last week the Ramblin' Wreck rallied from down 20-7 to knock off North Carolina 28-20, covering a 6.5-point chalk.
Virginia Tech, which had won the Coastal Division five of the previous seven seasons but went 4-4 in conference play last year, began this year by getting drubbed by Alabama 35-10, failing to cover as 21-point underdogs.
The Hokies then beat Western Carolina 45-3, pushing the spread at -42, and won at East Carolina 15-10 but missed the cover at -8.
Last week, Virginia Tech needed a minor miracle, a tipped-pass touchdown on fourth down with three minutes to go, just to tie the game against Marshall.
Then in the third OT, Hokies QB Logan Thomas scored from two yards out and ran in for the two-point conversion, after which the defense held the Herd for a 29-21 Virginia Tech victory.
However, the Hokies failed to cover the spread as favorites of 8.5 points. So while Georgia Tech is 3-0 ATS on the season, Virginia Tech is 0-3-1 vs. the numbers.
Virginia Tech has won five of the last six games in this series, but because most of those games have been close, the Jackets are 4-2 ATS in that span. Last year, on opening 7 in Blacksburg, the Hokies won 20-17 in overtime, but the Wreck picked up the cover as seven-point underdogs.
ESPN has the coverage of this matchup from Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday night, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Computer Prediction: 34-20 Georgia Tech (from OddsShark.com picks computer)