Former Big East rivals meet in a preview of an ACC rivalry to be when the Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Pitt Panthers Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field (noon ET, ESPNU).
This game opened up earlier this week with VT favored by 11.5 and even 12 points at some college football betting outlets. But as of Friday, most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com had dropped the Hokies to -10.
Also, while the total on this game started at 43 at most books, it's since been bumped to 45. Historically, Pitt covers the spread against the Hokies (5-0 ATS run).
Virginia Tech is off to a 2-0 start, although it hasn't exactly set the world on fire. The Hokies opened with a sluggish 20-17 victory in overtime over Georgia Tech, then last week took their time in putting away FCS Austin Peay 42-7.
VT couldn't cover the spread as seven-point favorites over the Yellow Jackets, and they couldn't cover 52 points vs. the Governors.
But wins are wins, and with their two wins the Hokies have moved from No. 16 in the AP pre-season Top 25 to No. 13 in this week's poll.
Saturday's game will be the Hokies first road game of the season, but it shouldn't faze them; V-Tech has won its last 13 true road games in a row, going 9-2-2 ATS in the process.
Pitt, meanwhile, is off to an 0-2 start under new head coach Paul Chryst, losing its opener to FCS Youngstown State, then falling at Cincinnati last Thursday 34-10. The Panthers lost outright to the Penguins as 18-point favorites, then couldn't come close to covering as five-point dogs vs. the Bearcats.
Pitt allowed YSU to rush for 204 yards, Cincy to run for 259 yards.
After this season the Panthers are leaving the Big East to join the ACC, becoming once again a conference rival of the Hokies.
These teams, somewhat surprisingly, haven't met since 2003, when Pitt upset the fifth-ranked Hokies 31-28.
Free Pick: We figured Pitt might go through a learning curve with the new coaching regime, but we didn't think they'd be this bad. And Virginia Tech's defense is Top 10 in the country. We'll give the points here and go with the Hokies.
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