Opening line: UNC +10
Current line (as of 4:30 PM on 9/25): UNC +9.5
First impressions: There is a good chance that when creating this line Vegas took the extremes of both teams’ situations into consideration. UNC has the most injury-laden roster in the Larry Fedora era coming away from this past weekend, and Georgia Tech’s wins this season have come from Jacksonville State and a struggling Pitt team.
Georgia Tech covered their line from this past weekend and then some behind KirVonte Benson, who ran for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns in their 35-17 win against Pitt. Junior quarterback TaQuon Marshall also crossed the century mark against the Panthers, racking up 112 yards on the ground.
Why this is the line: UNC played a hard-fought game against Duke, and almost managed to come away with a win until the last six minutes doomed their chances. The Heels have managed to enter the fourth quarter with the lead in each of their losses, including the loss to Louisville during which the defense was ripped apart for 706 total yards. Their resilience despite many injuries and questionable play has likely kept Vegas from considering the possibility of them getting blown out.
Georgia Tech as mentioned before is coming off of two wins against lackluster teams. While it is worth noting they took Tennessee into overtime and only lost by one point, there isn’t a great reason for Vegas to expect them to follow up their performances from the previous two games.
How the line could still move: If the line were to move, one would imagine the line would move up in Georgia Tech’s favor. However, given how the games have gone for UNC so far this year it wouldn’t be surprising for Vegas to move the line lower given UNC’s propensity to play three winning quarters of football per game. It should be interesting to see how much faith is put into both teams as we get closer to kickoff.
My advice: This is going to be quite the tricky game if you are trying to put money down on this game. It is unclear what kind of shape UNC will be in by the time they touch down in Atlanta, nor is it known what Georgia Tech is actually capable of against solid competition not named Tennessee — a team that only beat 0-5 UMass this past weekend by four points. Make of that what you will.
With that said, if you are feeling especially adventurous with your money this weekend and your faith runs deep enough to believe that there is something left in this bruised and battered UNC team, then taking the points may be the move for you. However, if you get the feeling that the odds are stacked against the Heels in their first road ACC game of the year, then taking UNC +9.5 isn’t a bad move.