Virginia Tech has blown away their expectations in the first few weeks of the season. With a win over North Carolina and a commanding victory over Middle Tennessee, they can dream on a huge season. With games against Notre Dame, Miami, and potentially an ACC title game against Clemson, could the playoffs be possible?
Before thinking about that previously unthinkable possibility they have to get past West Virginia. One would assume that given the status of the two teams so far this year and their recent history that Virginia Tech would be the easy favorites in this game. You'd be wrong.
Oddsmakers think this is going to be a close game with the hosts having the slight advantage. Virginia Tech is a 2.5 point underdog, and they're given +120 odds to win the game outright. That means oddsmakers are giving them a 45.5% chance to avoid the upset. Meanwhile West Virginia is given -125 odds, or an implied 55.6% chance to win the game.
Virginia Tech is the first ranked team to be an underdog heading into a game against an unranked opponent this season.
Virginia Tech and West Virginia have met 52 times in their history. Virginia Tech has won 23 of those matchups. Yet, they've dominated this matchup in recent history.
The Hokies have won the last 3, 5 of the last 7, and 10 of the last 13 matchups. They have owned West Virginia for the better part of 3 decades now.
Yet, it doesn't seem like that's being taken into account.
This is a must win for Virginia Tech. They're going up a West Virginia team that just lost to Maryland last week. They aren't anywhere near as good as North Carolina, so a loss here would be crushingly disappointing.
If they want any chance at turning their playoff pipe dreams into reality they need to win the games they're supposed to win. Even if they're the underdogs in them.