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Clemson Tigers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Point Spread - Pick

Clemson Tigers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Virginia
TV: ABC

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CLEM -7.5/VT +7.5
Over/Under Total: 51.5

The Clemson Tigers come into Blacksburg for a big ACC matchup against the Virginia Tech Hokies in a high-stakes week five matchup. Clemson looks strong in defense of their CFP championship, off to a 4-0 record with wins over Auburn and Louisville. On Saturday, they overcame a slow start to beat Boston College, 34-7. They look to score a high-quality road win this week over a 4-0 Virginia Tech team that will view this game as a golden opportunity, as they are already knocking on the door of a top-ten ranking. They are coming off a dominant Saturday win against overmatched Old Dominion, 38-0. Who can come out ahead in this battle of ranked teams?

Clemson has looked a little stronger than some suspected this season. With wins over ranked teams like Auburn and Louisville, they have shown that they might not have been getting their proper respect. Junior quarterback Kelly Bryant is no Deshaun Watson, but he has been very adept in operating this offense and letting surrounding talent to rise to the top. Parlay that with a defense that can be dominant is spots and Clemson looms again as a legit contender under the savant-like leadership of Dabo Swinney.

The dual-threat abilities of Bryant have been a major key for the Tigers. Against Boston College, Clemson was really flat against a surprisingly-resilient Golden Eagles defense. Heading into the 4th quarter, it was 7-7 and Clemson was struggling. A 27-point final quarter changed that, though Clemson failed to cover the spread for the first time this season. Bryant ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns, with Travis Etienne rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Tavien Foster added 73 yards, while Adam Choice added a TD on the ground in a big overall day rushing for the Tigers. Clemson ball-catchers Hunter Renfrow and Deon Cain didn't have their normal production, but still loom as big threats in this offense.

The proof is in the pudding with the Clemson Tigers defense. They gave up 21 to the high-powered Louisville offense, but have otherwise been awfully-stingy in giving up 3 to Kent State, 6 to Auburn, and 7 to Boston College. That front is brutal, anchored by Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, and Austin Bryant. The secondary was big on Saturday, led by corners Trayvon Mullen (questionable) and AJ Terrell, who both had picks, along with a good safety in Tanner Muse, who made a lot of big plays. In the middle, there is a lot of talent and playmaking ability with Kendall Joseph, Dorian O'Daniel, Tre Lamar, and Chad Smith. They look to be really tough and should be a stiff challenge for V-Tech's offense and any offense they play this season.

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Virginia Tech looks to make a big move this season under the stewardship of second-year head coach Justin Fuente. They've flashed a tough defense once again under longtime coordinator Bud Foster, scoring their second shutout win of the season on Saturday. Redshirt freshman Josh Jackson has been good at quarterback, with 11 touchdowns and just one pick with 1127 yards through three games. This will serve as the barometer of where the Hokies really stand in the 2017 mix.

Josh Jackson has grown into the starting role at quarterback and is playing well. He is productive through the air, even as the Hokies look to rely on a heavy-duty rushing game, led by guys like Travon McMillian, Deshawn McClease, Coleman Fox, Steven Peoples, and Jackson himself. Aerially, Jackson has connected well with Cam Phillips, Sean Savoy, CJ Carroll, as well as his backs who are very capable in catching short passes. There is room for a lot of different players to shine in this offense.

How far Virginia Tech ends up going this season will depend on how well this defense translates at the highest levels—this being one of them. They have a pretty good secondary, led by Mook Reynolds, Greg Stroman, Divine Deablo (questionable), and Reggie Floyd. They could be getting a boost if suspended corner Adonis Alexander returns this week. The linebacker unit is a top one, led by Tremaine Edmunds and Andrew Motuapuaka. Up-front is a blossoming group, with Tim Settle, Jarrod Hewitt, Vinny Mihota, and Ricky Walker. Since giving up 24 to West Virginia, this "D" has given up 17 combined points in their last three games and look to give Clemson and Kelly Walker by far their toughest test of the young season.

Va Tech looks pretty good, but a lot of teams would when playing WVU, Delaware, East Carolina, and Old Dominion. Clemson has been able to make it work against a far-higher caliber of opponent. That doesn't mean that Virginia Tech won't be very competitive. Defensively, they offer a different look and level than what Clemson has seen this season. At the same time, Clemson's defense could make a lot of problems for the Virginia Tech offense after taming the Auburn and Louisville offenses. I see the points coming in handy and I'm taking the Hokies.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Virginia Tech Hokies plus 7.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Tigers vs. Hokies game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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