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North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech odds heading into game week

Sam Howell and the Tar Heels head into Blacksburg as favorites over the Hokies in their Friday night opener.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Texas A&M vs North Carolina Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Sam Howell Heisman campaign begins on a Friday night in Blacksburg, VA, as his North Carolina Tar Heels hit the road to open the season to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium. The Friday, September 3 contest is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Howell and the Tar Heels are coming off a successful 2020 campaign that saw them go 8-4 and reach the Orange Bowl, buoyed by a high powered offense that scored 40 or more points seven different times throughout the season. Howell is looking to throw for 3500+ yards and 30 touchdowns for a third consecutive season but will need to fill the gaps in a ground game that lost Javonte Williams and Michael Carter to the NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is coming off a season of turmoil in 2020 as they started 4-2 but proceeded to drop four straight towards the end of the campaign. They ended on a high note with a 33-15 victory over rival Virginia, a victory that possibly saved head coach Justin Fuente from getting the axe. Returning QB Braxton Burmeister will handle the controls on offense for the Hokies.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: North Carolina -5.5
Total: 64
Moneyline: North Carolina -200, Virginia Tech +170

Line Movement

Opening Spread: North Carolina -6.5
Opening Total: 67

Key Injuries

North Carolina

WR J.J. Jones is Questionable with an upper body injury
WR Tylee Craft is Questionable with a lower body injury
WR Beau Corrales is OUT with a lower body injury
WR Khafre Brown is Questionable with a lower body injury
LB Ethan West is Out for the season with a lower body injury

Virginia Tech

DL Emmanuel Belmar is Questionable with a concussion
DL Nigel Simmons is Questionable with an undisclosed injury
LB Matt Johnson is Questionable with an undisclosed injury
WR Changa Hodge is Out for the season with a torn Achilles

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