The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will attempt to keep their bowl hopes alive when they visit division-leading Virginia Tech on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Yellow Jackets have won two straight in this ACC Coastal rivalry and another win over Virginia Tech would be their signature victory in an otherwise disappointing season thus far. Meanwhile, the Hokies can remain in control of the division with a win as they set their sights on a berth in the ACC title game. The Hokies opened as five-point favorites, but are laying 3.5 in the current Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech odds. The over-under for total points scored has climbed to 58.5 from an opening of 58. Before locking in your Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech picks, you should see what SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has to say.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. The former college football running back joined SportsLine in 2016 and has provided his followers with winning seasons in college and pro football. 

Hunt is having another solid season with his point-spread picks for SportsLine members and has been especially zeroed in on these programs. Over the past two seasons, Hunt has a record of 7-1 on spread picks involving the Yellow Jackets or Hokies, which includes an amazing 5-0 mark on Georgia Tech.

Just two weeks ago, Hunt advised SportsLine members that Duke's underrated defense would provide problems for Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. He recommended backing the Blue Devils, who won outright 28-14, as three-point underdogs. Anyone who followed Hunt's advice booked an easy winner.

Now, Hunt has scrutinized Yellow Jackets vs. Hokies from every possible angle to reveal a strong point-spread pick that he's sharing only at SportsLine. 

Hunt knows in the off-season, the Yellow Jackets hired a new defensive coordinator in hopes of shoring up a unit that has been a liability in recent seasons. They changed alignment from a 4-2-5 to a standard 3-4 under new coordinator Nate Woody. But despite giving up fewer big plays and posting better overall numbers, the defense remains a liability. It allowed 480 yards of total offense in a 49-21 loss to Clemson

Despite their defensive struggles, the Jackets' vaunted option offense appears to be rounding into form. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall has battled various ailments, but is expected to play Thursday. He has rushed for a team-best 598 yards with nine touchdowns for the nation's top-ranked rushing offense, He also has thrown for 645 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. And Georgia Tech has also dominated this series of late, winning three of the past four and two straight against Virginia Tech.

But that doesn't mean they will cover again against a Hokies club that has managed to remain in control of the Coastal Division despite losing star quarterback Josh Jackson to a leg injury. 

Kansas transfer Ryan Willis has filled in admirably, showing an accurate arm and the ability to make plays with his legs. The Hokies have won two of the three games started by Willis, with the loss coming to playoff contender Notre Dame.

We can tell you that Hunt is leaning toward the over, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has carefully analyzed this matchup and identified the critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. It's only available at SportsLine. 

Who covers in Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech? And what critical factor makes one side of the spread hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over Thursday, from a seasoned expert who's hitting 88 percent of his picks on these teams.