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ACC Football: Week 1 Las Vegas Odds

A handful of ACC teams are in the spotlight in Week 1, including last year's Orange Bowl winner Clemson. Read on to see what Vegas thinks about their chances.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
As we first discussed last year, serious college football fans like to keep track of what Las Vegas thinks about their team's chances in any given week. Usually, odds come out on Sundays for the following week's games, and they can serve as useful expectation setters. As part of our coverage of the 2014 football season, we'll be keeping an eye on what Vegas thinks about Virginia and the other ACC teams throughout the year.

For week one, the games are split into five categories.

1) Games Against FCS Opponents.

Syracuse hosts Villanova (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.
Pittsburgh hosts Delaware (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.
Virginia Tech hosts William and Mary (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.
Georgia Tech hosts Wofford (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.
Duke hosts Elon (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.
#23 North Carolina hosts Liberty (FCS), and Vegas hasn't put a line on it.

While the bookies haven't placed lines on these games, the ACC should go 6-0 here. If I had to guess, I would think that Duke and Georgia Tech will roll the easiest, while Virginia Tech will have the most trouble. William and Mary has been known to upset FBS teams with poor play at quarterback, and Tech's QB position remains unsettled. North Carolina should have little trouble with Liberty unless a rising tide off-field distractions affects the Tar Heel players.

2) Bland Matchups

Boston College is a 17-point favorite on the road against UMass.
NC State is a 20.5-point favorite at home against Georgia Southern.

Both Boston College and NC State are in the midst of rebuilds with the Eagles being considerably farther along. BC went bowling last year while the Wolfpack failed to win a conference game. Both teams should start the season of on the right foot. Should either of them struggle, it could be a sign of a tough 2014 campaign.

3) Showcase Games

Virginia is a 21-point UNDERDOG at home to #7 UCLA.
#16 Clemson is a 7.5-point UNDERDOG on the road at #12 Georgia.
#1 Florida State is a 17.5-point favorite against Oklahoma State in Dallas.

Before anyone calls me a homer, let's get this out of the way: Virginia's game is listed in the "Showcase" category strictly because of the difficulty of the opponent. While I'd like to think the Cavaliers can hang with the Bruins, my memories of last year's Oregon game are too strong. It could be a painful afternoon in Charlottesville.

Clemson beat Georgia in a thriller last year in Death Valley, but they've lost stars Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins since then. I was surprised to see the line initially set at 9 points, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Tigers covered. Florida State, meanwhile, is a strong pick to repeat as National Champions. They'll be on the national stage all season, and they'll have a prime-time slot in Week 1.

4) Tight Games

Wake Forest is a 1.5 point UNDERDOG on the road against Louisiana-Monroe.

Talk about a tough test for first-year coach Dave Clawson. Just two years ago, ULM shocked Arkansas and came within whiskers of beating Baylor and Auburn. The Warhawks certainly won't be afraid of the Demon Deacons.

5) Conference Games

Louisville is a 3.5-point favorite at home against Miami.

This is the most-intriguing game of the week as it pertains to the ACC race. Louisville spanked Miami in last year's Russell Athletic Bowl and hopes to do the same in its ACC opener. Both teams have had interesting summers. Miami coach Al Golden named true freshman Brad Kaaya as his Week 1 starter. Louisville suffered a tough injury when it lost leading wide receiver DeVante Parker to a broken bone in his foot. If that wasn't enough, reports have surfaced that coach Bobby Petrino has alienated parts of his locker room. Get your popcorn ready.