As the ACC season rolls into Week 7, your friendly prognosticator is riding high. My 4-3 effort against the spread last week was my best of the season by far. So there's no time to waste with small talk! Let's get to this week's picks.
(Disclosure: these picks are for entertainment purposes only. I'm 42nd in the Streaking The Lawn pick 'em pool and 11-29 against the spread. Most of those below me in the pool standings have given up already. Please don't bet money based on the "wisdom" you read below. I'm agnostic to whether you bet money generally.)
The Virginia Pick
Virginia is a 7-point favorite at home against Syracuse
The oddsmakers in Sin City originally had Virginia favored by 8.5 against Syracuse. As you undoubtedly saw in our infographic, none of our staff writers picked UVA to cover. When you’re giving away 8.5 points, you all but certainly need a double-digit victory to cover. I can’t remember many double digit ACC victories for UVA under Mike London. At 7 points, the spread definitely becomes more interesting. Syracuse got pasted last week in a road game against South Florida. Virginia staged a furious comeback against Pitt. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough faith in the Cavaliers to pick them to beat anyone by more than a touchdown. I’m taking Syracuse to cover on the road.
The Heavy Hitters
#5 Clemson is a 15.5-point favorite at home against Boston College
#11 Florida State is a 7-point favorite at home against Louisville
Last week I picked both of the ACC’s highest-ranked teams to struggle at home. I hit the FSU-Miami game on the button. But I missed the Clemson win by a mile, a fact that my Tiger alumna girlfriend was all-too-happy to notice. I think Florida State will struggle again in a close victory over Louisville. I believe the Noles will be a bit hungover after their Miami win. Not actually hungover, of course. Jimbo Fisher saw to that when he banned his players from bars over the summer. I think they’ll be emotionally hungover, and Louisville will keep it close enough to cover.
Boston College has scored seven points in three games against Power 5 opponents this season. SEVEN! I don’t think the Eagles offense could score on Tinder. Clemson will cover with room to spare.
Pitt is a 3.5-point underdog on the road at Georgia Tech
Miami is a 6-point favorite at home against Virginia Tech
Does anyone know what to make out of the Coastal after last week? Pitt almost lost. Georgia Tech dropped to 0-3. Virginia Tech played its best game of the season. Miami damn near knocked off the Seminoles. Duke beat another cupcake, and Carolina got some rest, as Will Campbell wrote, "to get ready for their murderers row of Wake Forest and UVA." Who friggin’ knows?
I’m going to with the Jackets to break their losing streak and cover against Pitt. If the Panthers struggled stopping UVA’s (giggle) power running attack, they’ll struggle even worse with the triple option, right? Right? Meanwhile, I think Miami takes care of the Hokies and covers the spread. Virginia Tech played great against NC State. The Hokies are due for a loss.
The Tobacco Road Game
North Carolina is a 17-point favorite at home against Wake Forest
Finally, a shoddy preview of the Carolina-Wake Forest game! All season, I’ve picked inferior opponents to cover ungodly high spreads against better teams. And, if I’m being honest with myself and you, that’s the main reason I’m 11-29. 11-29! I won't fall into that trap again. Sure, I could give some half-hearted argument about Wake Forest being fired up to play North Carolina. But UNC is rested and the Deacs are coming off an all-century win against Boston College. More important, Carolina is the better team by far. Its improved defense and dynamic backfield will lead the way, and the Heels will cover.
No Matter Who You Pick
We hope you'll participate in our ACC Pick 'Em contest on Yahoo! 7ports. Head over to Yahoo! to check out full standings and submit your entry. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: UVA Geek leads the standings. His 41-14 record now has him two games clear of the field. It's not too late to sign up! Go to Yahoo! and enter in the group ID 7558, with the password "tohomerandback". Good luck!