I’m picking six ACC underdogs to cover this week. And I’ll save you the suspense. One of those six is our beloved Virginia squad. Am I nuts? Well, I went 4-2 against the spread last week, so I’m feeling a bit bold. Let's get to it!
The Virginia Pick
Virginia is a 17.5-point underdog on the road against North Carolina
No team has befuddled Mike London more than the UNC Tar Heels. London has gone 0-5 against the Heels, and most of those losses have been blowouts. Carolina crushed Wake Forest last week and looks like it could be the class of the Coastal division. Still, 17.5-points is a boatload and the Hoos actually have some momentum. UVA beat Syracuse last week and staged a rousing comeback in the second half against Pitt. Virginia has just enough firepower and will play with just enough confidence to cover on the road. The Heels win by 16.
The Top-Ten Games
#6 Clemson is a 6.5-point favorite on the road at Miami
#9 Florida State is a 5-point favorite on the road at Georgia Tech
I’m taking Florida State, but not Clemson, to cover on the road this week. The Seminoles are rolling along nicely, and Georgia Tech has lost five in a row. The Jackets only have one FBS win and have given up a ton of points during their losing streak. I look for Dalvin Cook to have a nice day against a struggling Tech defense.
I have more faith in Miami at home than I do in Georgia Tech. The Canes have hung tough in every game this season except their road loss at Cincinnati. Clemson is the best team in the ACC and will ultimately get the win. But I like the Canes to cover at home. Quarterback Brad Kaaya has had a strong start to the season. He’ll do just enough against a tough Clemson defense to keep the game close.
The Top-25 Games
#23 Duke is a 2-point underdog on the road at Virginia Tech
#25 Pittsburgh is a 6.5-point favorite on the road at Syracuse
I like both ranked Coastal teams to win this week on the road. Duke has had trouble with the Hokies in recent years, and Tech will be bringing back starting quarterback Michael Brewer. But Duke has been solid all season, while the Hokies have been inconsistent. I might be overestimating the Blue Devils, but I just don't see Virginia Tech playing at a high-enough level to win this one.
I think Pitt ultimately pulls out a win at Syracuse, but I like the Orange to keep it close enough to cover. Other than laying an egg against South Florida, Syracuse has exceeded expectations. Four of Pitt's five wins have been by eight points or less.
Atlantic Division Games
Louisville is an 8-point favorite at home against Boston College
N.C. State is a 10-point favorite on the road at Wake Forest
Boston College finally scored some points last week, losing 34-17 at Clemson. Louisville is 0-2 at home this season against FBS opponents. Both teams need this win desperately if they want to keep bowl hopes alive. Eight points is a lot to give up when you've had inconsistent quarterback play. I think BC's defense keeps it close enough for them to cover.
Finally, in the eyebrow-raising line of the week, NC State is laying 10 points on the road at Wake Forest. Now that we've reached ACC play, the Wolfies look like an absolute joke. I wouldn't be surprised if Wake wins this one outright.
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. UVA Geek leads the standings. His 44-17 record 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!
(As always, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. I'm 38th in the Streaking The Lawn pick 'em pool and 15-31 against the spread. Please don't bet money based on the "wisdom" you've just read. I'm agnostic to whether you bet money generally.)