Week 7 is here and another slate of ACC games are here with it. The league takes a break from marquee matchups this week, though the Miami-North Carolina game would have been a headliner if both teams hadn’t lost last week. For the last three weeks, I’ve pivoted from analysis to snark in this column. Perhaps not coincidentally, I’ve begun to rise in the standings of the Streaking The Lawn pick ‘em league on Yahoo! So without further ado…to the picks!
#7 Louisville is a 35-point favorite at home against Duke
Last time we saw the Cardinals, they’d just blown a fourth quarter lead (and perhaps their playoff hopes) against Clemson. Duke steadied itself with a win against Army last week. Louisville joined the ACC so it could compete against teams like Duke…in basketball. The Cardinals will let off the gas a bit and Duke will cover on the road.
#3 Clemson is an 18-point favorite at home against NC State
My contempt for NC State’s football program continues to cost me in the STL pick ‘em standings. They’ve spiked egg on my face two weeks in a row after I said they’d lose. They won’t do it a third time. Clemson will get up for this one and pull away from the Wolfpack late. The Tigers cover at home.
Georgia Tech is a 10.5-point favorite at home against Georgia Southern
The Jackets have lost three in a row and still have Georgia, Virginia Tech, UNC, and UVA on the schedule. That’s right – I’m bunching the Hoos in with those other teams. Paul Johnson’s squad absolutely must win against Georgia Southern if it wants to go to a bowl game. The Jackets will rise to the challenge and cover at home.
#14 Florida State is a 21.5-point favorite at home against Wake Forest
At 5-1, Wake Forest is going to a bowl game this year. You can take that one to the bank. They won’t win this weekend in Tallahassee, but they’ll keep their momentum going by playing the Noles tough. Florida State will come out a little flat after its emotional win against Miami.
#15 Miami is a 7.5-point favorite at home against North Carolina
Speaking of the Canes, I find it a bit odd that they’re so highly-favored against a UNC team that beat the FSU team they lost to last week. But I’ve always been told that the transitive property doesn’t mean anything in sports. Carolina laid an absolute egg last week at home against Virginia Tech. I think they Heels are more likely to sink lower than bounce back. I like Miami to cover at home.
#17 Virginia Tech is a 20-point favorite on the road at Syracuse
This is a look-ahead game…for Syracuse. Next week, the Orange take on Boston College in the brawl to decide the ACC’s worst team. I doubt they’ll put up much of a fight against the surging Hokies. Tech’s defense continues to dominate as Justin Fuente’s squad covers on the road.
Virginia is a 3.5-point underdog at home against Pitt
My heart says Hoos, but my head says Panthers. I could be wrong, especially if Virginia comes up with a way to slow down Pitt’s rushing attack. UVA’s chances will sit squarely on the shoulders of gunslinger Kurt Benkert. I think this one gets decided in the fourth quarter and Virginia makes a costly mistake. I like Pitt to cover.