It was rough times for the betting preview after the first two weeks of play. I was sitting at 6-14-1 and questioning another topic for a weekly article. Six weeks later and we’re almost up to 55% hit rate and six games over .500. I’ll take and look to Week Nine to stay hot. On to the picks.
In a classic case of “what is this line if x doesn’t happen,” Miami should not be a 4.5 underdog to Pitt. The public sentiment reacting to Miami’s loss to Georgia Tech has this line a tad bit inflated. Add to that this is a matchup of two of the best defenses in the league, so expect a low scoring affair. As has been the case with most Miami games this season, look for this to come down to a final possession and 3-4 point game either way.
Pick: Miami +4.5
In my Season Win Totals column before the start of the season, I pegged a loss for the Hoos in either this week’s matchup against Louisville or next week’s visit to Chapel Hill. I still feel that’s a possibility, though I have been very happy with Virginia’s play up to this point. Given that, I’m not comfortable with the spread regardless of a Virginia or Louisville cover. The total on the other hand looks appealing. First off, this game is going to be played in a monsoon with over an inch of rain expected. Second, this will be easily the worst rushing defense Virginia has played all year long, so the Hoos will probably keep the ball on the ground, chew up clock, and minimize opportunities for both teams.
Pick: Under 51.5
If the Virginia/Louisville game is a slog fest, this one will be a track meet. These teams play fast and neither defense is particularly imposing. Florida State should get the win, but ten is still a lot of points. In the end, we’re looking for scoring here and this game goes over the 59.
Pick: Over 59
In true ACC Coastal fashion, I think this game is proof positive we don’t know anything about any of these teams. Last week Duke came into Scott Stadium and got trucked in the second half on their way to a 48-14 loss. Unfazed, they go onto Chapel Hill and spring the upset (?). Just in case the Blue Devils don’t win it outright, I particularly like the half point as UNC has had a penchant for playing close games that come down to the wire. Despite what we saw in Charlottesville last week, I think Duke is still the better team.
Pick: Duke +3.5
Boston College has the second worst passing defense in the ACC. Clemson has Trevor Lawrence. You do the math. A 34.5 spread with a 59 point total equates to about a 47-12 implied total. The Eagles can contribute to that total and I’m not necessarily afraid of the 34.5 point spread.
Pick: Over 59