The hot streak continues (for me). Up to nine games over .500, this is the type of week for the bottom to fall out. The ACC of 2019, outside of Clemson, is as wonky a conference as I’ve ever seen since the ACC of 2018. Honestly, this is a weird week with very good lines set by the bookmakers. I’m doing picks regardless, but I wouldn’t blame anyone if they just stay away.
On the face, it appears as if Wake Forest is all offense all the time. However, their defense is actually pretty solid. Outside of the shootout against Louisville (though anyone can score on the Cardinals, right Hoos fans?) the Demon Deacons have actually been involved in more low scoring affairs, holding UNC and Boston College to 18 and 24 points respectively. If Vegas thinks this game approaches 60 points, Wake will win going away. Wake is much better than NC State and I don’t think the Wolfpack have the discipline to pull the upset seeing as they’ve lost to the Demon Deacons the last two years even as favorites.
Pick: Wake Forest -7.5
This line terrifies me. Save for Georgia Tech, the Orange shouldn’t be favored against anyone in the ACC. But even as 57% of the money is on Boston College, the line has still moved from Syracuse -2 to Syracuse -3. Looking for comparable games, Syracuse doesn’t really have as a short home favorite, but Boston College did lose to Louisville by two on the road as a short dog. Sometimes things just feel funny and you have to go with your gut. My gut says trust the oddsmakers and fade the public.
Pick: Syracuse -3
Outside of being competitive against Georgia and the second half against the Hoos, I haven’t been entirely impressed with Notre Dame on the year. Even at home against a VaTech team that isn’t very good (although they’re streaking), 17.5 just seems like a tall task. But that defense can and will stifle the Hokies all day. With an implied total of 38-20, given I don’t love Notre Dame to cover and I don’t love VaTech to score, I’m leaning the under.
Pick: Under 58.5
Miami Hurricanes @ Florida State Seminoles
Florida State -3; Over/Under 49
In a matchup of two teams that I liked a lot coming into the year, I don’t think it’s an understatement to say I haven’t been impressed. The big different is Miami is bad and Florida State just looks bad. If we’re being honest though, outside of eking out the win over Louisiana Monroe, you could argue the Seminoles have played somewhat predictable football. They lost to a good Boise State team and a hyped up Virginia team on the road. They got whipped by Clemson and lost a tough one to a solid Wake Forest squad in a monsoon. Beyond that, they’ve had convincing wins over Louisville, NC State, and Syracuse at home. Is Miami any better than those three teams? I don’t think so.
Pick: Florida State -3
Wofford Terriers @ Clemson Tigers
Clemson -45 ; Over/Under 58
Both the spread and the total have come down since opening -47 and 59.5. I like to see that with the Tigers going up against a Terriers team that is fairly decent in terms of FCS squads. Wofford can score a TD or two, and Clemson fired on all cylinders against Boston College a week ago. I think they’re a lock to score 50 so the over looks in play.
Pick: Over 58
Fade Georgia Tech SZN rolls on. It bit us against Miami a couple weeks ago, but that was as much about Miami as it was about Georgia Tech. Pitt doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence covering a TD plus, but I think they can generate a turnover or two on defense leading to an easy score and an 8-10 point win is in the cards.
Pick: Pitt -7.5
On to the game of the week. Logic would say that UNC rolls given Virginia’s struggles in the last couple weeks. UNC is better than Miami and they’re better than Louisville. But here’s the thing. This is Coastal Football. Once you think you know what’s going to happen, the two teams actually play the game and completely make fools of us all. In all seriousness, the problem with Virginia isn’t with talent and it’s not really with execution, it’s been with coaching. A couple tweaks here and there and a couple plays here and there can turn out differently. Playing against UNC, a team whose games always come down to the last possession, give me the points and give me the chaos.
Pick: Virginia +2.5