Despite coming off a 4-1-1 week, I’m going to tread lightly this week. Every game features a double-digit spread including one the worst teams in the conference being asked to cover over 25 points. It’s reminiscent of a Labor Day weekend from better times. Nevertheless, here’s where I'm leaning in Week 4.
I’m trying not to overreact to what I saw last week, but you can’t help look at what VaTech did to N.C. State and not be either impressed with the Hokies or disgusted with the Wolfpack. Even if it’s a little bit of both the Panthers should have their way with N.C. State. Pitt’s defense is otherworldly and will keep the Pack from scoring too much while the Pitt offense will do just enough to get a couple scores clear.
Pick: Pitt -14
It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve seen the Tar Heels and I’ll be honest, they looked pretty good in their dismantling of Syracuse. Boston College meanwhile barely survived the tilt with Texas State. On paper, this would suggest the Tar Heels should roll, however, I think Boston College bounces back to keep this one close. Not only could North Carolina come out a little rusty, I can’t help but believe their 31-6 win over Syracuse was a little smoke and mirrors. The Heels didn’t pull away until late and a lot of their points could easily be attributed to the ineffectiveness of Tommy DeVito. Phil Jurkovec won’t make as many mistakes and is more explosive.
Pick: BC +14.5
I’m very scared of this line. What did we watch last week (VT dismantling N.C. State and Duke laying an egg in Charlottesville) that leads you to believe these teams are only 12 points different? Sure, the Hokies aren’t 100% healthy, and Duke can play much better if they don’t turn the ball over, but I’d be completely shocked if this game doesn’t end up in a blowout.
Pick: VaTech -12.5
Jacksonville State Gamecocks @ Florida State Seminoles
Florida State -26.5; Over/Under 53
How bad is Florida State? This was the only game I got wrong last week and I’m shocked Florida State was so outplayed. I’m ok with them being a less talented team, but they just didn’t seem to show up. This looks to be a get right game, but for a team that couldn’t get up to play it’s in-state rival, do you really think they’ll be focused to play an FCS team the week before playing Notre Dame? 26.5 is a lot of points, but I’m looking more at the total. The FSU offense seems to be missing something, and I’m not sure they can just find it all of a sudden.
Pick: Under 53
In just their second game of the season, the Hoos get a rematch of the ACC Championship when they travel to face off with the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is ranked number one in the country and hasn’t been remotely tested in wins over Wake Forest and The Citadel. The theme that played out in both those games is Clemson’s ability to jump out to a big lead then put in their backups for the remainder of the game. I don’t see that happening in the same way on Saturday. Virginia’s defense is good enough to “slow” Clemson down and the Cavalier offense should find enough plays to be within striking distance early. But for that reason, Clemson will play their starters deeper into the game which I think will lead to more second half scoring than we’ve seen from the Tigers. It’s also Clemson’s first opportunity to make a statement in conference. They won’t hold back.
Pick: Over 55