All the uncertainty and craziness has all come down to this, our final full slate of the year. We’ve got some pretty good ones with North Carolina/Miami and oh yeah, a kind of important game going on down in Blacksburg. The bets have been pretty good of late and the winning percentage is over .600, so let’s see if we can finish the year strong.
It’s hard to cap the Deacs since we haven’t seen them in over a month. But before that, they were a top-5 team in the ACC. Louisville has underwhelmed after surprising last year. They looked good in a 30-0 win over Syracuse, but that was sandwiched between 31-17 and 34-27 losses to Virginia and Boston College respectively. I have Wake Forest power rated as better than both of those teams. Louisville will be at home, but how much will they just be looking to get this year over with? Wake Forest will be itching to play and finish their season with a statement.
Pick: Wake Forest +2.5
Last week, I admit I was surprised that Miami had an outside shot of playing for the ACC Championship. Suffice it to say, I didn’t realize Miami was as good as their record indicated but after looking at their results (one-point win over VaTech, three-point win over NC State, and a five-point win over Virginia) perhaps I was right. They’ve won games, but are they really that impressive? UNC has yet to put together a full, four quarter effort on the season, but I think they do it here. Sam Howell should be able to throw on the Hurricane secondary and while D’Eriq King will match him throw for throw, the Heels will pull out the win and thus the cover.
Pick: North Carolina +3
Outside of their wins over Charlotte and Syracuse (not good teams btw), the Blue Devils just haven’t looked competitive. Likewise, in not even showing up to play Clemson or Virginia, the Seminoles haven’t looked competitive either. The rule for this season has been to fade Florida State, but I don’t trust the Blue Devils to keep this within a touchdown, must less four. Neither defense will do much to stop the other and Duke will turn it over just enough to give the Seminoles some short fields or easy points. Duke will play to the whistle so there could be some late fireworks.
Pick: Over 57
I really wanted this game to be played the first week of the season as I was convinced Virginia would have an advantage due to my belief they’d be better prepared from the jump. That may have been the case back in September, but I’m now glad this game is being played now. Brennan Armstrong had found a groove in recent weeks and is leaps and bounds better than he was three months ago. VaTech on the other hand takes this game very seriously. But will that be the case this season? They’re on a four-game losing streak and there are questions surrounding Justin Fuente’s future. Do the Hokies mail it or do they get up for their rival? Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to those questions, but what I do know is Virginia is still the better team. VaTech won’t be able to run the ball like they have in their wins and won’t be able to take advantage of Virginia’s struggling secondary. VaTech’s defense is a far cry from what it is historically and Armstrong and company should find success against it. I just threw up in my mouth.
Pick: Virginia +3