Some look at a 10-3 start to the season and get excited. Me, I just wait for the bottom to fall out and be glad that I have a cushion ready to catch my fall. We’ve got a great slate of games highlighted of course by the debut of our beloved Cavaliers. While I’ve had good success betting totals on the year, the game lines look a little more appealing this week. So without further ado, here are this week’s ACC picks.
Coming into the season, both of these teams had a fair bit of hype suggestion one could sneak into the top tier of ACC teams. Louisville, while still very good, lost some of their luster a week ago against Miami while Pitt has rolled in their first two games. While the Panthers have looked good, they haven’t been remotely tested in wins over Austin Peay and Syracuse. Despite the competition Kenny Pickett has been good, surprisingly good. Now he gets Louisville, who won’t put up as much of a challenge defensively. Then there’s the defense. The Panthers D has been all it was billed to be and more. Louisville struggled at times against Miami’s D, which while good, isn’t Pitt’s D. Pickett should do just enough to get clear of the Cardinals and the defense will be able to seal the deal.
Pick: Pitt -3
Georgia Tech has pleasantly surprised this season, upsetting Florida State and hanging with Central Florida for a half. Syracuse has been abysmal. But...they’ve also played two of the best teams in the conference not named Clemson (UNC and Pitt). Given I’m not very high on Florida State, I’m going to go more off the game against UCF and say the team that lost to the Knights shouldn’t be a touchdown favorite on the road. As bad as Syracuse has played, this is just too many points.
Pick: Syracuse +7.5
FINALLY. We have a Virginia game. It’s a tough one to handicap as Duke has two games under their belts and the Hoos are opening their season. However, this is a new look Virginia team with Brennan Armstrong taking over for Byrce Perkins. Duke has not impressed me one bit. Chase Brice was supposed to come in and give their offense a spark and while he’s shown flashes he’s been way too inconsistent. Virginia’s defense should be able to feast on a Blue Devil offense that has been too mistake prone to this point in the year. On the other side of the ball, the Duke defense hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be either. This line opened in some places Virginia -9. Obviously, that got bet down really quickly and has settled in right around UVA -5. I think the oddsmakers might have known something coming into the week and I agree with them.
Pick: Virginia -4.5
Last week, I liked BC to keep things close against Duke. I didn’t expect THAT. The Eagles under new head coach Jeff Hafley not only beat the Blue Devils, but they did it in convincing fashion. To further the surprise, they didn’t necessarily do it behind the running game with David Bailey. Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec proved more than capable of handling this Boston College offense. But this week, I think they get back to what they do best, running the ball, keeping the clock moving. The Bobcats won’t put up too much of a fight and BC will look to get out of this game unscathed as they prepare for a showdown with UNC next week.
Pick: Under 57
Do you remember what I said about Florida State not being very good earlier in this article? Forget it just for this week. Miami is coming off a big prime time game and D’Eriq King is the new darling of the league. Florida State meanwhile is the league’s punching bag. My pessimism towards both of these teams centers not around their talent, but their abilities to overcome the adversity this season will bring. Miami so far has proven me wrong. Florida State on the other hand proved me right at least for one week. But one thing I am certain of, Florida State won’t take this game lightly. After being embarrassed in week one, they’ll be ready for their rivals. The Hurricanes however could be in a let down spot. While it’s hard to say that about this rivalry, they do have Clemson next week. Miami is the better team and it would not surprise me to see them run away from the Seminoles, but give me eleven points in a rivalry game between two equally talented teams.
Pick: Florida State +11
We can call this the COVID Bowl. This game was supposed to kick off both squad’s 2020 seasons, but due to a COVID breakout at NC State, the game was postponed. It probably would have been postponed anyways as VaTech had to reschedule their game with our Hoos the following week and it’s still uncertain how the Hokies are still affected. Normally this would be a proceed with caution game, but after watching the Wolfpack run all over Wake Forest last week, I have enough to go off of. Regardless of their preparation or COVID impacts, VaTech is more talented than Wake Forest. They won’t give up as many points as the Deacs did, and it’s possible the Wolfpack defense isn’t that good therefore the Hokies shouldn’t have any problem scoring. All this leads me to the line. With no COVID issues, this line is probably close to two touchdowns, so the uncertainty around VaTech is baked in. For that reason, give me the Hokies (as I throw up in my mouth)
Pick: VaTech -6.5