After a week of short slates, we’ve got seven games back on the board for Week 8. I’m sitting at 24-24 so I feel this season can go south really quickly with a bad week. Alas, a good week can jumpstart the rest of the year. So settle in for a great day of football and head on over to Draftkings Sportsbook to get in on the action.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2021 ACC. Currently tied atop STL’s ACC Power Rankings, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons travel to take on the Black Knights of the Hudson in a major statement game for them and the conference(?). This one should be decided early. If Wake Forest can bottle up Army’s triple-option attack early and jump ahead a couple scores, they should be ok. But if Army comes up with a fast start, they’ll control the clock and the game and come away with the upset(?). I like for the latter to happen as Wake has struggled in games against dominant rush teams, Syracuse and Louisville.
Pick: Army +3
I’m going back to something I wrote earlier in the season. I don’t trust Florida State laying points against anyone this year. That logic still holds as 35.5 points is too many for most ACC teams in 2021 much less a team as bad as the Seminoles.
Pick: UMass +35.5
I can’t help but think I’ve been overvaluing VaTech all season, but here we go again. Three and a hook is just not enough points. Syracuse needs to run the ball and control the game which they won’t be able to do against the Hokies defense. The under is also in play for this one, but give me the Hokies.
Pick: VaTech -3.5
Raise your hand if you had Clemson as a three-point dog to a team not named Georgia before the season began. Now put your hand down. While I didn’t see the Tigers going undefeated this year (as their season win total suggested), I didn’t expect they’d be traveling to Pittsburgh staring up at the Panthers in the ACC power rankings. Pitt was able to survive the trap game in Blacksburg a week ago, a feat I didn’t expect them to achieve. But this Tigers defense is a whole different animal. Kenny Pickett has been terrific this season, but he hasn’t seen a defense like Clemson’s. It might not matter though as Pitt’s D is no slouch and I’m not sure Clemson could score on the STL staff at the moment. This game screams under, and that’s the play. But be forewarned that probably means Clemson finally remembers it’s one of the most talented teams (on paper) in the country and the two teams go sailing past the total.
Pick: Under 47.5
Speaking of being too high on a team, I think I’m there with Boston College. But BC is a much different team with Dennis Grosel at the helm and that was masked against an easy early-season schedule. Louisville is a play or two away from this looking like a very different year for them and I think they have a good shot of picking up the win. But it’s also possible that BC is just the better team, so I have a hard time laying 5.5 points on the Cardinals. Louisville’s defense isn’t very good and their offense can have success against a good Eagle defense. I look forward to a fun game with a lot of points that comes down to who makes a play late.
Pick: Over 57
Last night, I watched the Peanuts special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” with my kids and I can’t help but think we’ve come to Virginia’s annual Lucy with the football moment for this Cavaliers squad. Coming in on a three game winning streak, the Hoos can get to bowl eligibility with a win and set themselves up for bigger things at the end of the year. Lose this game however and, given the schedule, a five game losing streak to end the year isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Georgia Tech has been frisky this season and I think they’re actually ahead (in year three) of their transition from a Paul Johnson led option attack. They should be able to score on the Hoos, but will they be able to stop Brennan Armstrong? After taking the Virginia under in recent weeks, I think there's some fireworks under the lights. Virginia should win, and I like that the number is under a touchdown, but I’m going to be rooting for points and the game to go over.
Pick: Over 65
N.C. State Wolfpack @ Miami Hurricanes
Miami +3.5; Over/Under 54.5
While Pitt is the ACC darling and looking to solidify it’s place atop the ACC dealing with Clemson, it’s the N.C. State Wolfpack who might actually be that team (seeing as they’ve already passed the Clemson test). Even though Miami isn’t very good this year, it’s still a program with some cache and a game the Wolfpack need if they’re going to stake their claim to the best in conference. I think they’ll be do just that seeing as I’m not sure what Miami does well. I like for N.C. State’s defense to be the star of this game again and put the clamps down on the ‘Canes while the offense does just enough to win.
Pick: Under 54.5