Our week gets started earlier and earlier each week. Hopefully, I can bounce back from a 2-5 week and get back above .500.
Let’s just be clear, until Virginia’s defense improves, there’s no way I’m taking them to cover. Against North Carolina, I thought the Heels speed was the issue, but last week against Wake Forest, the Deacon receivers had 10 yards between them and the nearest Virginia defender. Given the experience, talent (at least the talent I believe exists), and Mendenhall’s defensive acumen, it’s mind-boggling why the defense is this bad. I think it improves, but until I see it, the Hoos are going to be involved in high scoring shootouts. Oh yeah, and Brennan Armstrong is awesome!
Pick: Over 62.5
Don’t look now, but Duke is 3-1. That being said, North Carolina isn’t Kansas. The Tar Heel defense isn’t as bad as it’s played the last two weeks (see Virginia above?) and they’ll come out to play in this one. I’m still not sold on the Blue Devils and Sam Howell is just too good for North Carolina not to come away with a big win.
Pick: North Carolina -20
Jeff Sims came in last week against the Heels and really put on a show. But this Pitt defense is better (and playing like it) and will have film on the new QB. Kenny Pickett isn’t as prolific as Sam Howell, but he won’t give the ball away either. Pitt will do just enough to slow down the Jackets and Pickett is good enough to do what Clemson and North Carolina couldn’t running away with the game.
Pick: Pitt -3.5
Louisville Cardinals @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest -7; Over/Under 61.5
I’m sold on this Demon Deacon team. They were impressive in all facets of the game. I kept waiting for them to crack and they never did. Louisville is playing better than I thought they were going to at the beginning of the season, but Wake Forest is too solid, and have some upside.
Pick: Wake Forest -7
Too many points. Florida State is the better team. Florida State will probably win. But bad teams don’t cover a touchdown in conference games. Syracuse, like Duke, is sitting at a sneaky 3-1 after their upset(?) win over Liberty last week and playing really good defense. Florida State isn’t scaring anyone with their offense, so give me the Orange and the points.
Pick: Syracuse +5.5
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs @ North Carolina State Wolfpack
NC State -20.5; Over/Under 54
NC State checks in at number one in STL’s power rankings and after taking down Clemson they’re playing really well. The big worry is a letdown. But a letdown actually helps us here. The Bulldogs aren’t going to be able to slow down the Pack, but the question is will be able to generate enough offense. Louisiana Tech will get on the scoreboard against a sleepy Pack defense. That will get NC State’s attention and they’ll eventually pull away. Either way expect a lot of scoring and take the over.
Pick: Over 54
After coming nowhere close to covering the last two weeks, I can’t seem to understand why Clemson is laying 15 points to a team that may be the best of the three. Clemson’s defense is still top notch and they will probably win the game. But the implied total for this game is 30-15 Clemson. I don’t think Clemson can score 30 and BC can score more than 15. So give me the Eagles and the points.
Pick: BC +15