If week one isn’t hard enough due to so many unknowns, week two may be even harder. I try not overreact to what we saw in week one and in doing so you can take advantage of market inefficiencies. 4-4 to start the season isn’t ideal, but it’s not terrible either. With non-conference play still in full effect, there are 11 games on the Saturday slate. While I’d love to share my thoughts on Clemson vs. Furman, I’m going to exclude games against FCS teams as they’re crap shoots and I hate to sweat whether NC State beats Charleston Southern by 44 or 45. If you haven’t already, check out DraftKings Sportsbook and get into the action.
Southern Miss Eagles @ Miami Hurricanes
Miami -26.5; Over/Under 51
Sure, it was Bethune-Cookman, but Miami showed out on offense. If they can remain consistent (a big if for the Miami program) they could be the favorite to win the ACC title. Miami should roll in this one, but it’s a tough spot as they travel to College Station next week to face off against Texas A&M. That leads me to believe they’ll keep the game plan pretty vanilla and won’t risk much should they find themselves with a safe lead in the second half. Southern Miss only mustered 27 points in four overtimes against Liberty and Miami’s defense is much better than Liberty’s. 51 points is just too high.
Pick: Under 51
Several weeks ago, it appeared that Wake Forest might have some difficulties when star quarterback Sam Hartman was ruled out indefinitely with a non-football related medical issue. As it turns out he was dealing with blood clots, but has been medically cleared to play. While that’s good news, Mitch Griffis stepped in last week and appears to have the situation under control if Hartman isn’t able to play right away. The offense is still as good as advertised and the defense is good enough to keep the Demon Deacons at the top of the ACC. Vanderbilt is 2-0, but beat a bad Hawaii team and had more trouble than necessary against Elon. It’s a shame I didn’t jump on this before the news of Hartman’s return. It opened at 6.5 and is all the way up at 13.5 now. While news has certainly changed things, I just can’t bet a number that has jumped that much. However, while the spread has changed a lot, the total hasn’t moved with it. Before the Hartman news the implied total 35-27, now with Hartman it’s 40-26. Clearly, the spread suggests Wake should score more, but should Vandy really score less? I don’t think so. Let’s take Wake Over
Pick: Wake Over 39.5
Here’s where we don’t overreact to what we saw last week. Raise your hand if you saw Duke winning a game this year 30-0. Now put your hand down. Temple isn’t good, but that was crazy. The Blue Devils won’t have nearly the same experience when they travel to Northwestern, a team coming off a week of rest after beating Nebraska in Ireland. In their home opener, there should be some excitement and I think they ride that momentum to an easy win.
Pick: Northwestern -10
North Carolina Tar Heels @ Georgia State
North Carolina -7; Over/Under 64.5
You have to tip your hat to the Tar Heels. For the second week in a row, they’re heading on the road to play a Sun Belt team. And for the second week in a row I expect a close game. Given how easily North Carolina allowed Appalachian State back into the game last week, I just can’t trust their defense to cover a big spread. Give me the home team and the points hoping this game stays within one score.
Pick: Georgia State +7
This is probably the ACC game I’m most excited about this weekend. Pitt has solid defense, though they’re not as impenetrable as you’d think and Tennessee can get up and down the field with Hendon Hooker under center. But like UNC, I can’t see Tennessee getting enough stops to pull away from the Panthers completely and Pitt is good enough to pull out the outright win.
Pick: Pitt +5.5
Despite a little lapse in the third quarter last week, Virginia made pretty easy work of Richmond last Saturday. Now they hit the road and square off against Illinois in a rematch of last years drubbing in Charlottesville. The Illini come in 1-1 with a win over Wyoming and a loss to Indiana. The close loss at Indiana is probably better than it seems, so I don’t think this year will be a repeat of last year. Virginia can win this game on a big passing game from Brennan Armstrong, but it will come down to the defense. Despite seeming to get gashed on the ground (again) against Richmond, it wasn’t all bad. As Zach Carey pointed out on the Streaking the Lawn Podcast, while Richmond averaged almost five yards per carry their longest run was only 20 yards. While that’s still not great, it’s a vast improvement from last year. I see Chase Brown getting his on the ground, but Tommy DeVito won’t light you up through the air. Illinois should be able to corral Perris Jones and company on the ground, but Armstrong will have his way in the passing game. Both teams should move the ball, but look for long drives and thus neither team letting the game get away from them. I think the total stays under.
Pick: Under 57
I did not expect that from Syracuse last week. I was high on Louisville and not so high on the Orange. Last weeks result will have me keeping a close eye on both teams this week. However, like I said at the top, I’m not going to get too high on the Orange after one week. They’ll be traveling to Connecticut who isn’t very good at football, but 22 points is just too many. If Syracuse can go in and cover, I may have to change my mind on them going forward, but let me see it first.
Pick: UConn +23.5
While I didn’t have high hopes for either of these teams heading into the season, what was that a week ago? Boston College easily should have won, but let Rutgers hang in there. And then there was VaTech. What can you say about that? I can attest there was a buzz heading into that game here in Norfolk, but VaTech should still take care of business. Fast forward to this week and we have two teams that need to get right. But to be honest with you, I’d rather be looking to get right hosting Boston College than looking to get right with a trip to Lane Stadium.
Pick: VaTech -2.5