It’s week 3 and we’re still in the heart of non-conference season. Just like last week, I’m only looking at games between ACC teams and opponents from the FBS. We got back in the black last week going 4-3-1. Let’s improve on that this week.
I’m usually not quick to dismiss my priors, but I like this Orange team. While Brennan Armstrong is a really good quarterback, losing Jason Beck was a huge loss for the Hoos. Garrett Shrader has been terrific and I expect that to continue. There’ll be excitement in the dome for a Big Ten team coming to town and I think Syracuse is for real. I wish I had gotten the plus money on the Orange, but I’ll still lay the points.
Pick: Syracuse -1.5
Old Dominion Monarchs @ Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia -8; Over/Under 53
For all the attention the Virginia offense is getting this week, I actually think the defense has been really good. With the Hoos going 0-15 on third down and unable to sustain drives, the defense (just like last year) had to be on the field constantly. Sure, they gave up 146 yards to Chase Brown, but there are few backs the Hoos will face all year of his caliber. I think the defense can stifle the Monarchs and as long as the Virginia offense is able to pay off on opportunities, they should be able to win double digits.
Pick: Virginia -8
Until they burn me, I’m just fading the Yellow Jackets. Their defense actually played well against Clemson in the opener and still couldn’t cover 23 points. That’s on the offense. With an implied score of 40-24, I just don’t see it from the Georgia Tech offense. Ole Miss will win comfortably and I’m inclined to pick them against the spread, but it’s possible the Tech defense is a little frisky which will keep Ole Miss under 40.
Pick: Under 62
Liberty Flames @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest -17; Over/Under 63.5
I thought there was a chance that Sam Hartman would have a little rust in his first game back after his medical scare over the summer. But the Demon Deacon signal caller came out firing and propelled his team to an easy win at Vanderbilt. Liberty is a different team without Malik Willis under center and while the defense is good, I don’t think they have firepower to run with the Deacs.
Pick: Wake Forest -17
When we think about Texas Tech, we don’t usually think about defense. But that unit has held up in wins over Murray State and Houston. On the other side of the ball, NC State hasn’t produced the defensive effort I expected from them this year, but it’s coming. Devin Leary isn’t spectacular, but he doesn’t need to be. As long as he runs the offense and controls the clock, NC State will come away with a win. Texas Tech will look to do the same and I see this a controlled, mistake free game that stays under the total.
Pick: Under 56
Pittsburgh Panthers @ Western Michigan Broncos
Pitt -10.5; Over/Under 48
As I talked about last week ahead of their game against Tennessee, I noted that while the pass rush of Pittsburgh is really good, they aren’t exactly shutting teams down. It won’t be a repeat of last year’s 44-41 upset by the Broncos, both teams will score. Pitt probably wins easily, but they do it with a lot of points.
Pick: Over 48
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs @ Clemson Tigers
Clemson -33.5; Over/Under 53.5
Clemson’s defense is far and away the team’s best unit with the offense seemingly still figuring things out. Louisiana Tech is no slouch offensively. This one has an implied score of 44-10. I don’t want to discount Clemson’s ability to cover the number, but I could also see them struggling to get to 44 points scored. Seeing as LaTech only needs ten, the play is on their team total over. However, sometimes Draftkings Sportsbook doesn’t offer team totals in games like this, so if that’s the case, I’d take the over, though I don’t love it.
Pick: LaTech Over 10 or Over 53.5
When capping Miami last week, I was worried about a look-ahead spot. Apparently that should have applied to Texas A&M. Coming off a home loss to Appalachian State, the A&M offense needs to wake up. This will probably come back to burn me, but I trust this Miami team for some reason. Tyler Van Dyke has been steady allowing the playmakers around him to do their thing. Something’s wrong in College Station as they have all the talent in the world, they just can’t put it all together.
Pick: Miami +6.5