With just two weeks left in the college football season, finishing over .500 for the year doesn’t look as much of a pipe dream as it did a couple weeks ago. With mostly conference action on tap, we’ve got a tidy six game slate highlighted by Louisville/Miami and North Carolina/Clemson. Settle in for a great day of ACC action.
In their last ACC game of the season, the Louisville Cardinals just need a win over the Miami Hurricanes to punch their ticket to the ACC championship game. But know anything about the ACC is it’s a smart bet to bet on chaos. Miami’s defense will be the best unit on the field and stifle a Louisville attack that’s a different beast away from home. Miami wins and puts all eyes on the UNC/Clemson matchup later in the day.
Pick: Miami -1
Despite scoring 45 against North Carolina, Duke just isn’t the same without Riley Leonard. Sure, the defense is good, but it can’t win games on its own. Unless...the other team turns it over. Virginia has entered the chat. As good as they’ve played, the Cavaliers are still killing themselves with penalties and turnovers. It’ll be more of the same as Anthony Colandrea will be exciting, they’ll score points, but when they need it most they’ll give the ball to Duke allowing their offense easier chances. Hopefully, the Hoos can get one of these one-score games to go their way, but they won’t be able to take advantage of a struggling Duke offense and will have a hard keeping them off the scoreboard.
Pick: Over 46
Will Sam Hartman want to run it up on his old team? Will familiarity allow the Demon Deacons to slow the Irish attack? If this game were being played in Winston Salem, I might answer those questions no, yes. But here in South Bend, Wake Forest won’t have an answer for the Fighting Irish. The Notre Dame offense will get its points, but will Wake Forest? I could see this anywhere from 28-3 to 42-17, and while I wish we were getting the 24.5 from earlier this week, Notre Dame gets in over the number.
You know that chaos we’re betting on from earlier in the day. It’ll carry over to this one. Initially, I liked the under since I think the Clemson defense can slow down Drake Maye and the UNC attack. But given what’s at stake, this matchup will come down to the late 4th quarter. I don’t know who will win, but given the Tigers are laying 7.5, the play is on the Heel’s who will either win or lose a close one score game, most likely in dramatic fashion.
Pick: UNC +7.5
All of a sudden, VaTech finds themselves a game away bowl eligibility after blowing out Boston College. However, one thing seems to be true about the Hokies suddenly explosive offense is they have no problem scoring against bad defenses, averaging 38 points in wins over Pitt, Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Boston College. But when they played defenses with a pulse, like Florida State and Louisville, the put up 17 and 3 points respectively. NC State will present a similar defensive challenge. But on the flip side, NC State isn’t really scoring either. It hasn’t been pretty, but the Wolfpack are 7-3 using a methodical offense matched with a stout D. They’ll grind it out as they usually do, maybe win, maybe not, but scoring-wise this game won't get out of hand.
Pick: Under 41
After starting 4-0 in the non-conference slate, a bowl seemed inevitable for the Syracuse Orange. But until last week’s win over Pitt, they had done winless in the ACC. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech has been all over the place. The same team that beat ACC heavyweights Miami and North Carolina also lost to Bowling Green. I don't know which Yellow Jacket team shows up, but with Georgia on deck next week, it’s a must-win for bowl eligibility. While both teams are 5-5, Georgia Tech is just better. At home, I like them to cover.
Pick: Georgia Tech -6.5