In week 11, all 14 ACC teams will play against each other for the first time in the 2022 season. Despite their first loss of the year, the No. 10 Clemson Tigers still have a firm grip on the Atlantic (6-0 ACC), while the No. 15 North Carolina Tar Heels continue to dominate on the coast (5-0 ACC).
Virginia Tech (2-7) at Duke (6-3)
Spread: Duke -9.5 (-112)
Moneyline: Duke (-385), Virginia Tech (+300)
Time/Channel: Noon ET, ESPN3
The weekend kicks off with an ACC Coastal Showdown as the last-placed Hokies (1-5 ACC) look to spoil the second-place Blue Devils’ title hopes (3-2 ACC) on the road.
Virginia Tech squandered a fourth-quarter lead with multiple possessions for the second straight day in a 28-27 home loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies’ offense recorded zero points and produced two important fourth-quarter turnovers in the second-half breakthrough, both in Yellow Jackets territory. The abysmal offensive performance came as no surprise for a group that has averaged an ACC-worst 316.7 yards per game this season.
Duke’s 38-31 win at Boston College last Thursday brought the program to six wins on nine occasions, its best start since 2015. The Blue Devils continue to drive their fast attack, which is posting at 208.1 yards per game Second in the ACC is 232 last week. This offensive approach is spearheaded by second-year Signal caller Riley Leonard, who leads the ACC quarterbacks with 577 rushing yards a year.
The pick: Virginia Tech +9.5
This is the fifth time in six games that I’ve assisted the Hokies; They covered their only two games as double-digit underdogs that season. While they are terrible offensively, they boast a decently fast defense that has only allowed 134 yards per game. VT should slow down a one-dimensional Duke offense enough to remain competitive in it. If they can finally put together a fourth quarter, the Hokies should have no problem covering that number and might even pull off the streets in frustration.
Pittsburgh (5-3) at Virginia (3-6)
Distribution: Pittsburgh -5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh (-225), Virginia (+184)
Time/Channel: Noon ET, ACCN
Pitt (2-3 ACC) needs a win to earn bowl eligibility this week in a matchup where the last-place Cavaliers (1-5 ACC) are looking to break a two-game losing streak.
The Panthers ended their own two-game losing streak last week with an away win over a No. 20 Syracuse who defeated their starting quarterback. Despite being without offensive star Israel Abanikanda (undisclosed), backups Rodney Hammond and C’Bo Flemister combined for 166 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Virginia lost for the second straight week with possession at home in a 31-28 loss to North Carolina on Saturday. Against a league-worst tar heel defense, the Cavaliers racked up their second-highest yardage total of the season at 418. That performance was led by quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who flew 232 yards through the air and scored two goals on the ground.
The selection: Virginia +5.5
Pittsburgh gets 73% of the bets, according to Action Network, and the line has moved their way. Accordingly, Vegas is asking you to support the Panthers. Virginia surprisingly amassed thirty sacks on the season, which is good for third place in the ACC and will easily upset an unimpressive Panthers passing approach. This should allow them to improve on the ACC’s top rushing offense and secure their first ACC home win of 2022.
Louisville (6-3) on #10 Clemson (8-1)
Spread: Clemson -7 (-105)
Moneyline: Clemson (-255), Louisville (+205)
Time/Channel: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The No. 10 Clemson Tigers (6-0 ACC) need to win if they want an outside chance to return to the CFP. They begin with a tough home test against a Louisville team (3-3 ACC) who have won four straight games.
Louisville scored 27 unanswered points over three quarters last week en route to dominating James Madison 34-10. The Cardinals won the Dukes 302-49 in the second half of Saturday’s win, highlighted by a 71-yard touchdown rush by junior Tiyon Evans. Since the return of signal caller Malik Cunningham, his offense has totaled nearly 1,200 yards in three straight wins.
Clemson’s unbeaten run this season ended in a disappointing performance away from home in a 35-14 loss to Notre Dame. The Tigers weren’t on the scoreboard until the loss early in the fourth quarter. Your quarterback room has been on the move all year; Freshman prodigy Cade Klubnik answered the call in this case with an interception on his only throw.
The choice: Clemson -7
The public is pushing for a Clemson collapse as that line has moved a point and a half toward the Cardinals since the opening. Despite the controversy, typical starter DJ Uiagalelei has a career year totaling 22 touchdowns and well over 2,000 yards. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers have the ACC’s second-best rushing defense at 107.7 yards per game. Playing through an injury to his non-throwing hand, Cunningham should fight when his scrambling ability is hampered by the Clemson defense. I’m expecting a resounding upswing from DJ and the Tigers here.
Boston College (2-7) in US State #16 (7-2)
Spread: NC condition -18.5 (-104)
Moneyline: NC State (-1700), Boston College (+890)
Time/Channel: 3:30 p.m. ET, ACCN
NC State (3-2 ACC) hosts last-placed Boston College (1-5 ACC) Saturday afternoon with a chance to win their third straight ACC matchup.
The Eagles’ stunning season continued last Thursday with a 38-31 loss to the Duke. The loss marked Boston College’s worst record in nine games since 2012. Despite the demoralizing result, freshman quarterback Emmett Morehead threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns through the air on his debut for the program.
NC State notched its biggest win of the year last week, beating then-No. 21 Wake Forest 30-21 at home. Their ball-hawking defense leads the ACC with 14 interceptions after beating Sam Hartman for three. With three points on Saturday, signal caller MJ Morris has six touchdowns with no turnover in his first two starts for the Wolfpack.
The choice: Boston College +18.5
Boston College is tied 2-7 for the second-worst record in FBS against the spread this season. However, they matched last week as double-digit underdogs with Morehead at the top. I think that spread would have made sense earlier in the season, but I’m not ready to trust Morris to cover an ACC matchup with three touchdowns. The Wolfpack defense will enjoy an offense led by a young backup on his second start, but I expect Morehead and the Eagles will do enough to cover the number.
Miami (4-5) at Georgia Tech (4-5)
Spread: Georgia Tech -1.5 (-105)
Moneyline: Georgia Tech (-118), Miami (-102)
Time/Channel: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Miami (2-3 ACC) visits Georgia Tech (3-3 ACC), with both teams looking for a win to better position themselves for bowl eligibility.
The Hurricanes are in turmoil after their domestic rival Florida State embarrassed them 45-3 on their home turf. Signal caller Tyler Van Dyke aggravated his shoulder injury again in the Week 8 loss, and his substitutes Jake Garcia and Jacurri Brown combined for 38 passing yards and two interceptions.
Interim head coach Brent Key’s magic returned last Saturday when he led his Yellow Jackets to a 28-27 comeback win over the Hokies. True freshman Zach Pyron has assumed the backup quarterback role at Atlanta after scoring two key points in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Georgia Tech’s defense is second in the country with 22 total turnovers after taking the ball away three times last week.
The Pick: Georgia Tech -1.5 (BET OF THE WEEK) (Bonus: Over 44)
Both teams’ starting quarterbacks, Tyler Van Dyke and Jeff Sims, both have ongoing injuries and both won’t be able to go into this game. The Hurricanes will bring up a combination of Garcia and Brown, while the Yellow Jackets will turn to Pyron after his performance last Saturday. Miami’s two backups have nine turnovers and just two touchdowns in ten quarters. With one of the most aggressive approaches to defense in college football, Georgia Tech should delight in one of these inexperienced options.
#15 North Carolina (8-1) at Wake Forest (6-3)
Spread: Guardwood -4.5 (-105)
Moneyline: Wake Forest (-184), North Carolina (+152)
Time/Channel: 8 p.m. ET, ACCN
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#23 Florida State (6-3) at Syracuse (6-3)
Spread: State of Florida -7.5 (-110)
Moneyline: State of Florida (-315), Syracuse (+250)
Time/Channel: 9 p.m. ET, ACCN
After achieving their highest AP ranking since 2001, the Oranges (3-2 ACC) have lost three games in a row. They will be visited this weekend by the No. 23 Seminoles (4-3 ACC), who have entered the rankings for the first time since Week 5.
Florida State has dominated an ACC Coastal team in each of the past two weeks following last weekend’s 45-3 on-road demolition of Miami. That result was the Seminoles’ biggest win over the Hurricanes since 1997. Their most recent success followed a resurgent rushing approach that now leads the ACC at around 212 yards per game.
Syracuse’s free fall continued last week with a 19-9 away loss to Pittsburgh. Starting quarterback Garret Shrader stayed out with an undisclosed injury, and his replacement Carlos Del Rio-Wilson rushed for just 120 yards on his debut with a 34% lazy completion rate. Without Shrader’s passing ability, star running back Sean Tucker was limited to the second-lowest yardage (22) of his three-year career. Tucker wasn’t happy with his performance.
The Choice: Syracuse +7.5 (Bonus: Under 50.5)
This is my most uncomfortable pick of the week; Florida State has looked like one of the ACC’s best teams in back-to-back wins with four or more possessions. After holding Miami to an amazing 62 yards, they have the second-best defense in the conference at 308.4 yards per game. However, they are still behind the Orange defense in yards (306.9) and points (18.4). In a likely low score, I’m trusting the Syracuse defense unit to slow down a red-hot Seminoles team that’s getting nearly 80% of the bets.
ATS picks season record: 18-17-1 (3-4 last week)
ATS Best Bet Season Record: 3-2-1 (0-1 last week)
All odds on Fanduel at the time of publication
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