For a lot of the ACC, it's time for conference play. Things will change now as most teams have at least two games under their belt. We're still looking for situational plays as teams get set to play rivals or come off huge performances. Wahoo fans get to enjoy the week off after a great win at Boise State.
Let's get started...
Clemson (-7) at Virginia Tech
College GameDay descends upon Blacksburg this weekend as we get to see the No. 12-ranked Hokies host the No. 2-ranked Tigers. Both teams had their "struggles" last week entering this one as Tech was up only 3-0 in the first quarter against ODU before pulling away while Clemson was tied 7-7 with Boston College before doing the same in the fourth quarter. Clemson's allowing just 227 yards per game and that's against the likes of Auburn and Louisville already. Kelly Bryant has surprised us all with how well he's running this offense. Just as surprising is how well Josh Jackson looks for the home team. His defense is capable of playing just as well as the Tigers. It would be nice for them if Adonis Alexander was back, but we won't know about that till later. Clemson is the better team, but it's very hard for me to recommend them on the road. The Hokies hung tough with them in the ACC title game last year. To me, I think the best play could be the under especially in the first half when I think both teams feel each other out and maybe play field position.
Syracuse at NC State (-12.5)
NC State surprised the ACC by going into Tallahassee and knocking off Florida State. Syracuse nearly did the same as the Orange hung tough with LSU down in Death Valley. If you look at the stats, the teams are pretty similar being separated by three yards per game on offense and 21 yards per game on defense. For all the talk about the Orange's defensive struggles, they have actually given up less yards then the Pack. To me, this is a prime spot to fade the team out of Raleigh. They've got to be feeling so good after the win and focus could be an issue. NC State has covered just seven of their last 15 home games. Syracuse covered against them in 2015 in Raleigh losing by 13 as 18.5 point underdogs. I think the Orange can keep this one close.
Florida State (-7.5) at Wake Forest
If you told me one of these teams would be 4-0 before the season, I'd have said it would be FSU. That's not the case as the Noles continue to look for their first win of the season. James Blackman wasn't terrible in his first career start, but it wasn't enough to keep the squad out of the L column. Wake has four wins, but the talent level of the opponents are in question. They beat Presbyterian, BC, Utah State, and App State. The Demon Deacons have been a thorn in the side of the Seminoles covering the last two matchups while giving them a scare in the process. Wake has covered 12 of its last 18 games as an underdog. No play for me here, but watch the line movement. That hook (0.5) is important.
Miami (-6.5) at Duke
A pair of teams without a loss in the conference play Friday night as Duke welcomes Miami to Durham. Last week I thought the Canes would struggle against potent Toledo but they didn't in the end. The offense has been fantastic so far averaging almost 600 yards per game. Duke's defense, meanwhile, has been its strength holding opponents to 65.2 rushing yards per game. The offense is no slouch either so this one will be really interesting. The Blue Devils dined at home the first three weeks before winning in Chapel Hill. Miami has covered 13 of its last 19 games as a favorite including five of six as a road favorite. They've got the talent edge, but I know Coach Cut will have something for them. Once again, watch the line because I think the half point is very important. If this somehow gets to 7 or 7.5, then I'd consider the home dog.
For more insight on the odds, follow Matt on Twitter at @MidMajorMatt and find more of his picks and selections at Sportscapping.com where he handicaps college football and specializes in the Group of 5 (although the ACC is also in his wheelhouse). You can also listen to his show "Border to Border" from 11-Noon on ESPN 950 AM and 102.7 FM in Richmond.