Jimmyshivers Week 4 ACC Picks
Week 3 saw us get back to our winning ways with a solid 4-2 effort after beginning the season with consecutive losing weeks. We are still down for the season so it’s time to get moving on what is a very appealing Week 4 card. Onto the action!
Year to date:
Week 3 Report Card:
Louisville +6.5 Win. Grade C-. I’m a harsh grader but when I look back at this one it clearly felt like the wrong side. Louisvlle got largely pushed around and pretty badly dominated in yardage and TOP. The spot for Louisville felt pretty solid with their backs to the wall but they got out-played and were lucky to get inside the number with a 4th quarter kickoff return for a TD. Bottom line with this Cardinals team is that the coaching has been very spotty with some real timeout management to this point and a pretty questionable scheme of rotating QBs. The Cardinals get the week off before getting back into ACC play in week 5.
Wake Forest -6 Loss. Grade C: I’m giving myself extra credit due to the fact that 1) I bet Wake Forest -2 and actually won & 2) Wake lost their QB here early and it drastically altered their offensive gameplan. Even with that being said Wake didn’t look like the athletically superior team, which is a very bad sign against one of the very few teams they will play that they out-recruit. I’m slightly less bullish on Wake than I was, and now they may be missing Wolford for an extended time.
North Carolina -8.5 Win. Grade A+. This was a nice and easy winner with the outcome never truly in doubt after the first quarter. We caught a transitioning Illinois team in a weird spot and they never really were able to get anything going defensively. Marquise Williams is still guilty of questionable decision making but the Tar Heel ground game is no joke.
Notre Dame +3 Win. Grade A. Notre Dame played exactly as I had hoped and were more than capable of matching up on the edges defensively against this potent Georgia Tech attack. Getting points at home was a little silly with what was clearly the more talented overall team, and even without Zaire this offense was more than capable of pushing the Tech defensive front around. Wire-to-wire underdog covers are always fun.
Old Dominion +17.5 Loss. Grace D:
NC State was much more successful defensively than I expected and really limited the ability of the smaller Monarchs to move the football at all. State came in with the expected power running game did about as well as I thought, but hats off to an impressive defensvive performance. Even though we nearly covered this one it was not a good play.
Week 3 Grade: C+ Much better but work still to do
Week 4 ACC Plays:
Boise @ Virginia
Virginia +3 -115 Risking 1.15 units to win 1 unit
Virginia ML +125 Risking 0.5 units to win 0.625 units
I liked the Cavaliers in this game at home even before Ryan Finley broke his ankle for Boise last weekend, and with getting 3 points at home on national TV I have to take a shot with the points and the money line in a game that I had lined as a PK when Boise was at full strength.
No one has played a tougher FBS schedule than Virginia to this point in the season, and while the Cavaliers came away 0-2 in their FBS games they covered in both of them and were very close to pulling off a big upset as a DD Dog against Notre Dame. Virginia looks much improved to me this season and I feel a big part of it is that they are finally getting competent play at the QB position. After winning the QB competition Matt Johns has started the season by putting up some solid numbers (54.4% completions, 3-1 TD INT ratio, 7.1 YPA) against top 10 teams UCLA and Notre Dame. Early in the season I’m not going to focus too much on the stats for either team, but I like the spot here with the home dog in primetime going against a QB making his first start on a short week. The Wahoos continue to be underrated but I see them coming out of this game with a W. Virginia 24 Boise 20
Virginia Tech @ ECU
I played the Hokies -4 at the opening number. I would pass at the current number of -8 / -8.5
Indiana @ Wake Forest
Wolford isn’t expected to play and this line at IU -3.5 is almost exactly where I had made it. No opinion on the total yet so currently passing altogether.
Georgia Tech @ Duke
Georgia Tech -8 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
I played Duke +10.5 for 1U on open, then played 2U on Georgia Tech at -9.5. This line has come down to -8 from the -10.5 opener which is fairly logical as Duke has been a solid ATS team the last few years and was likely to draw money (I also made it GT -6 which is why I grabbed Duke on the open).
In watching Duke this season it’s already become very apparent that they do not have any dynamic playmakers in the passing game and that everything for them is going to have to come via either the ground game or a very short and direct passing attack. And while Sirk gives them some decent mobility at the QB position I believe that it’s going to be easy for the defenses in this league to key on the Blue Devils up front by pressing at the edges and stacking the box and daring Sirk to throw over the top. Until he proves he can I’m going to be a believer that this offense is secretly actually pretty bad this season.
Duke has done a good job limiting the ground game against their first couple of opponents, but neither Tulane nor Northwestern have the type of dynamic big play ability of this Georgia Tech offense. The argument can be made that the 4-2-5 defense that Duke runs gives you a better chance against containing GT’s option, but I’m not a believer in this Duke defense overall and I think that similar to the 2nd half of the Norwestern game Georgia Tech is going to be able to wear them down as the game wears on. I also lean under here as I expect both teams to run the ball a lot but Georgia Tech has the ability to put up big numbers if the ground game clicks early so I will just play the side. Yellow Jackets 35 Blue Devils 13
LSU @ Syracuse
Syracuse +24.5 -105 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
This is a real value price on the Orange here so I made +18 at full strength and don’t expect enough of a difference between Eric Dungie and the new QB Zack Mahoney. We are getting more than 3 scores at home with a competent defense going against an opponent in a pretty terrible let-down spot following the huge win over Auburn that vaunted RB Leonard Fournette to the top of the early season Heisman running. It may not be fun to bet against this LSU team who appear to be clicking, but it’s quite simply too many points to be getting at home for an Orange team who are feeling pretty confident. LSU 31 Syracuse 13
NC State @ South Alabama
Over 54.5 -105 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
I expect that NC State will continue their ability to move the football on the ground against an undersized Jaguar front 7 similarly to how they did against Old Dominion and Troy, but I expect that both teams will be able to put up a decent amount of points this time. Unlike Old Dominion and for the most part Troy the Jaguars actually have a pretty competent passing attack that should be able to move the ball against an NC State secondary that just has not been tested in 2015. Look for NC State to coast a little bit on defense here in the second half as they prepare to switch gears and head into conference play with a big game hosting Louisville next weekend. NC State 38 South Alabama 21
Northern Illinois @ Boston College
Under 47 -105 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
Boston College was already shaping up to be a solid under team this season but after QB Darius Wade went down in a 0-14 loss to FSU on Friday the Eagles offensive situation became even more dire. The Eagles were already replacing 8 starters on offense this season and now have to consider changing their game plan as they lack a QB with the dual threat ability of Wade. True Freshman Jeff Smith is primarily a running threat while legacy redshirt freshman Troy Flutie is more of a traditional (albeit undersized) pocket passer.
Where this leaves BC is likely rotating QBs depending on the situation and how the game is going. But neither guy has much experience at all and they are going against a pretty solid NIU defense who is just coming off an impressive defensive effort against Ohio State where they kept the Buckeyes under 4 yards per carry in a game that was much closer than anticpated.
We have two run-first teams here (NIU runs it 60% of the time so far this season and BC ran a surprising 75% in their opener) where it appears that both defenses are miles ahead of the offenses. BC did a great job in the FBS opener of shutting down FSU by limiting them to 7 offensive points and in total the Eagles defense has only allowed 10 points in their 3 games this season. Until BC proves it is remotely capable of having offensive success this season against a credible opponent they are going to be getting long looks from me as an under team. I expect we see an ugly, low scoring affair that has value with two slow placed teams playing very carefully. Boston College 17 NIU 14