Jimmyshivers Week 6 ACC Picks
Week 5 went very well as we went 3-0 on our posted plays for our third consecutive winning week. Also all of our early grabs from the week wound up winning as well for a monster ACC week for yours truly. To get those early plays you can follow along at twitter and lock them in before the lines move I’ve been able to do crush the opening lines every week and generate a ton of line value which has really given us a large edge:
Saturday Edge record YTD:
Week 5 Grades
Florida State – Wake Forest U44 Result W: Grade B+. Wake flirted very late with sending this one over the total (and into overtime?) on their final drive, and in general here they were better than expected against an FSU team that once appeared to be sleep walking. We also got a little lucky here when Dalvin Cook went out as he was having a lot of success on the ground and the offense largely stagnated once he went out.
Boston College +7 Result W: Grade A+. Getting 7 points in a game where neither team breaks 10 is a great spot to be in, and if not for a late missed FG the Eagles and their stellar defense may have won this game outright.
Clemson -1.5 Result W: Grade B This one covered nearly the entire game but facing facts the Tigers were largely outplayed down the stretch of this game and were a little lucky to avoid OT here which could have very well of ended up with a loss
Week 6 ACC plays (write-ups to come)
Wake Forest +7.5 1U
I played Wake +9.5 on open on Sunday. Similarly to the logic that we used last week in backing BC at more than a score vs Duke, in these low scoring ACC contests it makes sense to just take the points and be done with it. I’d argue that with the return of John Wolford that Wake Forest brings the better offense into this contest and while they don’t have the better defense they do not lag too far behind at this point (BC is a top 5 defense by my numbers and Wake is top 30). While my power rankings largely agree with this spread (my line was 8.5) just stylistically this isn’t the Eagles just do not have the type of offense that belies them covering games against competitive opponents by more than one score. The Eagles are still largely sorting out their QB situation and will either have to split their snaps at QB or deal with the very real limitations of each of their passers.
When defending Boston College you know that they are going to run the ball (75% run rate) so if you can line up and limit them on 1st and 2nd you have a great opportunity to get ahead of schedule. Wake has already seen several run-heavy attacks this season (Army + Indiana are top 20 in run %, Syracuse is top 40) and they have fared reasonably well defensively by limiting opponents to just over 4 yards per carry and ranking on the fringe of the top 25 in my defensive rushing explosiveness rankings. Against a very limited BC passing attack (BC completing just 36% of their passes in FBS games) the Deacons should be able to focus on the run and keep this as a field position type of game.
I just see this as another tight, low-scoring BC game and getting more than a score in that type of scenario is very appealing. I also have a small lean to the under but I think Wolford is a player who generates a lot of explosive plays (both good and bad) and can muck up a total. Boston College 20 Wake 17
NC State PK 1U
I played NCSU +2 on open on Sunday. At this point with the news that Michael Brewer is returning earlier than originally anticipated the line has gone up and is actually VT -2/-2.5 here on gameday. In spite of this line move I still believe that their is value on the short underdog in what amounts to a key game for two teams who are currently winless in ACC play. If you haven’t played this yet and plan to, I’d consider waiting today and see if you could get a +3.
Even though it appears Brewer is back for VT we have to take his return with a bit of a grain of salt as 1) he allegedly isn’t going to start 2) he is just coming back from a fairly serious injury for a QB (broken collarbone) 3) he wasn’t all that good last year when healthy (58.3% completions, 5.9 YPA 16-14 TD-INT). So should his return really scare you? Virginia Tech has the same issue on offense that they’ve had for several seasons now; they aren’t very strong up front or fast on the edges and as such they struggle to move the ball in big chunks. Early this season the Hokies have been very porous up front in that they’ve allowed a high % of defensive penetration (122nd in offensive sack rate, 107th in tackle for loss rate) which will be problematic against an NC State defense ranking in the top 25 in both stats. I believe that NCSU is going to be able to get good pressure in their base packages which will allow them to really contain this Virginia Tech offense with extra personnel in the middle of the field and secondary. The Hokies only run for 3.05 yards per carry this season so if they are going to move the football here it is likely going to need to come in the ability to move the chains on 3rd and long against an NC State defense that ranks 13th in opponent 3rd down conversion %
NC State has a very simple offensive identity under Dave Doeren, they want to line up and beat you at the line of scrimmage and wear you down as the game rolls on. NC State runs the ball 62% of the time and their going against a VT defense that has really struggled in stopping the run (5.53 yards per carry allowed, 119th overall & a defensive explosiveness rank of 121) and is going to be really tested here. State is also able to prevent defenses from stacking the box with a the passing of Jacoby Brissett (72%, 6.8 YPA 6-0 TD-INT) who is also a threat to pick up first downs with his feet. To this point in the season the Wolfpack are the least penalized team in the country so it is very much an offense that at the absolute minimum won’t beat themselves and at maximum is in for a big day on the ground here.
Blacksburg is never an easy place to play especially in primetime but I strongly believe that it’s not nearly as difficult to go there and dominate this season (a top 50 Pitt team manhandled them last week) if you have the right make up. This is a Wolfpack team who is built to exploit the deficiencies of the Hokie squad and I think the come back to Raleigh one game closer to bowl eligibility with their first ACC win of the season. Wolfpack 27 Hokies 21
Georgia Tech +7.5 1U
I’m keeping this write-up as simple as possible: Paul Johnson getting more than a score in a flat spot for his opponent is almost an auto-play. While Clemson’s defense has surprised this season if they are still reveling in that big (and lucky?) Notre Dame win they will be in for a very long day. My metrics aren’t nearly as impressed with this Clemson team as the oddsmakers as my line was only Clemson -3. Give me the extra points with the good underdog coach in a great spot all day long. Georgia Tech 24 Clemson 17
Syracuse +4 1.5U
Syracuse ML +125 0.5U
The return of Eric Dungey for Syracuse is massive and it comes at just the right time in the handicapping schedule, we get points with a pretty decent defense going against an awful USF offense off a disappointing loss in prime time. This is a USF team who simply can’t throw the ball and they are going against a run defense that has done pretty well (3.54 yards per call) against some big name ground attacks. I firmly believe that Syracuse is better on both sides of the ball and that Eric Dungey is going to wind up being a pretty good QB for the Orange by the time it’s all said and done. This line has come down a few points but as long as Syracuse is the underdog I still like this as a solid play as I believe the wrong team is favored. Syracuse 30 South Florida 17.
Duke – Army U48 1U
Duke is a solid under team this season with a strong defense and a functional but limited offense (121st in my big play rankings). The Devils don’t break a lot of big plays but they do focus on running a ball-control offense (they pass 48% of the time but only average a minuscule 5.4 yards per attempt) that keeps their defense fresh. They are going against a pretty bad Army defense here but it’s one who has been decent vs the run (4.36 YPC) and who in general is improved defensively (my 87th ranked defense, only allowing 24 ppg and only 1 opponent over 30 points). Army’s option offense has been tricky for teams in the past but their going against a Duke team who is built well to stop in and just saw a better option team 3 weeks ago (Georgia Tech) in a game where the really limited the Jackets ability to attack the edge. The 4-2-5 is going to cause havoc here again, and I see a fairly sleepy game that Duke wins comfortably but not decisively. Devils 24 Army 10
Virginia +10 1U
Similarly to the Wake Forest bet, I’m taking more than a score against a team who just isn’t suited to cover as a favorite. Pat Narduzzi has made an instant impact on the Pitt defense to this point in the season but the offense is still really bad (2.9 yards per carry in a run-heavy attack) and still misses a true go-to option on the ground. The Cavaliers are in a buy low spot off the massive blowout against Boise 2 weeks ago and coming in off a bye here should be prepared for a hard fought physical battle. This play is a little scary with the potential for the Wahoos to quit on London but we get a pretty solid spot here to back UVA with Pitt coming off a huge road win and now playing an unfamiliar role as a big ACC favorite. Pitt wins but UVA makes them work for it Pitt 24 UVA 21
I also played FSU -8.5 for 1U, but ran out of time for writing it up. Please reach out if you have any specific questions, and good luck!