Week 7 ACC Football Picks
After 3 consecutive winning weeks Week 6 saw us give a little bit back to the books with a small losing week (3-4 -1.23 units). Overall we are now slightly down for the season with our plays posted here, but I anticipate a bounceback weekend on a very solid week 7 ACC card. I will be referencing several games that I personally played which I will not be recommending plays on at the current lines, and as always if you want to see my plays earlier in the week please follow along on twitter.
Saturday Edge ACC Plays YTD and weekly record breakdown
Week 6 Recap and Grade:
No time for a recap this week, apologies.
Week 7 ACC Plays + Write-ups
Boston College-Clemson U36.5 -105 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
At this point I am just going to keep playing BC under’s until the bronco bucks us. The Eagles are a very unique team this season in that they have a top 5 defense (only 2 defensive TDs allowed all season) and a bottom 5 offense (6 points per game average in 4 FBS games, dead last nationally). This week they are playing another really strong defense (Clemson is my #19 defense and has played a tough schedule) that figures to largely shut the inept BC offense down. The Eagles issues are myriad but essentially their season-long offensive strategy went out the window after their starting QB Darius Wade was lost in the ACC opener to FSU. BC was perilously thin at this position and have been splitting time between 2 QBs this season in an attempt to gain some type of traction, but the Eagles don’t really do anything well offensively at this point and rank in my bottom 5 in almost every statistical category that matters.
Clemson this season has underwhelmed me a bit offensively this season as their defense has been much better than expected and the Tigers have largely allowed Deshaun Watson to be a game manager and to trust their run game to move the ball. Boston College has yet to face a high powered passing attack this season and matches up well on the ground and is the top rushing defense in the country to this point in the season.
Clemson is in a bit of a rough spot here in playing an overmatched opponent after a run of higher profile games, and getting over 2 TDs with a great defense is always attractive. However I just can’t see how BC is able to generate any significant offense, and so I feel the best play here is once again on a BC under. If Clemson doesn’t cover the 17, it could very well be because they didn’t score 17 points in the first place. Tigers 21 Eagles 3
Syracuse Orange +7 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
I played Syracuse +8.5 for 1.5U on open at BetOnline. While this game is very close to my power ranking spread (UVA -7.5 is my line there) I’m going to fade the Cavaliers as a full touchdown favorite here as it is a role that I don’t find them to be very well suited for. While Syracuse has somewhat struggled in the early going this season, I’m a big believer that they have found their QB of the future in Eric Dungey. Dungey brings decent athleticism to the offense and has shown the tendency to generally make good decisions in the passing game (60.4% completions, an outstanding 10.3 yards per attempt with a 5-1 TD-INT ratio) which has served to open up running lanes for an ground game that is only average but that appears to be getting healthier each week now that Ervin Phillips has returned to health.
One of my cardinal rules of sports betting is that you should never lay more than a score with a bad team that isn’t playing well for their coach. I believe that Virginia fits this mold and is in a dangerous spot in their season as the coaching carousel has already begun to spin nationally and could lead to some quick exits for embattled coaches over the next few weeks. I believe that Syracuse is a classing running dog in this game, and you could argue that they have the better quarterback as well when Dungey is healthy. If Virgina is up late in this game I have my doubts about their ability to salt a lead away as to this point in the season they have been one of the nation’s worst rushing teams (3.16 yards per carry, 115th nationally). I see great potential for a Syracuse upset here in a game that has the potential to send Mike London one step closer to reconsidering a career in law enforcement. Syracuse 27 Virginia 24
I played UNC -13.5 on Sunday at BetOnline, but would PASS at UNC -17. My line projection was UNC -16.5
Pittsburgh +3.5 Risking 0.525 units to win 0.5 units
My line was for a PK spread so just a small play on Pittsburgh here getting more than a field goal. I’m not quite sure what is wrong with Georgia Tech this season as this projected to be a top 20 team coming into the year, but a big part of it has been the regression of Justin Thomas as a passer. Last year GT fielded a top 15 offense with regards to passing efficiency but this season the Jackets have plummeted out of my top 50. What this does is makes their option offense more predictable and easier to glameplan against. The Jackets also have struggled to rack up explosive plays offensively, under Paul Johnson they have been a mainstay of the top 20 teams in explosive offensive plays but this year the Jackets currently only rank 68th nationally in that statistic. While they are playing a slightly lower rated team this week after a run of tough games (Notre Dame, Duke, UNC, Clemson) I don’t think it will get much easier for this Georgia Tech offense. First year coach Pat Narduzzi has brought a completely different intensity to this Pittsburgh defense and the result has been that the Panthers are currently a top 10 defense nationally by many of my key statistical measures. Teams have been able to limit Georgia Tech ability to stay on schedule in their offense which is crucial the Jackets aren’t built to thrive on 3rd and long (GT is 120th nationally in 3rd down conversions) and this week they should struggle against a Ptt defense that excels in tackles for loss (4th nationally), rushing d explosiveness (15th) & allowing 3rd down conversions (35th). I’m not sure I trust this Georgia Tech team to get back on track.
On the other side of the ball Pittsburgh misses James Connor pretty terribly as they rank just 114th nationally in yards per carry, but they are going against a leaky Georgia Tech defense that has really struggled to stop the run. I’m not backing Pitt for their offense, but I’m getting the much better defense going against a Paul Johnson team who is currently on a 4 game losing streak and finds themselves in crises mode. Pitt 21 Georgia Tech 20
I played Virginia Tech +7 at open, I would pass at the current line of VT +3.5 but I would still only play VT.
Louisville +7 Risking 1.05 units to win 1 unit
I played Louisville +10 at open for 2 units. For me there is a ton of value on Louisville here at what feels like an inflated price after their 0-3 start. The Cardinals have since gotten back on track with consecutive wins and are coming into a match-up with Florida State off of a bye week where the Seminoles are coming off a close win against an arch-rival.
Florida State is still very iffy offensively to me, they have used a string of great match-ups (have yet to face a strong defensive front) to lean heavily on their rushing game and have been able to take very few risks with Everett Golson so far this season (the Seminoles have yet to turn the ball over). You can do this and get away with it when your gashing opponents like they did to Miami and their porous defensive front, but against the better defensive teams the Seminoles are currently configured to have a hard time offensively. I believe that Louisville might be the best defense the Seminoles have faced yet, they have a ferocious defensive front that is going to really test Florida State out offensively. We saw what happened to FSU in the game against Wake Forest after Dalvin went down (19 carries for 33 yards for their other backs that game) and Louisville has much more talent that the Deacons do up front. I believe that Louisville is a match-up nightmare for FSU up front and is really going to cause the Seminoles to struggle to move the football.
I’m not going to make a great case for this Louisville offense to have big success here because I don’t really see it but I will say that I like Lamar Jackson getting an extra week to learn the offense and to become accustomed to being the unquestioned starter. Jackson is an explosive athlete who adds a dimension to this offense and brings added mobility to the QB position that Florida State simply hasn’t had to account for this season. I think its close and ugly in Tallahassee, and in those scenario’s it’s always nice to have a Touchdown in our back pocket. The ACC is without a doubt a defense-first league this season, and it’s going to make getting points frequently attractive. Florida State 24 Louisville 20