ACC Week 6 football picks: Miami vs. Clemson & 3 more
It took me several weeks, but I’ve finally been sufficiently reminded that the ACC is a tough conference to handicap.
Clemson is the best but is not showing an urgency to cover spreads, and the rest of the conference is full of teams that play "Jekyll and Hyde" football.
Let’s take a look at some huge matchups scheduled for this weekend and pick a couple winners.
#7 Miami vs. #1 Clemson
Sat, October 10 2020, 11:30 PM
Miami Florida Hurricanes
The Miami Hurricanes are 3-0, 3-0 against the spread, and ranked seventh in the country.
On Saturday night, however, they will get their first test of the season, on the road against the top-ranked Clemson Tigers. Clemson opened as a 16-point favorite and early Miami money has the line down to Clemson -14.
Miami is a dazzling and appealing underdog pick, but the history of double-digit underdogs between top 10 teams is not profitable. There is a natural tendency for average bettors to see the rankings and assume the comparable ranking relates to comparable capabilities.
On the other side of the field, Clemson is money-burning chalk. The Tigers are 3-0, but 0-3 ATS and have not played in a game where they were threatened.
That being said, the Tigers are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 conference games, and still possess a monster talent advantage over Miami.
Clemson has gone through the motions this season, but this is its first opportunity to make a notable impression on a big stage, against a team that will raise its competitive fire.
Clemson has covered five of its last six games against Miami, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s 11.3 yards per attempt are 3.5 yards better than Miami’s D’Eriq King.
The Tigers will get their first win ATS this year.
#8 North Carolina vs. #19 Virginia Tech
Sat, October 10 2020, 4:00 PM
North Carolina Tar Heels
Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech has had one of the more interesting seasons of any team this season, with multiple delayed games and a victory against Duke, in which 21 players were forced to sit out because of COVID-19 protocols.
Quarterback Hendon Hooker has yet to play but is expected to return against the favored Tar Heels.
Who is most likely to spring an upset this week in the ACC?
After they started their season in a disjointed manner, a full-strength Hokies roster should offer a significant improvement.
Like Virginia Tech, North Carolina has managed to start 2-0, but I’ve not been impressed by either win. Each team is 1-1 ATS, but Virginia Tech’s failure to cover against Duke can be forgiven, considering the absences.
When Hooker played for the Hokies last year, he was an efficient leader of the offense. He completed more than 61% of his passes, had a 13-2 touchdown/interception ratio, and added five rushing touchdowns as a dual-threat weapon.
North Carolina QB Sam Howell is equally dangerous, but this feels like a pick 'em game. North Carolina is giving points because of a more proven offense and a lot of question marks present for a Hokies roster that has yet to really see the field intact.
Virginia Tech is 6-1 ATS in the last seven games of this series.
Florida State vs. #5 Notre Dame
Sat, October 10 2020, 11:30 PM
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Florida State Seminoles
It’s hard to believe that Florida State is a 21-point underdog to anyone, but the way the Seminoles have started the season, it’s not hard to understand why.
Despite all the shortcomings, offensive struggles, and general dysfunction, however, they might have discovered something in the second half against Jacksonville State.
Quarterback Jordan Travis showed athleticism and skill, and we all know there is still a lot of talent on this roster.
Pittsburgh vs. Boston College
Sat, October 10 2020, 8:00 PM
Boston College Eagles
Boston College enters off a well-fought loss to North Carolina, while Pittsburgh experienced an ugly loss as a 14-point favorite against a bad North Carolina State defense.
But Boston College is 20-6-1 ATS in its last 27 conference games, while Pittsburgh hasn’t covered in any of its last five.
I prefer Boston College QB Phil Jurkovec over Pitt QB Kenny Pickett.