ACC Season Outlook
July 11, 2018
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Before you know it we will be breaking down Week 1 college football games all the time again here at VegasInsider.com, but with a month or so still left before the season begins, there is still time to take a look at futures options that have had time to settle and solidify at their numbers.
With that in mind, today it's all about the ACC as this conference has been ruled by the Clemson Tigers and it's hard to see anything really changing in 2018 either.
Clemson enters 2018 as one of the best teams in college football again and are -200 to win the ACC. They've got NFL-caliber talent on both sides of the football and depth that most programs only dream about having.
There could be a minor QB story with freshman Trevor Lawrence making a push to get as much playing time as possible, but the Tigers enter the season as the favorites to repeat as ACC champs for the fourth straight year. Yet, a few breaks go against the Tigers and a slip-up at Florida State on October 27th could potentially lead to a changing of the guard this year.....
Most Intriguing ACC Future Bet
Florida State to win the ACC (+900)
That October 27th game between Clemson and Florida State could easily be the defacto Atlantic Division championship game in the ACC and for the Seminoles to have it at home, that's a nice little bonus.
Florida State never could catch a break last year and it started with QB Deondre Francois being lost for the year in Week 1. Francois is a highly talented guy that could be extremely dangerous if he lives up to the potential, and having a guy like RB Cam Akers in the backfield alongside him only makes this Florida State team that much more dangerous.
But this wager is intriguing simply because a price of +900 is more than worth it if the wager does indeed come down to Florida State winning two games: the home game vs Clemson in the regular season, and the ACC title game – which could very easily be a revenge spot for the Seminoles if they were to see Miami. Obviously it won't be nearly as simplistic as that in the ACC this year, but +900 is rather tempting with Florida State.
Best Future Bet
Florida State Over 8.5 wins (+120)
If you're intrigued about the potential of a “Florida State wins the ACC” wager, then really where you want to focus your research time and bankroll is on this season win total 'over' for the Seminoles. At plus-money with a team that doesn't have to deal with any of those non-conference, high profile matchup, made-for-television games at the beginning of the year that can often derail teams, this is not a bad option.
Florida State's 2017 season got derailed when Francois went down vs Alabama in Week 1, but he and the Seminoles open up with a home game against Virginia Tech (very winnable but tough game out of the hop) followed by likely wins the next four weeks before a trip to Miami becomes tough.
But the Seminoles get Clemson at home as I already mentioned, and after going to Notre Dame to face the Irish in early November, Florida State ends the year with home games against Boston College and the Florida Gators.
This number is giving the Seminoles four losses this year and I just don't think people realize that this team wasn't nearly as bad as the numbers showed a year ago. I've got a tough time giving this team three losses throughout the year and if it is a 9-3 SU record the Seminoles ever finish with, then we are cashing a ticket here.
Best Season Win Total Over Bet:
Georgia Tech Over 5.5 Wins (-120)
Clearly the Seminoles play could qualify here as well, but as I'm looking to expand on things, I believe Georgia Tech should be much improved this year as well. For one, Georgia Tech has never had consecutive losing seasons during the Paul Johnson era (began in 2008) and after going 5-6 SU in 2017, that streak will be tested again this year.
But in the previous two times Johnson's program had a losing record, they followed that year up with 8 and 9 wins respectively, so getting to six doesn't seem all that unreasonable.
Secondly, the triple option attack Johnson and the Yellow Jackets employ is always so tough to prepare for and Georgia Tech often gets at least one win a year by catching teams either unprepared or in a bad spot to deal with that style of football. When (or if) that spot comes up this year remains to be seen, but when Georgia Tech's two toughest conference games are both at home (Clemson, Miami), I think we see the Yellow Jackets do quite a bit of damage in the ACC this year.
Best Season Win Total Under Bet:
Louisville Under 7.5 wins (-120)
Life after Lamar Jackson is probably going to be a huge wake up call for Louisville fans this year and there probably is a least a year of “rebuilding” for this program to do.
New Cardinals QB Jawon Pass has shown some positive things already, but nobody is labelling him as the Heisman-type talent Lamar Jackson was. That means that with so no concern to get really any better defensively, the Cardinals losses are going to come more often simply because it's unlikely Pass can be counted upon to make up deficits the way the offense could with Jackson at the helm.
That's not to say this team will be a three-win team as it's still a strong and proud Louisville program, but when you start the year with a non-conference game against the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide and then need to go 8-3 SU the rest of the way after that to kill this wager, I really don't like your chances.
Throw in a trip to Clemson and there is likely two defeats already for this “reloading” Cardinals program. There will be more stumbles along the way as this team probably tops out around seven wins.
Who Plays in ACC Championship Game?
Clemson vs Miami
As intriguing as backing Florida State to win this conference is and probably will continue to be, in all likelihood we get a rematch of the 2017 ACC Championship game between Clemson and Miami. I'm not so sure I'd be looking to back Clemson to win again if that indeed ends up being the case, but in the end I think we see these teams square off for the conference title for the second straight season.
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