Post-Mortems: ACC – Wk. 1

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My high-volume approach to making picks requires me to watch as many games as possible. Picture-in-picture works overtime and tablets get worn out.

Not every game gets seen as it unfolds, but I have to go back and take a look at what stood out in games I didn’t catch.

This is my post-mortem for Week 1. I can’t divulge all my secrets, so you only get a few lines per game. They’re listed in chronological order (as listed on the board):

Wake Forest (-7.5/56) at Tulane: The Green Wave offense looks overly reliant on Jonathan Banks, so the senior transfer is going to need other guys to step up around he and returning leading receiver Terren Encalade in order to make the most of his final season. Tulane should have beaten the Demon Deacons at home outright but couldn’t contain true freshman Sam Hartman, who accounted 442 yards with his arms and his legs. He was only out there due to injuries and suspensions but it would be surprising if he isn’t the starter entering the season’s final game, barring injury. Result: Wake Forest 23-17 (OT). ATS: Underdog/Under

Syracuse (-4.5/65.5) at Western Michigan: Eric Dungey dominated as the Orange built a massive 34-7 second-quarter lead before turning to backup Tommy DeVito. Things fell apart with the senior on the sideline to the point where it became a one-score game and Babers later said he wanted to see if his guys could play their way out of it, but that’s too dicey a play on the road, especially for those of us who rode the ‘Cuse. The Broncos have speed to burn with backs Jamauri Bogan and LeVante Bellamy joining recivers D’Wayne Eskridge, Jayden Reed and Michigan transfer Drake Harris, so expect them to light up defenses. That said, the Orange should be worried about their secondary getting burnt to a crisp repeatedly. Result: Syracuse 55-42. ATS: Favorite/Over

Army at Duke (-14/46): Junior QB Daniel Jones still has one more year to play after this one? David Cutcliffe has him ready and the Blue Devils are going to tough to deal with so long as he’s under center. Brittain Brown took a hard hit but otherwise looked the part of diverse threat coming out of the backfield the offense needs. The Black Knights are going to throw the ball more often as Kevin Hopkins replaces the legendary Ahmad Bradshaw and will therefore be less predictable and more difficult to defend. Result: Duke 34-14. ATS: Favorite/Over

UMass at Boston College (-20.5/62.5): The Eagles jumped all over a Minutemen squad that wanted to play fast, refusing to take a back seat against the toughest defense they’ll see until they run into Georgia to close their regular season. Credit QB Anthony Brown for playing efficiently and stud safety Lukas Denis’ pick-six to close out the first half and a 34-point second quarter for how easy a cover this wound up. UMass scored twice in the fourth in garbage time and the final score was still an eyesore. Result: BC 55-21. ATS: Favorite/Over

North Carolina at California (-7/58): The Golden Bears led 24-3 in the fourth quarter and got too conservative, flirting with disaster since the Tar Heels look like they’re going to be scary with their onside kicks. Riddled with suspensions, UNC went from getting 5.5 points to a seven by Saturday morning and managed to push on a pair of late scores as the Bears settled back to keep everything in front of them. Nathan Elliott threw four picks and should go back to being the backup after Chazz Surratt sits out three more games, but things are likely to be dicey until October. Cal looks like it will have a controversy on its hands since redshirt freshman backup Chase Garbers outplayed junior starter Ross Bowers. Result: Cal 24-17. ATS: Push/Under

Louisville at Alabama (-24/61): Tua Tagovailoa started and excelled. Jalen Hurts contributed but is clearly the inferior option, so Nick Saban’s loyalty to him could prove detrimental to covering the substantial spreads the Crimson Tide will likely be saddled with all season. In retrospect, this first number was too low since the Cards were so overmatched but the team was unveiling a new-look defense given Jeremy Pruitt’s departure to Tennessee and so many departures from last year’s group. Their manhandling of the ‘Ville was impressive, as was the explosiveness of the Tua-led attack. The ‘Ville has a chance to have a decent season with Jawon “Puma” Pass likely to improve as he gets settled it against lesser competition. Result: Alabama 51-14. ATS: Favorite/Over

Miami, FL (-3/47.5) at LSU: The Tigers really followed the lead of linebacker Devin White in flying around with abandon, challenging the ‘Canes at every turn. They took WER Ahmmon Richards completely out of the equation and never allowed for a running game to be establish. Dave Aranda has his defensive group playing with passion, which combined with his schemes will make LSU a major threat to hang in there against a challenging schedule. New QB Joe Burrow played a huge role with his poise under center and should be an asset. Adding a kicker with Cole Tracy’s leg talent also paid immediate dividends. Outside of hitting a few deep balls late that helped produce an over that should’ve never come in, UM QB Malik Rosier wasn’t impressive and took a beating due to an awful effort from an offensive line. Their penalties and inability to block absolutely killed Miami. This was a complete annihilation despite the cosmetic score at the end. Result: LSU 33-17. ATS: Underdog/Over

Virginia Tech at Florida State (-7/54): The Seminoles came up empty on four red zone opportunities and looked ill-prepared and poorly coached. Willie Taggart is no rookie and has succeeded wherever he’s been but him and his offensive staff looked overwhelmed. The offensive line was helpless, there were few advantages to be had pushing the ball downfield and in-game decisions cost the team points on multiple occasions. Even the special teams struggled given the missed field goal and blocked punt that the Hokies turned into six. Conversely, the Virginia Tech defense was an absolute force, flying around and executing brilliantly for veteran coordinator Bud Foster despite the departure of so many key figures. All the mistakes near the goal line produced a low-scoring game in a bizarre finale to the first full week of action. Result: Virginia Tech 24-3. ATS: Underdog/Under

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