ACC football picks: Florida State vs. Syracuse & 4 more
The two most disappointing teams in the ACC this season will face off Saturday, when Syracuse heads to Tallahassee to face Florida State. Syracuse started the season in the Top 25 and was expected to be the second-best team in the conference behind Clemson. Instead Syracuse finds itself at 3-4 and 2-5 against the spread. The problems for Syracuse have been on the offensive side of the ball, as the Orange been downright miserable in losses to Pittsburgh and North Carolina State. In those two games the Orange scored 30 points combined, with only six of those in the first half.
Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito has been average, with 12 touchdowns through the air and five interceptions. Perhaps more notable, however, is that only one of those touchdowns has come during conference play. This indicates he is not capable of playing well against tougher competition. Against a banged up but talented FSU secondary, DeVito and the Syracuse offense will have to figure something out, or they will be in for a long day.
FSU sits at 3-4 and is 2-4-1 against the spread. The Seminoles have generally been successful on offense, but their early season production was a little bit of smoke and mirrors behind an offensive line that is still terrible. Quarterback James Blackman has battled injury and inaccuracy, but ultimately this team’s offensive success is driven by the success of the offensive line and the willpower of star running back Cam Akers. Akers has all the tools to make plays out of nothing. He has power, speed and will be given an opportunity to play in the NFL.
While FSU has been disappointing thus far, the Seminoles have still shown more signs of life recently than Syracuse. They also have quite a bit more talent and get to head home after a couple tough games on the road. Look for FSU to make a push for bowl eligibility by covering this spread and shutting down an unremarkable Syracuse offense.
Pick: Florida State -10
Clemson used its bye week to get things right and have since covered in two straight games. The Tigers are 50 points better than this year’s Boston College squad.
Pick: Clemson -34.5
Miami has squandered a pretty good defense and a competitive start to the year. The Hurricanes have been failing as favorites, but in an underdog role, I like them to keep this close.
Pick: Miami +5
Virginia is a team that wins the games they should and loses the games they’re expected to. The Cavaliers torched Duke last week as short favorites, and I won’t be surprised if they do the same against Louisville. They give up just 4.2 yards per play on defense, while Louisville is giving up 6.5 yards per play.
Pick: Virginia -3.5
North Carolina lost a heartbreaker to Virginia Tech last week in the longest overtime game in ACC history. Will the Tar Heels be deflated and exhausted after that defeat? Maybe, but aside from a big win against Virginia Tech back in Week 5, Duke has shown little.
Pick: North Carolina -3.5
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