2017 ACC Football Betting Preview

2017 ACC Football Betting Preview

With the college football season now just weeks away, it’s time to revisit some of the preseason odds and futures for the major teams across the nation. We’ll be doing so by conference, bringing you betting previews for all of the Power Five conferences over the next week or so, beginning with the ACC.

Home to the defending champion Clemson Tigers, the ACC’s reputation has certainly strengthened itself over the past few years. The conference has now been home to the national champion in two of the past four years (nothing compared to the SEC’s run of seven straight, but undoubtedly a step in the right direction). Think an ACC team can do it again this year? 5Dimes has the odds of a national champion coming from within the conference at +420.

Despite their championship status, the Tigers enter the 2017 season well behind Florida State as conference favorites. Obviously, Clemson’s biggest loss was that of their star quarterback Deshaun Watson, taken 12th overall in this year’s NFL Draft. It should not be overlooked however, that he was not the first Tiger taken. Standout wide receiver Mike Williams (taken seventh overall) is another huge loss to the offense in 2017.

Onto the favorites. The Seminoles have high expectations entering 2017, and have the fourth-highest odds in the country to win the national title at +975. Florida State is returning 15 of 22 starters from last season, and on top of that they’ll enjoy the return of star Safety Derwin James, who has fully recovered from a knee injury that kept him out 11 games last year.

Quarterback Deondre Francois will be looking to build on a fine first year as a starter, a year in which he threw for the second most yards by a freshman in FSU history (behind, you guessed it, Jameis Winston).

Let’s take a look the futures for the rest of the conference.

2017 Futures

TeamWin ACC
(8/7 5Dimes)
Make/Miss CFP
(8/7 5Dimes)
Win National Championship
(8/7 5Dimes)
Win Total
(8/7 5Dimes)
Florida State+118+150/-190+9759.5 (o-145)
Clemson+410+700/-1500+36009.5 (u-115)
Louisville+715+1000/-2000+53009 (o-155)
Miami (FL)+815+1200/-2600+80009 (o-135)
Virginia Tech+975+1400/-3600+90009 (u-130)
NC State+3300+3700/-14100+225007.5 (u-115)
Georgia Tech+4000+9000/-41000+700006.5
North Carolina+5000+8500/-37500+650007 (u-150)
Pittsburgh+5000+8500/-37500+650007 (u-150)
Duke+10000+15000/-75000+1500005.5 (u-140)
Boston College+20000N/A+3000004 (o-120)
Syracuse+20000N/A+2500004.5 (o-125)
Wake Forest+20000N/A+2500005.5 (u-160)
Virginia+20000N/A+7500005 (u-115)

Considering the disparity in the odds for the top five teams to win the conference, it’s extremely surprising to see their respective win totals all within one-half game. It’s as if the oddsmakers are willing to grant that these might all be solid regular season teams, but aren’t willing to give any particular one of them a decent chance to knock off FSU in a championship game.

Last year’s conference runner-ups, the Virginia Tech Hokies, are expected to regress a bit in 2017. They’ll have to replace six of their 11 offensive starters from 2016 including quarterback Jerod Evans, both starting wide receivers, and running back Sam Rogers.

Speaking of replacing QBs, the ACC has five teams (Clemson, Miami, UNC, Pitt, Va Tech) all with ongoing quarterback battles.

2016 Results (based off Pinnacle’s closing numbers)

TeamATS RecordMoneyline Units (Record)Over Record
NC State8-4-1.9 (6-6)4-7-1
Miami (FL)8-4-1.4 (7-4)5-7
Florida State7-50.1 (8-3)5-6
Wake Forest7-50.1 (6-6)5-7
Duke7-54.2 (3-8)4-8
North Carolina7-52.6 (8-4)4-8
Georgia Tech6-4-24.1 (7-4)6-4
Virginia Tech7-6-0.2 (8-4)7-6
Pittsburgh5-6-18.1 (8-4)11-1
Boston College5-6-10.0 (5-6)4-8
Louisville5-6-1-1.9 (6-3)8-4
Clemson5-71.6 (10-1)7-5
Syracuse5-75.3 (4-8)3-9
Virginia4-7-1-6.8 (2-10)4-7

The ACC created a fairly standard spectrum in 2016, with no team too strong or weak against the spread, though NC State and Miami led the way at 8-4. As is often the case in college football, however, the moneyline was far more chaotic, with unexpected teams, such as Duke and Syracuse benefiting from major upsets that made them ultimately profitable on the year. Duke knocked off Notre Dame at +843, and ‘Cuse upset the Hokies for a +1081 payout.

A team like Clemson, on the other hand, despite their far superior record, ended up only +1.6 units on the season.

2017-18 Heisman Candidates (8/8 BetOnline):

  • Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville) +750, Deondre Francois (QB, Florida State) +1200

Last year’s breakout star and Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson, is tied for the second highest odds to win the award again, behind only Sam Darnold of USC (+350). Jackson would be only the second player in history to win the award twice (Archie Griffin).

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Danny Donahue

If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am gonna be a very rich dude. @dannyjdonahue on Twitter

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