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College Football Futures: Best Bets to Win Conference (ACC)

by August 5, 2021
DJ Uiagalelei

It’s August, and you all know what that means! We’re weeks away from regular-season college football, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Here are some best bets and futures ideas for the ACC.

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Odds to win the ACC

  • Clemson -750
  • North Carolina +800
  • Miami Florida +900
  • Virginia Tech +3000
  • Louisville +3500
  • North Carolina State +4000
  • Wake Forest +4500
  • Pittsburgh +4500
  • Boston College +5000
  • Florida State +5000
  • Virginia +5500
  • Georgia Tech +10000
  • Syracuse +15000
  • Duke +20000

Best Bet to Win the ACC

There’s no value here, but the clear favorite to win the ACC will be the Clemson Tigers. If you want to lay -750 on a future bet that you won’t earn until late December, be my guest. It won’t be me.

Clemson no longer has Trevor Lawrence under center and won’t have premier running back Travis Etienne either, but you could still make the argument that Clemson looks even better than last season.

The Tigers will start quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who was the backup to Lawrence last season. We were able to get a glimpse of the future with Uiagalelei taking over for Lawrence during last year’s season when Lawrence went down with COVID-19. He threw for 429 yards against Notre Dame with two scores and helped Clemson defeat Boston College with a huge comeback.

Scouts and executives around the league already believe he’ll be the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Offensively, Uiagalelei will have a solid group of receivers to throw to. Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell won’t be in a Clemson uniform this year, but they’ve got plenty of athletic targets that all stand around 6 feet and 3 inches tall. There are five receivers that can make a legitimate impact for this team, including Braden Galloway, the tight end, along with receivers EJ Williams, Frank Ladson, Joseph Ngata and freshman, Beaux Collins.

While it seems like the hype is all over the offense, the defense is where the real hype is coming from.  Last year, Clemson had to work around a bunch of injuries and still ranked first in the ACC in total and scoring defense.

This defense was outstanding against the run last year and is about to bring back nine starters from last year’s team. They held every ACC team other than Virginia to under 400 total yards. The defense only struggled against non-conference opponents like Ohio State and Notre Dame last year.

It’s clear that Clemson is the favorite.

However, Clemson doesn’t have quarterback depth this season. The backup, for now, will be Taisun Phommachanh, who suffered a torn Achilles in the spring. If he’s not ready, it would be down to walk-on Hunter Hemes if Uiagalelei is injured.

Pick: Clemson (-750)

Value Bet to Win the ACC

With any long-shot bet, especially futures, you’re going to be reaching. If there’s any other team that can win the conference, it’s Miami.

Miami hasn’t really won when it counts, but this team is still trending in the right direction. Miami went 9-3 last year but lost to Clemson by 25 points. Outside of Clemson, Miami found ways to win with five games against conference teams won by two scores or less.

However, the big talk about last year was their 62-26 loss to North Carolina in the season’s final game.

Because Miami allowed 62 points, head coach Manny Diaz went after a new defensive coaching staff and fired former defensive coordinator Blake Baker. Even after hiring a new staff on the defensive end, it looks as though Diaz will be calling the defensive plays.

If the defense can figure it out, the offense should be able to score enough points to beat every team in the ACC, other than Clemson. They’ll bring back senior transfer D’Eriq King who completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,686 yards. He threw for 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions and has some legs to his build where he ran for 538 yards.

Some believe King could be in the running for the Heisman award. It’s difficult because he tore his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl and has been recovering ever since. We have no idea how healthy he’ll be when the season begins.

But Miami is going to take on Alabama in the first game of the regular season for both teams. If Miami can somehow, someway, defeat Alabama, that would be a huge momentum boost for the rest of the season. Even if they’re unable to get the job done, they’ll at least be able to play and experience a game against competition like Clemson.

If Miami makes the ACC Championship game against Clemson, they won’t be a +900 underdog. There’s certainly some value, and you could even hedge out of it before the game begins.

Pick: Miami (+900)

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Jason Radowitz is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive and follow him @Jason_Radowitz.

College Football, Picks