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ACC Coastal Preview

The ACC Coastal Division is a total crapshoot in 2017. The media pundits have proclaimed the Miami Hurricanes as the favorite to win this division at +163, but Virginia Tech is not far behind at +178. Further inspection reveals that Bud Foster may have his best defense in years in Blacksburg, so don’t sleep on the Hokies. The division could very well be decided in early November when the Hokies travel to Miami. The upcoming season outlooks for Miami and Virginia Tech are actually quite similar. Both teams have dominant defenses, but will be searching for answers at quarterback.

Quarterback inexperience is a trend you will notice across the division, as five of the seven teams in the Coastal need to replace starting QBs. Some of the names include:

  • Mitch Trubisky (UNC) – Second overall pick; could start for the Bears
  • Brad Kaaya (Miami) – Drafted by the Lions in the 6th round
  • Jerod Evans (VT) – Signed with Eagles before going on IR; now a free agent
  • Nathan Peterman (Pitt) – Could potentially start for the Bills
  • Justin Thomas (GT) – Three-year starter; may get a shot in the NFL at WR

Duke and Virginia, who are not threats to win the ACC Coastal, are the only two teams with returning starters under center; therefore, the development of the new faces at quarterback will go a long way in deciding who will play in the ACC Championship.

As for a sleeper in this division, one Coastal team a year gets the benefit of missing Clemson, Louisville and Florida State from the Atlantic. The scheduling Gods deemed Pittsburgh to be that lucky team to miss the big three in 2017. I still can’t pull the trigger on Pitt at +900 to win the Division with how much they lost on offense and how little I trust their defense; the Panthers also have a rough end to the season finishing at Virginia Tech followed by a home game against Miami. Not only did Pitt lose Nathan Peterman and James Conner, but they also are dealing with the departure of offensive coordinator Matt Canada.


Miami Hurricanes

Opening Power Rating:          58.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.7

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 Bethune-Cookman Miami MIAMI -62
Sep 9 Miami Arkansas St. ARST +13
Sep 16 Miami Florida St. FSU -17
Sep 23 Toledo Miami MIAMI -13
Sep 29 Miami Duke DUKE +6
Oct 12 Georgia Tech Miami MIAMI -6.5
Oct 21 Syracuse Miami MIAMI -8.5
Oct 28 Miami North Carolina UNC +0
Nov 4 Virginia Tech Miami MIAMI +2.5
Nov 11 Notre Dame Miami MIAMI -6.5
Nov 18 Virginia Miami MIAMI -9.5
Nov 24 Miami Pittsburgh PITT +2.5
Legend: Off Of Bye / Overlook Watch / B2B Road Games / Neutral Site

CW Projected Total Wins:       8.1
CW Projected ACC Wins:       3.9
Posted Total Wins:               O 9 -135

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 120th Overall (Offense 144th, Defense 101st)
  • Must find a QB to replace Brad Kaaya who left early for the NFL.
  • New QB will have a star RB in Mark Walton and a solid offensive line to rely on.

X-Factor

  • Shaquille Quarterman (MLB) returns to lead a group of linebackers that all started last year as freshmen. The entire front seven returns and should be dominant once again against the run. Quarterman was the leading tackler in 2016, totaling 84 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 8 quarterback hits as a true freshman in 2016. "LBU" is back.

Useless Trend

  • Miami is 6-1 to the under after a bye since 2014, which applies to their matchup with Georgia Tech this year.

Betting Outlook

  • The U visits Jonesboro, Arkansas? I would call for an upset, but this Arkansas State team isn’t built like some of their recent squads. However, it still is a sleepy spot for Miami, especially with the Noles on deck. +14 or better is worth a look.

  • Look to hit FSU -9.5 Game of the Year line against Miami, who will be on back-to-back travel with major questions in the passing game against an elite secondary.

  • Toledo +15 Game of the Year line looks like a nice spot, as the Rockets will be sandwiched in between two ACC games for Miami. Additionally, Toledo has the talent in 2017 to hang with mid-tier Power Five programs this season.

TheU


Virginia Tech Hokies

Opening Power Rating:          63.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.7

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 3 Virginia Tech West Virginia WVU +13
Sep 9 Delaware Virginia Tech VT -41
Sep 16 Virginia Tech East Carolina ECU +23
Sep 23 Old Dominion Virginia Tech VT -25
Sep 30 Clemson Virginia Tech VT +1
Oct 7 Virginia Tech Boston College BC +14.5
Oct 21 North Carolina Virginia Tech VT -10.5
Oct 28 Duke Virginia Tech VT -16.5
Nov 4 Virginia Tech Miami MIAMI +2.5
Nov 11 Virginia Tech Georgia Tech GT +6
Nov 18 Pittsburgh Virginia Tech VT -13
Nov 24 Virginia Tech Virginia UVA +10
Legend: Off Of Bye / Overlook Watch / B2B Road Games / Neutral Site

CW Projected Total Wins:       9.6
CW Projected ACC Wins:       5.8
Posted Total Wins:              O 9 +110

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 92nd Overall (Offense 119th, Defense 17th)
  • The new starting quarterback will lose Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges as targets.
  • This will be a top-five FBS defense if they get production from an inexperienced defensive line.

X-Factor:

  • Travon McMillian (RB) – Virginia Tech will not only miss Evans at QB, but he was also their leading rusher in 2016. Can McMillian regain his form from 2015 when he rushed for over 1,000 yards? He will need, to as the Hokies will have a new QB under center (most likely freshman Joshua Jackson) and inexperienced receivers outside of Cam Phillips.

Useless Trend

  • The Hokies are 6-1 ATS as an away underdog since 2013. This will be relevant to their 2017 matchup with Miami.

Betting Outlook

  • The Hokies-Hurricanes game in early November will be a defensive spectacle, especially if both teams have not found an adequate solution at QB. Anybody remember the Virginia Tech/Wake Forest game that was 0-0 at the end of regulation? We could see part two. Hit the under at anything over 35.

  • While Miami is picked to win the division by many, I hit Virginia Tech to win the Coastal +178, as I will side with the better coach and better overall defense.

  • Consider the Virginia Tech -7.5 Game of the Year Line against North Carolina, as the Hokies will be coming off a bye with their top-10 FBS defense playing against a UNC program that needs to replace its entire offense. This has 41-7 written all over it.

  • The Hokies have some very sleepy home spots where I will look to fade them as big favorites: They host Old Dominion before Clemson and host Duke before Miami

VTflip


Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Opening Power Rating:          54.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.8

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 4 Tennessee Georgia Tech GT +4.5
Sep 9 Jacksonville St. Georgia Tech GT -23.5
Sep 16 Georgia Tech UCF UCF +5.5
Sep 23 Pittsburgh Georgia Tech GT -4.5
Sep 30 North Carolina Georgia Tech GT -2
Oct 12 Georgia Tech Miami MIAMI -6.5
Oct 21 Wake Forest Georgia Tech GT -10.5
Oct 28 Georgia Tech Clemson CLEM -15.5
Nov 4 Georgia Tech Virginia UVA +1
Nov 11 Virginia Tech Georgia Tech GT +6
Nov 18 Georgia Tech Duke DUKE +2
Nov 25 Georgia Georgia Tech GT +0
Legend: Off Of Bye / Overlook Watch / B2B Road Games / Neutral Site

CW Projected Total Wins:      7.3
CW Projected ACC Wins:      5.9
Posted Total Wins:              O 6.5 -115

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 29th Overall (Offense 70th, Defense 10th)
  • Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech’s leading rusher in 2016, was dismissed from the team this weekend.
  • Tough losses up the middle on both sides as they lost starting QB, RB, C and NT.

X-Factor:

  • Matthew Jordan (RB) – The entire triple option offense requires split-second decision making from the QB position. It won’t be easy to replace Justin Thomas, especially now that Mills is out, but Jordan appears to be the most viable option. Keep an eye on the progress of the shoulder injury he is dealing with.

Useless Trend

  • The Yellow Jackets are 9-3 to the over as away underdogs since 2013.

Betting Recap

  • Look for the current GOY Georgia Tech +7.5 against Miami on October 12th – a little Thursday night home dog magic. Both teams will be coming off of a bye, so there’s no advantage there, but Georgia Tech was one of the few teams to have success running against Miami last season. The Jackets find a way to get inside the number.

  • The worst situational spot on the schedule is in mid-October when Georgia Tech hosts Wake Forest in between road trips to Clemson and Miami. Look to take the Demon Deacons as double-digit dogs.

GTflag


North Carolina Tar Heels

Opening Power Rating:          55.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.9

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 California North Carolina UNC -14
Sep 9 Louisville North Carolina UNC +4
Sep 16 North Carolina Old Dominion ODU +12
Sep 23 Duke North Carolina UNC -9
Sep 30 North Carolina Georgia Tech GT -2
Oct 7 Notre Dame North Carolina UNC -4
Oct 14 Virginia North Carolina UNC -7
Oct 21 North Carolina Virginia Tech VT -10.5
Oct 28 Miami North Carolina UNC +0
Nov 9 North Carolina Pittsburgh PITT -0.5
Nov 18 W. Carolina North Carolina UNC -40.5
Nov 25 North Carolina NC State NCST -7
Legend: Off Of Bye / Overlook Watch / B2B Road Games / Neutral Site

CW Projected Total Wins:       5.8
CW Projected ACC Wins:       2.7
Posted Total Wins:              O 7 +135

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 126th Overall (Offense 128th, Defense 69th)
  • Lost 98% of 2016 offensive production (QB, 2 top backs, 5 of top 6 receivers)
  • On defense, Chizik stepped down as defensive coordinator. The secondary will be solid again (top 20 in 2016), but must create more turnovers (only one interception against FBS schools).

X-Factor:

  • Brandon Harris (QB) – The LSU transfer will most likely take over for Trubisky under center. However, during his time in Baton Rouge, Harris struggled mightily with accuracy, a hallmark of Fedora offenses.

Useless Trend

  • North Carolina is 15-1 straight up as a home favorite since 2015

Betting Recap

  • UNC’s inexperience on offense will be highlighted week two against a Louisville defense that is 15th in FBS in returning experience. Take Louisville -6 Game of the Year line or better.

  • Look to back Virginia at +7 or better when they travel to Chapel Hill. This is a potentially sleepy spot for UNC the week after Notre Dame with a trip to Virginia Tech on deck. It’s a prime lookahead spot, as UNC should really want a piece of the Hokies this season after getting embarrassed 34-3 at home last season.

  • UNC should have even more motivation for their matchup with rival Duke after their one-point loss in 2016 set their season into a tailspin.

  • Take any North Carolina Win Total Under 7 (currently -150 at 5Dimes). UNC will only be favored in possibly six games and would need to upset both Georgia Tech and Miami to get to eight wins, assuming they also avoid a bad loss. I am also not a believer in Harris.

UNCPoint


Pittsburgh Panthers

Opening Power Rating:          53
Home Field Advantage:         2.8

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 Youngstown St. Pittsburgh PITT -13.5
Sep 9 Pittsburgh Penn St. PSU -14.5
Sep 16 Oklahoma St. Pittsburgh PITT +4.5
Sep 23 Pittsburgh Georgia Tech GT -4.5
Sep 30 Rice Pittsburgh PITT -20.5
Oct 7 Pittsburgh Syracuse SYR -1.5
Oct 14 NC State Pittsburgh PITT +3.5
Oct 21 Pittsburgh Duke DUKE +0.5
Oct 28 Virginia Pittsburgh PITT -4.5
Nov 9 North Carolina Pittsburgh PITT -0.5
Nov 18 Pittsburgh Virginia Tech VT -13
Nov 24 Miami Pittsburgh PITT +2.5
Legend: Off Of Bye / Overlook Watch / B2B Road Games / Neutral Site

CW Projected Total Wins:       5.7
CW Projected ACC Wins:       3.3
Posted Total Wins:              O 7.5 +135

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 123rd Overall (Offense 105th, Defense 115th)
  • LB Quintin Wirginis and S Jordan Whitehead are suspended for the first three games.
  • The pass defense can’t really get any worse in 2017 (it was the second-worst in FBS in 2016).

X-Factor:

  • Max Browne (QB) – New offensive coordinator Shaun Watson, formerly with the Colts and the offensive coordinator at Texas, is hoping Pitt can replace QB Nathan Peterman with Max Browne, a former No. 1 overall recruit. After managing just six points against Alabama and 10 points against Stanford to start 2016, Browne’s time as a starter at USC came to a crashing end, and the senior decided to transfer East. Pitt is hoping Browne can put it all together with solid returning receivers (Weah/Henderson) in a divsion full of QB question marks.

Useless Trend

  • Pitt is 8-2 to the over as an away underdog since 2014.

Betting Recap

  • If you like lottery tickets and need a deep sleeper in the ACC, Take Pitt at 50/1 to win the Conference. They miss Clemson, Florida State and Louisville on the schedule. They also get their toughest games to end November (at Virginia Tech, host Miami). Opt to go light on the Primanti’s sandwich and use that spare change for a Pitt roller coaster instead.

  • Pitt beat Penn State and Clemson last season. They will avoid a rematch with Clemson, but will play Penn State again in 2017. The Panthers will travel to Happy Valley for the first time in 18 years. The last time Pitt and Penn State played at Beaver Stadium, LaVar Arrington blocked a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.

Pitt


Duke Blue Devils

Opening Power Rating:          49.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.9

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 NC Central Duke DUKE -33.5
Sep 9 Northwestern Duke DUKE +3.5
Sep 16 Baylor Duke DUKE +4
Sep 23 Duke North Carolina UNC -9
Sep 29 Miami Duke DUKE +6
Oct 7 Duke Virginia UVA -4
Oct 14 Florida St. Duke DUKE +20
Oct 21 Pittsburgh Duke DUKE +0.5
Oct 28 Duke Virginia Tech VT -16.5
Nov 11 Duke Army ARMY +4
Nov 18 Georgia Tech Duke DUKE +2
Nov 25 Duke Wake Forest WF +0
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:       5.2
CW Projected ACC Wins:       3.3
Posted Total Wins:              O 5.5 +130

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 48th Overall (Offense 25th, Defense 100th)
  • Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys return to lead a strong group of linebackers, but there are major questions at their three safety spots and all along the defensive line.

X-Factor:

  • Daniel Jones (QB) – Jones returns as the most experienced quarterback in the division despite only being a sophomore. Jones’ development was promising as a freshman after he finished the season with 173 consecutive passes without an interception. He also brings a running element to the position, and rushed for close to 500 yards in 2016. Add in a group of experienced receivers and you should expect an uptick in explosive plays for head coach David Cutcliffe’s offense in 2017.

Useless Trend

  • Duke is 8-0 ATS after a bye since 2013; this trend applies to Army on November 11th in 2017.

Betting Outlook

  • Take Duke +3 or better against Georgia Tech, the second straight triple option offense they face, as they play Army the week prior. Practices for the November 18th game against Georgia Tech should have a similar feel for defending the triple option with gap responsibilities and outside contain.

  • Duke has to play 10 teams that played in a Bowl in 2016, but they do have two favorable spots on their schedule – home against Baylor and at Virginia Tech.

  • Duke could get caught sleeping at home at Virginia in between home games against Florida State and Miami. Look for Virginia laying anything under four.

Duke


Virginia Cavaliers

Opening Power Rating:          51.5
Home Field Advantage:         2.1

Date Away Home CW Line
Sep 2 William & Mary Virginia UVA -19
Sep 9 Indiana Virginia UVA -0.5
Sep 16 UConn Virginia UVA -20
Sep 22 Virginia Boise St. BSU -5.5
Oct 7 Duke Virginia UVA -4
Oct 14 Virginia North Carolina UNC -7
Oct 21 Boston College Virginia UVA -7
Oct 28 Virginia Pittsburgh PITT -4.5
Nov 4 Georgia Tech Virginia UVA +1
Nov 11 Virginia Louisville LOU -13.5
Nov 18 Virginia Miami MIAMI -9.5
Nov 24 Virginia Tech Virginia UVA +10
Legend: Coming off bye / Overlook watch / Back to Back road travel / Neutral site

CW Projected Total Wins:       5.0
CW Projected ACC Wins:       2.5
Posted Total Wins:              O 5 +100

Offseason Notes

  • Returning Production: S&P+ 25th Overall (Offense 62nd, Defense 8th)
  • Kurt Benkert returns at QB after being benched in 2016; he appears to be healthy.
  • A few grad transfers will attempt to fix a horrific offensive line.

X-Factor:

  • Micah Kiser (MLB) – Kiser, a second-team All-American in 2016, will lead a potentially underrated Wahoo defense that has tremendous returning production. In 2016, Kiser racked up 134 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. Kiser, who led the ACC in tackles in 2016, will have help with eight returning starters including free safety Quin Blanding, the second-leading tackler in the ACC last season.

Useless Trend

  • The Cavaliers are 3-13-2 ATS as a favorite since 2012. Virginia should actually be a favorite twice in 2017, against Uconn and Boston College.

Betting Outlook

  • Who is ready to ride the Wahoo train? Virginia has a legitimate chance at a 5-0 or 4-1 start to the season. Boston College represents the chance to push or go over the win total, but this defense is good enough to get to four wins before a rough stretch of games in November. Take Season Win Total Over 5 +100.

UVA

Ready for more?

For more articles, start with the College Football Betting Preview for 2017. It provides a quick look at betting style, playoff predictions and more.