ACC Betting Preview 2018-19: Clemson, Miami CFP Contenders
- Bet Miami Hurricanes make the College Football Playoff at +325.
- Bet Florida State Seminoles win over 8 games at 5/6.
After some recent down periods, the ACC has become a force to be reckoned with the in Power Five. The conference has benefited greatly from the resurgence of Florida State, Miami and most notably Clemson on the national stage along with the development of programs like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.
The ACC will be an intriguing conference to bet on as it has a good chance of getting at least one team to the College Football Playoff with the possibility of two. With the season starting soon, college football betting fans should check out this full break down of all the best bets for the 2018-19 ACC season.
Clemson Expected to Return to CFP
The Tigers are gearing up to make a fourth straight CFP appearance as they return much of the talent that got them to the postseason last year. Quarterback Kelly Bryant is coming off a tremendous freshman season and the defense looks like one of the best in the country as per usual.
Dabo Swinney has turned his program into a perennial powerhouse that has absolutely dominated the ACC the least three seasons. There’s little evidence to doubt the Tigers will do it again this season but their competition in the Coastal is intriguing nonetheless.
We see no reason not to bet that the Tigers make the CFP once again. Our favourite odds among the top online bookmakers is odds of 8/15 offered over at Betfair. That sportsbook also offers Clemson at 1/2 odds of winning the ACC outright and 11/2 of winning their second national championship in three years.
Hurricanes Have Sights Set High
Mark Richt might be the coach that eventually gets the Hurricanes back to a national championship. Last season the Canes made it to the Orange Bowl, their first New Year’s Six or BCS bowl since 2004, and while they dropped the decision 34-24 to Wisconsin there were plenty of signs “the U” was on the brink of returning.
During a stunning 10-game win streak to open the season, Miami looked destined for the playoff. The defense was punishing, peaking in a 41-8 drubbing of No. 3 Notre Dame that catapulted the Canes into the national spotlight. But getting crushed by Clemson 38-3 in the ACC title after being upset by Pittsburgh 24-14 a week earlier completely derailed the Cane’s title hopes.
With a good chunk of that defense returning led by top junior linebackers Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney, the Canes should be a shoo-in to win the Coastal Division and are an excellent dark horse pick to potentially unseat the Tigers.
For those confident in Miami this season, Karamba offers the best odds giving the Hurricanes a -110 chance to win over 9.5 games, a +600 shot of winning the ACC and a solid +325 of making it to the playoff.
Noles Offense Will Be Eye-Catching
Miami’s top competition in the Coastal will likely be their hated rivals. Coach Willie Taggart has come home to the Sunshine State and brings his brand of offensive ingenuity to the most talented roster he’s likely ever coached.
Expect the Noles to bounce back from tumultuous season that saw Jimbo Fisher take off for Texas A&M thanks to the stability Taggart offers as just the second coach to take the job since the departure Bobby Bowden.
We are anxious to see what the creator of the Gulf Coast offense and lover of “big plays” will do with the likes of Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick. Also intriguing is the question of whether last season’s Heisman hopeful Deandre Francois will bounce back after an early season-ending injury or lose his job to highly touted James Blackman.
All that being said, expect the Seminoles to be a top-flight ACC squad and give Miami a good game when they meet. Even if they drop that contest as we expect, Taggart should make a great first impression by winning eight games or more which is given 5/6 odds on Betfair (our favourite FSU bet).
Winning Season May Not be in the Cards
It’s not that Louisville is a bad football team. It’ just a rebuilding one searching for its identity. They lost arguably the greatest player in program history in Lamar Jackson who was an absolute gamebreaker.
Aside from replacing a quarterback, the defense is a giant question mark and in a conference that looks to get deeper with talent every season, that will be a huge challenge.
This is not the best year to be rebuilding in the ACC and if one program can be expected to take a step back as new blood rises to the top, it would appear to be Louisville. If you're looking for our advice, take Ladbrokes offering odds of 5/6 for the Cardinals winning less than 7 games.
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