College football is right around the corner, which means it’s time for the sportsbooks to unleash conference title odds to the masses. The ACC has been extremely predictable over the last six seasons with Clemson claiming the crown in every season since 2014. Not surprisingly, the Tigers are once again the favorites to win the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
There are other contenders, though.
North Carolina has been on the rise under third-year coach Mack Brown, Miami (FL) has D’Eriq King under center for the second straight season and it’s not like Florida State has to stay down forever.
William Hill Sportsbook has odds up on who will claim the ACC title in the 2021 college football season, so let’s break down those numbers below.
Best bet — Clemson (-800): I could sit here behind my keyboard and espouse about how this is the year that Clemson gets dethroned. But the Tigers don’t play North Carolina or Miami (FL) out of the Coastal, get Florida State at home and the road schedule isn’t exactly a gauntlet. We already got a glimpse of how new quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei can perform, the defense should continue to thrive and the gap between the Tigers and everybody else in the ACC is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Worst Wager — Virginia Tech (+3000): The Hokies draw Sam Howell and the Tar Heels in a Friday night showdown right out of the gate, have road games at Miami (FL) and Virginia as the final two games of an eight-games-in-eight-weeks stretch to close out the season and, let’s be honest, it’s not like coach Justin Fuente has a stable program in Blacksburg. This program has the feel of a fragile lamp in a packed moving truck — one speed bump or pothole could shatter the whole thing.
Value pick — Miami (FL) (+1000): Look, I think Clemson is going to win the ACC. It’ll probably do it with ease. But if you think that the Hurricanes — or Tar Heels, for that matter — have even a slight chance of putting together 60 good minutes in Charlotte to upset the Tigers, it’d be fiscally irresponsible not to take either of the ACC Coastal front-runners. For the ‘Canes, it’s all about the O. D’Eriq King, assuming that he’s healthy, is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is the perfect coach to fit his skill set and there’s no shortage of talent on that side of the ball. Yes, the defense has to fill some holes, particularly up front, but I trust coach Manny Diaz to put together a competent crew at the very least.
Long shot — Georgia Tech (+7500): Third-year coach Geoff Collins had the unenviable task of transitioning to the spread from the triple-option, and had the unexpected challenge of navigating a COVID-19 shutdown that cost him his second spring practice session last offseason. Oh yes, he also had to deal with growing pains of freshman quarterback Jeff Sims in the COVID-shortened season in 2020. This is technically Year 3, but it is more like Year 2.5 for Collins. The Yellow Jackets get Boston College, North Carolina and Pitt at home, and have a bye week before the road trip to Virginia. Placing a couple of dollars on the Jackets to win the Coastal and catch lightning in a bottle in Charlotte isn’t the worst idea in the world.