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2017 ACC Predictions

2017 ACC Conference College Football Predictions and Picks

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Oddly, the ACC is not always looked at as one of the absolute top football conferences in the sport. While they may lack some of the overall depth and name-power of other conferences, championship results in recent seasons show the ACC has a big say on the national scene. In the last four seasons, two ACC teams have won the championship. Last season, Clemson upset Alabama to win the College Football Playoff Championship Game. Anyone caught sleeping on the ACC will be doing so at their own peril.

Last season, the ACC was hotly-contested. Clemson made it all the way to become CFP champions, but they nearly didn't make it out of the ACC. The champion Tigers had to rely on a 6-point home win over Louisville to break the conference tie with both teams finishing 7-1 in conference play. It's just interesting to reflect how close they were to not even making it to the CFP. Clemson looks to defend their ACC title and make it to their third straight CFP final, but with key departures, not a ton of folks fancy their chances to repeat in 2017.

When betting on who will win the ACC, a lot needs to be taken into consideration. One key element is the schedules. You might like a team's chances, but that could change if you notice that team is facing a disproportionate amount of top conference teams or if their biggest tests take place mostly on the road. Also, the ACC is split into two divisions, the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. The winners of each division face each other in the ACC title game with the winner crowned ACC champions. The Coastal Division has more of the heavy-hitters of the conference—Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville. The Coastal Division is easier to negotiate, as good teams like Miami and Virginia Tech have less landmines in their path to the title game. It's important when handicapping a conference winner that you take into consideration the ease in which a team will get to the title game. Schedules and the division dynamics are key in arriving at a conclusion.

Betting Odds to Win the ACC in 2017
Florida State wins ACC Champ +108
Field wins ACC Championship -128
Clemson wins ACC Champ +450
Field wins ACC Championship -600
Miami FL wins ACC Champ +655
Field wins ACC Championship -1010
Louisville wins ACC Champ +825
Field wins ACC Championship -1275
Virginia Tech wins ACC Champ +1175
Field wins ACC Championship -1850

About the Odds: You'll notice that for each team listed, there is a choice called "field." In other words, for every pick for a team to win the 2017 ACC is another choice (field) which means any other team besides the one listed. So for example, Florida State is +108 to win the conference, with "field" listed at -128. And field means any team besides Florida State, as it does for all the different choices. Also, you notice this is not a complete list of teams, with early conference champion odds usually covering just the teams that are considered viable candidates. If looking for other ACC teams to bet, either make a field bet or wait until closer to the opening of the season. As far as college football futures bets, this is considered to be pretty early to get onboard. We just feel for the enterprising college football bettor, locking in some good early odds has it obvious benefits.

A Look at the Contenders:

Florida State: The last few seasons saw the 'Noles have their ups-and-downs, but there is a widespread notion that the stars have lined up well for FSU this season. Jimbo Fisher is a proven winner and has restored this team to its former glory after a prolonged funk. QB Deondre Francois is a legit Heisman candidate and his dual-threat abilities should have the offense in top form. The defense, however, might be one of the best in the country, with Derwin James coming back from injury, nine returning starters, and some blue-chip recruits coming into the fold. Odds of +108 aren't all that appetizing considering the conference opposition, but on paper, it's hard to argue.

Clemson: Deshaun Watson, the great Clemson quarterback who helped the Tigers reach the mountaintop, is now gone and so is his play and leadership. Filling those shoes won't be easy and after two seasons atop the conference, a downturn is being forecasted by some. However, the defense doesn't appear to be any worse and that was a big part of their recent success. Some pleasant surprises at quarterback should help minimize the dropoff. It might not be time to start shoveling dirt on the Tigers just yet. Head coach Dabo Swinney looks to find the right answers and should have this team in good form this season.

Miami: In his second season at the helm, Mark Richt might just have one of the more potential-laden Hurricanes teams seen in recent seasons. They are a good choice to win the Coastal Division this season. They do, however, need to find a new answer at quarterback after the departure of starter Brad Kaaya. We will see if they have the tools to form a championship offense, as some positive developments on that front are needed. The defense appears to be in good shape and along with a good offensive line; whoever steps in at QB should be able to get some help. Coming out of the Coastal Division, Miami has to be looked at as a real contender in 2017.

Louisville: Looking back to last season, it's important to note how close Louisville came to being the big dogs in the ACC. They lost a close one on the road to eventual CFP champion Clemson, which was their only conference loss. They return a one-man wrecking crew in defending Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, who at times last season overwhelmed opponents with his skills. We'll see if he can duplicate that magic against the better conference foes he faces this season, which wasn't always the case in '16. The issue is whether he has the dogs around him to get there, with a lot of his skill players departed and an offensive line that still seems bottom-half in the conference. And with some brutal defensive fronts of the top ACC teams, that might be the deciding factor at the end of the day.

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Virginia Tech: Here we have another team that might be dealing with issues at QB, as a freshman might be thrown into the fire. Clemson's big run in the College Football Playoff may have made some forget that it was Virginia Tech who Clemson had to beat in the ACC title game to make it. And the Hokies were respectable in a 7-point loss. Departures aside, this appears to be a team on the rise under the stewardship of promising young head coach Justin Fuente, who shined in his first season at the helm. They host Clemson and have to take to the road to face Miami and the results of those two games could decide the Hokies' fate in '17.

Lootmeister's Pick to Win the Conference: Florida State Seminoles. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and make preseason college football prop bets by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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  • 2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Odds for each team to win the college football playoff along with predictions of teams that have a legit shot of winning it all, including a longshot pick.
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  • College Football Conferences - List of all NCAA football conferences including the teams that make up each conference.
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