Turning the page on the month of May means we’re one step closer to the 2020 college football season — or so we hope. What the future holds for the upcoming college football campaign (and all NCAA sports taking place in the fall semester, for that matter) remains to be seen, but it’s not too early to start peering ahead at conference odds and predictions.
Here, I’ll be focusing on the Atlantic Coast Conference — otherwise known as the division of football that Dabo Swinney and Clemson have utterly dominated in recent years. Let’s take a peek at my ACC football predictions and find out if anything will change in 2020.
ACC Winner – Odds for 2020
North Carolina +1000
Virginia Tech +1200
Florida State +2000
Wake Forest +4000
Before you roll your eyes at the -500 price tag attached to the Clemson Tigers winning the ACC in 2020, have a closer look. Frankly, it won’t take long to realize that the top college football betting sites are actually letting us in at a discount.
Analyzing the Top ACC Contenders
Clemson is deservedly the clear-cut favorite when it comes to the ACC football odds in 2020, so let’s start there.
2019 Record: 14-1 (lost in National Championship Game)
Best Player: Trevor Lawrence, QB
I picked Trevor Lawrence to emerge in my 2020 Heisman Trophy prediction post. That’s your first clue about how I expect Dabo Swinney’s group to perform. When studying Clemson’s schedule, I see nothing standing in the Tigers’ way of marching into the College Football Playoff (CFP) with an unblemished mark.
We’re talking about the top defense in college football in 2019 and arguably the most explosive offense heading into 2020. With Travis Etienne and Justyn Ross by Trevor Lawrence’s side, the sky is the limit.
Swinney has led this program to five straight ACC titles and a remarkable 69-5 record since 2015.
North Carolina Tar Heels
2019 Record: 7-6 (won the Military Bowl)
Best Player: Sam Howell, QB
It appears that Mack Brown is wasting no time turning the Tar Heel football program around. Taking over a squad that won a total of five games during the previous two seasons combined, Brown led UNC to their first bowl victory since 2013. Under the guidance of rising sophomore Sam Howell, perhaps an ACC title isn’t out of sight.
North Carolina returns a pair of receivers who went over the 1,000-yard mark in 2019 (Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome), and Michael Carter and Javonte Williams give the offense a legitimate 1-2 punch out of the backfield.
And don’t forget that Chazz Surratt is one of the top linebackers in America. Perhaps nabbing UNC to win the Coastal Division of the ACC is the college football bet that makes the most sense.
2019 Record: 6-7 (Lost in the Independence Bowl)
Best Player: Gregory Rousseau, DE
A 6-7 record wasn’t what Manny Diaz had in mind during his first year in Miami, but let’s focus on the bright side. D’Eriq King arrives from Houston as a dual-threat quarterback with loads of experience. King’s presence alone makes the Hurricanes a contender in the ACC, especially considering how terrific the defense is.
Gregory Rousseau could be the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft, while incoming freshmen Avantae Williams and Jalen Harrell should provide a major impact. A road game in East Lansing on September 26th is really the only non-conference game that presents a problem, and Miami gets North Carolina and Florida State on their home turf.
9+ wins should be more than attainable, which is why I like hammering the over on the Hurricanes’ win total bet at BetOnline.
Virginia Tech Hokies
2019 Record: 8-5 (Lost in the Belk Bowl)
Best Player: Jermaine Waller, CB
While some think the Tar Heels or the Hurricanes are the favorites to win the Coastal Division of the ACC, I’m not sure I’d bet against Justin Fuente and his crew. In fact, if the Hokies can slide by an early-season test at home versus the Nittany Lions, look out for Virginia Tech winning 10 or 11 games. Facing Pittsburgh and Louisville on the road in back-to-back weeks midway through the year won’t be easy.
But by then, Va. Tech will be battle-tested.
Hendon Hooker has lots of room to grow, and the defense in Blacksburg gets a major boost thanks to the arrival of Justus Reed. The transfer from Youngstown State racked up 13 sacks in 12 games last year with the Penguins.
2019 Record: 8-5 (Won the Music City Bowl)
Best Player: Micale Cunningham, QB
If you are digging through the best college football sportsbooks online for a Heisman Trophy sleeper in 2020, you might want to take a hard look at Louisville QB Micale Cunningham. The combination of Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick gives Cunningham two NFL-caliber wideouts at his disposal, so you know the passing stats will be there.
Micale’s ability to run the RPO to the tee makes this offense incredibly dynamic, but the defense will be a work in progress. Louisville ranked near the bottom of the ACC in several important defensive statistics a season ago and simply must be better.
As for the ceiling of the Cardinals team in 2020?
A game at Memorial Stadium in Clemson on September 12th will fill us in on just how competitive Louisville will be.
Who Will Win the ACC in 2020?
If you’re in the mood to take a flier, go ahead and back Miami or Virginia Tech to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. Those of you who are focused on capturing value and padding your wallet, don’t get fancy when it comes to your ACC football prediction in 2020.
Bet on Clemson taking care of business.
It’s clear as day that Clemson is the best team in the conference, and the chances of the Tigers not winning the Atlantic Coast Conference next season are slim to none.
As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.
Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.