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Betting Tips for ACC Win Totals in 2021 – Top Value Plays and Teams to Fade

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| June 28, 2021 4:52 am PDT

It’s been a while since the ACC was in the running, let alone been considered one of the elite conferences. Back when Florida State was a nationally relevant program under Jimbo Fisher (2010-2016), the conference was eating up bids in the BCS and New Year’s Six.

Since Fisher’s departure, FSU has struggled miserably. Clemson is still waiting for a mainstay team to pose as a suitable threat.

Still, having one of the three best programs in the country is always the goal for a power five conference. There just needs to be more balance as too many teams have been stuck at or near .500.

That’s inexcusable.

This season’s non-conference matchups will go a long way in showing just how much the ACC has improved from the past few years. Looking at win totals and odds, here are my picks to click for the upcoming season in the ACC.

Atlantic Favorite: Clemson

Clemson has been the major favorite to capture the ACC title the previous three seasons. The odds have gotten out of hand this season at an absurd -2000 to win the division. The Tigers overall win total is set at a massive 11.5.

It’s all worthy since Clemson has been flexing on everybody in the conference for years now.

The experts in the desert are not wrong often with these monstrous short odds. Winning six straight conference titles also makes the Tigers a near mortal lock to at least appear in the conference title game.

Dabo Swinney has come up aces in many primetime games whether it be during the regular season or in January.

The Atlantic is still considered one of the softer divisions in the country among the power fives and Clemson is ahead by a mile at the moment.

Their defense entering the year should be as good as it ever has been. The defensive line will dominate the competition with a few sophomores that are primed to become the next stars in the program.

A sophomore at quarterback (DJ Uiagalelei) will also continue to develop into a likely star that can put Clemson right back where they have been, fighting for a national title.

The schedule in the ACC is not as challenging as last year, which was not overly difficult, albeit Notre Dame did give the Tigers one blemish in the ACC.

Trips to Raleigh and Louisville could be their toughest conference games of the season, but we’ll see Clemson laying anywhere from two and a half to three-plus touchdowns in those contests.

The value is not there for Clemson, but they sure deserve just about all the accolades they receive. It remains to be seen how many more years in a row the Tigers can finish a season ranked in the AP Top 4.

The all-time record is 14, held by their ACC counterpart Florida State (1987-2000). Clemson is currently at six in a row and will be picked by just about everybody to have a top-four finish for at least 2021, and perhaps longer.

Coastal Favorite: North Carolina (10) and Miami (9.5)

The most entertaining division in the ACC is the Coastal by a mile. Who should be the favorite is the real question.

Per the top college football betting sites, UNC and Miami enter in a dead heap as favorites. Both return star quarterbacks who can truly push the ball down the field.

Thanks to team success to go along with their video game-like numbers, expect to see both Sam Howell and D’Eriq King enter the Heisman Trophy race.

I do trust Howell and his coaching staff a bit more in this tough call, plus the Heels host the Canes. Now, UNC does have Florida State the week before their game compared to Miami having a bye week before their pivotal matchup.

We saw these two matched up last year, and the Heels thoroughly embarrassed and destroyed Miami’s defense’s heart, body, and soul. It’s hard to pick against Carolina, but it surely should be a close-ball game.

I like the Heels getting plus money in a division they will likely have on lockdown so long as they escape with a victory versus Miami. Even if North Carolina manages to lose their opener against Virginia Tech, it probably won’t matter.

The Tar Heels are searching for their first AP Top 10 finish since 1997, while Miami hasn’t landed in the top-10 since 2003.

Both are overdue for consistent success as many will be looking for one of these two to challenge Clemson. I like the overall coaching experience of Mack Brown and the pocket presence of Sam Howell.

ACC Win Totals in 2021

Before diving into my win total predictions for the ACC, peek at the table below to see where each program checks in.

2021 ACC Football Win Totals
Team 2021 Win Total
Clemson 11.5
North Carolina 10
Miami 9.5
Virginia Tech 7
Boston College 7
Louisville 7
Pittsburgh 7
Wake Forest 6.5
Virginia 6
Florida State 5.5
Georgia Tech 5
Duke 3.5
Syracuse 3

Value Pick: North Carolina

Depending on if you have the Tar Heels at 9.5 or 10 could determine the exact value. Many of the trusted online sportsbooks had it at 9.5 while others bumped it to 10 wins after money came pouring in on the over.

The Tar Heels possess one of the best weapons in the nation in gunslinger Sam Howell. Howell was dropping passes in the bucket against Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl with young, inexperienced players around him.

That just goes to show you how locked in he can be as an elite pocket passer, as does the following stat.

It’s no surprise Howell is in the running to be the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

North Carolina was weak at times on the defensive side of the ball, which does draw some concern. Still, the Tar Heels bring a ton of talent back on both sides of the ball that played last season. They return 79% of their production from 2020 and have a true shutdown corner in Tony Grimes.

Remember, Mack Brown is a proven winner who pushed through a tough schedule last season.

The pastures are much greener this time around and I love the Heels value as a dark horse ACC champion and College Football Playoff squad.

They may start the season in the Top 10, but not many will give them a prayer against Clemson.

The over on the win total seems like the best wager. In terms of value, the ACC odds along with Coastal odds are also decent bets. UNC is here to stay – enjoy Sam Howell before he starts playing on Sundays.

Team To Feast: Florida State

This is the lowest win total we have ever seen from an FSU team since totals started getting tracked at SportsOddsHistory.com.

The Noles are still recruiting at a national landscape but are looking for some consistent players to lead their team. Finding that is an issue when there is constant coaching flux.

The talent level is certainly down more than usual, and it reminds me of the end of the Bobby Bowden era more times than not.

There has been very questionable run blocking production with a lack of a true alpha dog on both sides of the ball.

They need to develop a Jalen Ramsey and Telvin Smith type of star that can talk the talk and walk the walk.

Bringing in a true inspiration as a signal-caller in McKenzie Milton should help some of their woes. Jordan Travis would be a strong backup that can get several snaps in the red zone and on crucial third downs. There is enough in Tallahassee for Mike Norvell to get this team bowling.

It might take another year or three to get them back to being Top 20 nationally relevant, but the time is now for them to get back to being respectable.

To reach this over, FSU just needs to avoid ugly losses. They should be favored in at least six games this season with meetings against UMASS, Jacksonville State, and Syracuse likely a free three. Getting three out of the next nine should not be overly difficult.

Games against Boston College, Louisville, NC State, and Wake Forest are all manageable spots where the Noles will likely be favored by a touchdown or less. It’s possible we’ll see them barely favored in all four of these matchups, but they just need to win three of the four to reach six wins.

That, of course, is only if they lose against all five of their remaining games. Notre Dame, Clemson (road), Miami, North Carolina, (road), and Florida (road) will likely be games in which FSU is favored to lose.

They are nearly double-digit home-opening underdogs to the Irish on Labor Day weekend, but I won’t be shocked if they get one of those Top-25 matchups due to an offense that should see solid improvement.

Take FSU on the over with some ease and feel ready for a fun ride along the way.

Team To Fade: Duke Under 3.5 (+100)

David Cutcliffe is one of my favorite coaches in the nation and has been around for years. The Blue Devils are not as talented as they have been over the years, and many will argue they have one of lesser talented squads in the entire ACC.

Duke is also No. 104 in returning production, which more times than not, shows us that signs are pointing downward from the previous season.

If you want to light a buck on flames, throw a penny on Duke to win the ACC title at +10000. The schedule makes life impossible for a program that has had consecutive losing seasons. Last season was rough at 2-9 and more of the same is likely to happen in 2021.

The non-conference is tough after those first two games against Charlotte and North Carolina A&T. Kansas could give Duke issues, but Northwestern is virtually locked in as a loss.

The rest of the season is grueling on paper as there may not be a game in which Duke is favored from October through Thanksgiving weekend.

Miami, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Virginia, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina are all games they could lose. Virginia might be their best shot, but over half of those teams will either be ranked or gearing up for a bowl.

Sell this team before the value changes.

Winner: Clemson

These are the biggest odds that Clemson has received. Just look at the past two seasons where it has been at -400 to win the ACC. The win total is just as high as it was in 2019 (11.5) when they were coming off a national championship.

Trevor Lawrence leaves and the odds suggest their chances of succeeding are even better. My answer? Dabo Swinney.

The king that Dabo has been in conference play is simply flawless. Dabo is 47-3 in his last 50 regular-season conference games, and we have seen Clemson win six straight ACC championship games on top of that.

He is 86-17 in his career, and most are expecting similar results with a favorable schedule.

Bank on D.J. Uiagalelei to become a stud, especially with loads of talent at his disposal.

The wide receiver depth is among the best in America, and I believe the defense should be in the top three thanks to Brent Venables.

There are solid threats in North Carolina and Miami, but the Tigers defense is above both. That should be the difference in some contests that could be closer than normal.

More College Football Win Total Predictions

If you’re still hungry for content regarding the Atlantic Coast Conference, check out this ACC football preview for the 2021 season. You’ll find organized snippets and additional perspective for every team in the ACC.

If you’re looking for more tips and advice in the college football win totals betting market, I’ve got that covered too.

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