2022 College Football Betting Guide: ACC Preview

by Aaron Ogdahl
2022 College Football Betting Guide: ACC Preview

Is the ACC Clemson's for the taking? Or does another contender emerge to once again unseat the powerhouse Tigers? The 2022 College Football Betting Guide: ACC Preview is here to give you direction.

My College Football Betting Guide series focuses on how to find an edge and preview each team within the Power 5 conferences and beyond. My goal is to take you on a campus tour throughout each conference and find the value.

I’ll provide you with the favorites, the contenders, the dark horses, and well, the donations you could make by selecting teams within each conference. I’ll give you my thoughts on each respective Team Total future bet you could make, some of the better players you could target for DFS Plays, and I’ll also give you my pick for who will raise the trophy as the conference champion, the MVP of the conference, and the +EV Pick.

The +EV Pick may have you scratching your head a little bit as to what it is, but +EV is short for positive expected value. Expected value in sports betting “is a way to measure the probability gap between a bettor’s expectations and the sportsbook’s.” 

In layman's terms, it’s who is going to give you the most bang for your buck: AKA, What’s the most profitable pick if you were to do this over and over again, long term. Because of course, that’s our goal: Long term profit. (and of course, fun!). So say it with me and repeat it to yourself, “Plus EV over everything.”

2022 College Football Betting Guide: ACC Preview

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ACC Conference Odds (via Fanduel)

  • Clemson -155
  • Miami (FL) +500
  • NC State +750
  • Pittsburgh +1000
  • North Carolina +2500
  • Florida State +2800
  • Louisville +3000
  • Wake Forest +3000
  • Virginia +4800
  • Boston College +5000
  • Virginia Tech +5000
  • Georgia Tech +21000
  • Syracuse +25000
  • Duke +100000

The Favorites

Clemson Tigers (2021 Record: 10-3)

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Clemson is in the first tier of national championship favorites with Ohio St and Alabama again, but after a down year in 2021, can Swinney return the Tigers back to their elite form?

HC Dabo Swinney was tasked with replacing his longtime DC Will Venables (now HC at Oklahoma) and OC Tony Elliot and he chose to promote Brandon Streeter and Wes Goodwin to keep the same playbooks Clemson has run.

It’s DJ Uiagalelei’s team, until it isn’t. For a powerhouse program in Clemson, we might see one of the shortest leashes at the QB position. This may be for good reason as well.

For one, Uiagalelei had his chance last year and the Tigers missed the ACC championship.

Secondly, Cade Klubnik, at 60-1 Heisman odds and 5 star recruit, is highly touted and completely capable of playing now for the Tigers.

Any sign of struggle and I don’t think Swinney hesitates to try out his shiny new toy in Cade Klubnik.

DJ may have some relief, however, because Beaux Collins was DJ’s HS teammate and he will be one of the major targets at the WR position along with Joseph Ngata. Kobe Pace and Will Shipley will lead the way in the rushing attack, which should be the Tigers’ offensive strong suit. They want to control the ball, finish drives, and let their great defense go to work.

This defense has national championship-level talent. Last year they never allowed more than 27 points and averaged to give up 14.8 points a game. It wasn’t really discussed how great they were because Dan Lanning (now at Oregon) and Georgia had a generational defense.

Without Venables, we probably shouldn’t expect the same results as last year, but they realistically can be the best in college football this year, especially considering that vaunted D line. Bryan Bresee is a top-five draft pick next year and he will anchor the Tigers along with Myles Murphy, an elite Defensive End.

Clemson will get back to the ACC championship as soon as they switch to Klubnik. He’s the real deal. Clemson will start 4-0 before its showdown with NC State, where they’ll be a slight favorite. If they win this game, they’re back in the ACC Driver’s seat and will be headed for an 11-win season. Miami and Florida State are other landmines, but I think Clemson gets two out of the three pretty easily.

Prediction: Team Total Over 10.5

The Contenders

Miami Hurricanes (2021 Record: 7-5)

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The Hurricanes offense will trust Mario Cristobal to get the Hurricanes back to stardom. The NIL deals and budget at Miami was more than enough to lure him away from Oregon back to his home in Florida.

As skeptical as I am about Cristobal concerning his offensive capabilities, he does possess a strong offensive line background and left the Ducks with the best offensive line in the nation. With Miami being awful last year in Offensive Line play, he will undoubtedly bring the talent to South Beach.

This may come as a relief for QB Tyler Van Dyke, who actually was successful as a freshman. He passed for almost 3,000 yards and had 25 TDs to only six INTs. Van Dyke has the ability to scramble, even if he hasn’t shown it yet. The Canes have an answer at QB, but what about other positions?

Jaylan Knighton will take care of the ball at the RB position along with transfer Henry Parrish from Ole Miss. Under OC Josh Gattis from Michigan, they should get plenty of opportunities to get the ball in space.

Charleston Rambo is gone at the WR position, but Frank Ladson from Clemson along with Key’Shawn Smith and Xavier Restrepo out of the slot should be enough for Van Dyke to rack up yardage and points for an offense that averaged 34 points a game last year, good for 23rd in the nation.

Defensively, the Canes need to be better. They surrendered 28 a game last season and it was largely due to poor tackling. If new coordinator Kevin Steele can get the defense going again, the talent is there to surprise a lot of folks.

The schedule for Cristobal will be tough and “his guys” aren’t quite there for the Hurricanes. Trips to A&M and Clemson will leave the Hurricanes as pretty big underdogs. The ACC is tough in itself and with the number set at 8.5, the Canes can only afford 1 loss to everybody else to hit the over. With this talent, but the porous defense, I’m skeptical Cristobal gets it done...this year anyway.

Prediction: Team Total Under 8.5

NC State Wolfpack (2021 Season: 9-3)

The Wolfpack enter 2022 with high expectations following a strong 2021 campaign that resulted in 9 wins. QB Devin Leary is good. He is very good. He had 3,400 yards passing, 35 TD’s, and only 5 INT’s. Having a QB of this caliber is a recipe for success in itself and there’s good reason for all the hype around this team.

They have stability in returning every single coach from last year. They return 90% of their defense and they cause havoc and turnovers. Offensively, they return Leary, but did lose their best OL and RB’s.

The team last year was good, but this one will be better.

Jordan Houston will look to be a versatile back after injury setbacks in his past. Thayer Thomas is a former baseball player and Devin Carter will be joining him to catch more passes at the receiver position.

The defense will be even better than last year after only surrendering 19.7 points per game last year with an onslaught of talent, especially at the LB position.

Now, can they put it all together and join Clemson in the ACC title game?

They’ll have Texas Tech at home, whose offense is going to put up points. This is a sneaky dangerous game for the Wolfpack. They’ll avoid Miami, but still have Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, along with other formidable ACC opponents. No weeks can be taken off.

With experience everywhere, I think the Wolfpack are ready to deliver this year.

Prediction: Team Total Over 8.5

Pittsburgh Panthers (2021 Record: 11-3)

Goodbye Kenny Pickett. Goodbye Jordan Addison. Two of the best players in the country (not just the conference) will need to be replaced this year.

Kedon Slovis, a transfer from USC, is very capable of filling in for Pickett in this offense. It won’t be easy though. USC’s offensive scheme is a different animal than Pitt’s. Not to mention, their OC is new (as Mark Whipple went to Nebraska). Slovis has talent though and will need to establish relationships with new receivers as Addison caught 17 TDs last season.

The running game will be solid. Israel Abanikanda, Vincent Davis, and Rodney Hammond will be able to run behind an O-line that returns all five starters.

Defensively, Pittsburgh is going to be solid again. They only allowed 23.6 points a game last season and the real liability is in the pass defense. Not much was done to fill in these gaps, so there will be times when Pittsburgh gives up big plays via the air, especially to the better QB who can sling it in the ACC.

This team is going to be interesting. The new OC has big shoes to fill as Pittsburgh put up 41 points per game last year. They’re not going to do that this year if new OC Frank Cignetti Jr. keeps the same offense he ran at Boston College. Pittsburgh will establish the run with their top OL and slew of capable RB’s.

Their schedule is favorable as well as they avoid Clemson, Florida State, and NC State. This makes the Panthers a dark horse to take the Coastal division. They’ll start the year tough and we will see what Pittsburgh is made of right away, as they have West Virginia and Tennessee at home.

If they split that, I still see the Panthers getting to 5-1 before their bye. With Syracuse, Duke, and Louisville in the back half, I see this team getting to eight, even nine wins.

Prediction: Team Total Over 7.5

Dark Horses

North Carolina Tar Heels (2021 Record 6-7)

The Sam Howell era is over in North Carolina and so is their moment in the sun the past few years. A rebuilding year in Chapel Hill is inevitable as many of the main pieces that made the Tar Heels electric offense go are now in the NFL (See Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Sam Howell, etc.)

The team averaged 35 points per game last year, and surrendered an abysmal 32 to opponents,—good for 105th in the nation.

Their offense is going to be worse, but will still have an explosive receiver in Josh Downs.  Who will be throwing to him is still a question mark.

Their defense is going to be, well, potentially better now that Gene Chizik is gone.

They’re bringing in a new DC and 82% of their returning production. I’ll be watching this D early for signs of life, otherwise, I’m not sold.

The Tar Heels will likely beat Appalachian State and Georgia State from the Fun Belt. Or will they? I actually think they get one of the two. App State and Georgia State are both solid teams offensively and this defense has question marks.

It’s going to be a tough year for NC.

Prediction: Team Total Under 7.5

Florida State Seminoles (2021 Record: 5-7)

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Is Mike Norvell the answer the Seminoles were looking for? I’m afraid an answer will come for Norvell and this fanbase in this season. If things don’t go well, I can see Norvell being sent to the coaching Carousel. If things go well, Florida State may re-enter the national championship conversations with their ability to get the nation’s top athletes. What will this season bring?

Jordan Travis is an athletic player and will be the Seminoles QB to run what could be a high-flying offense. However, in order for the offense to be what it can be, the OL needs to be better so Travis doesn’t have to scramble for his life. This should be better as they return almost 80% of offensive snaps from last season as well as transfer athletes. Expect the offense to be better, but they need to establish the run game to get back to Florida State standards.

Defensively, Florida State should be strong. They were slightly above average last season, but have much more talent than most programs. They racked up sacks last season and should be able to do the same this season.

The schedule is tough. They’ll have two SEC opponents in Florida and LSU. Both will be close games. They’ll have Clemson, NC State,  and Miami in the ACC as well. The team has potential, but what will we get from this year? I think they come out of those five tough games with one win. That doesn’t leave much room for error in the rest of the schedule

Prediction: Team Total Under 7.5

Louisville Cardinals (2021 Record: 6-7)

Offensively, the Louisville season will largely be dependent on the play of Malik Cunningham.

It’s Malik Cunningham’s team. Louisville lost some talent to the transfer portal, especially at the WR position, but they still return 85% of their snaps on the offensive line. This is conducive to success in D1 football, no matter the team. New pass catchers will emerge and Cunningham will continue to improve in all facets of his electric game. He will be the star of the passing and ground game in 2022.

Defensively, the team averaged giving up 27.3 ppg last season and Bryan Brown will continue to work with the new players, but should improve.

7 games on Louisville’s schedule will have spreads that are less than a TD. There aren’t a lot of sure wins on Louisville’s schedule either. I’m skeptical when one team depends so much on one player. With Cunningham, seven wins is tough, without Cunningham (which is a very real possibility when one player runs so much), it’s impossible. A lot has to go right for Louisville and I don’t see it happening.

Prediction: Team Total Under 7

Virginia Cavaliers (2021 Record: 6-6)

Tony Elliot from Clemson will start his tenure at Virginia after Bronco Mendenhall’s time ended. QB Brennan Armstrong is back and ready to put up more gaudy numbers. Armstrong passed for 4,449 yards, 31 TD’s, and 10 INT’s. What will the 2022 season have in store for the Cavaliers?

The offense should remain fast-paced and capable under Elliot, however, the offensive line has been depleted.  Center Olusengun Oluwatimi went to Michigan. LT Bobby Haskins to USC; RT Ryan Swoboda to UCF, and LG Logan Taylor to SMU. This could be an extremely dicey situation for the Cavaliers in a new scheme with new blockers.

The defense needs to do better. They allowed almost 32 ppg to opponents last year. Air Force DC John Rudzinski will be tasked to plug this gaping hole.  The defense still only brings back five of its top 11 tacklers.

This is a lot closer to a recipe for disaster than to a recipe for success.

The schedule for the Cavaliers is really the one strength the team can find optimism in. It might be one of the easiest schedules I’ve seen so far. Of the first seven games, they may only be dogs to Louisville, who is still very beatable. The end of the season won’t be pretty, but keep that in mind when you see Virginia as a 6-1 team.

They’re sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Prediction: Team total Over 7.5

(but remember, this team really isn’t that good. I’d stay away.)

Virginia Tech Hokies (2021 Record: 6-7)

I’m excited to watch Virginia Tech this season. Not only because they have the best introduction in college football.

But they are actually just really good. New coaches Brent Pry and OC Tyler Bowen will first need to find a replacement for Braxton Burmeister who went to San Diego St. Not only did Burmeister leave, but a slew of them Fuentes’ guys did. The QB position was up for grabs, but Grant Wells from Marshall won the starting QB position.

The offense will have question marks, but as long as they take care of the ball, they may not need a lot of talent to get the job done against their schedule. WR Jaden Blue, Sr will be a dangerous threat to catch a lot of short passes and find soft spots in the defense.

Defensively, they’ll return their top tacklers and be solid like last year. The Hokies avoid Clemson and Florida State this year and should start the season 3-0 and I see 7-4 as a solid number and start to the new Brent Pry era.

Prediction: Team Total Over 6.5

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2021 Record: 11-3)

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Unfortunately for every college football fan, Sam Hartman will not be back until further notice as he deals with a health issue. The Demon Deacons are going to struggle without their star player and legitimate Heisman contender.

Without knowing his status, Wake Forest numbers are going to fluctuate as Mitch Griffis will take over the starting spot. He only has 15 pass attempts to his name thus far. I think 2023 will be a fun season for the Demon Deacons as they maneuver their way through this one.

Prediction: TBD based on Hartman

The Donations

Boston College Eagles (2021 Record: 6-6)

Jeff Hafley will continue to try and resuscitate this program in Boston. Fortunately for Hafley, his defense will remain largely intact. Phil Jurkovec should be back from injury and his experience combined with playmaking ability should have Boston College in the hunt for a bowl game, but nothing more. I think they eke out their 6th win against Syracuse in the season finale.

Prediction: Team total Under 6.5

Syracuse Orange (2021 Record: 5-7)

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The Orange will return 78% of their production from last year’s team and have Sean Tucker at RB. He had 1,515 yards last year and over 1,014 yard after contact. The kid is a tough runner. In games where teams have a good run defense, the Orange are meat. Against soft defenses, they’ll put up a fight and sneak out some victories. Purdue, Virginia, and Wake Forest will struggle with Tucker. Syracuse could be fighting for a bowl game in their last game against BC, and personally, I don’t think they win this game with Jurkovec as the Eagles’ QB.

Team Total Under 5.5

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2021 Record: 3-9)

Jahmir Gibbs is gone to Alabama and Atlanta is in for a long season. Dylan McDuffie, a transfer from Buffalo will look to plug that gigantic hole, but Georgia Tech is going to struggle mightily this year on both sides of the ball. They return just 51% of last year’s production defensively. Tech will get victories over Western Carolina and Duke, but really I don’t see any other wins on the schedule.

Prediction: Team Total Under 3.5

Duke Blue Devils (2021 Record: 3-9)

Mike Elko and the Blue Devils will have wins against NC A&T and be slight favorites against Kansas and Temple. For them to get to 4 wins, they’ll need to beat Georgia Tech. Personally, I think Kansas wins this game and they split Temple and Georgia Tech in some capacity.

Prediction Team Total Under 3

Post-Season Award Ceremony

  • MVP: Devin Leary
  • ACC Champion: Clemson
  • +EV Pick: Either NC State or Florida State - I think both are worth flyers because of their capability and the number they’re each priced at. You could hedge your way during the season on both of them.

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