Odds to Win the 2016 ACC Conference
As we approach the 2016 College Football Season, many teams will be scrapping it out to win the wide-open Atlantic Coast Conference. Here is an overview and breakdown of the conference’s favorites to win, along with our top play as a dark horse. The betting odds to win the ACC this season have been provided by BetOnline.
We are not gung-ho on the Tigers because their conference schedule in itself affords Clemson many opportunities to encounter trouble. Yes, the Tigers may return some exceptional talent in both quarterback Dashaun Watson and wide receiver Artavis Scott but we have to suspect this number is based on Clemson’s overachievement in 2015. Clemson was five points shy of a College Football National Championship but with that being said they are all the more vulnerable to getting knocked off in 2016.
The Seminoles are likely offered at this price by their name alone. Many are sweet on RB Dalvin Cook as a potential Heisman candidate but that is not enough for us to buy in. Like many teams that match the prestige of FSU, their name assesses that hidden premium teams even if they don't play at an elite level. Florida State typically boasts a ferocious and domineering defense but they have lost some key pieces in their defensive tapestry. With this being said, there is a lot of risk and minimal reward in making a play on the Noles.
A great value play given incoming coach Mark Richt knows how to turn programs around quickly, just ask Georgia about Richt’s accolades who won the SEC in the second year of Richt’s tenure. The 2002 SEC with the Dawgs was a tough cookie to crack, yet the Dawgs lost just one game all season long. Richt comes in and takes control of an outfit in a wide open conference with some talented returning starters, including quarterback Brad Kaaya who threw for over 3,000 yards in 2015.
Another solid value play considering the Tar Heels played in the ACC Championship Game last year. While the Heels may have lost some key starters, UNC at this price bodes tremendous upside given their rise to prominence in 2015. Nevertheless North Carolina has their work cut out for them against Duke, NC State and Wake Forest in annual rivalry games, but even with a loss to Georgia out of the gate, this team can offer exceptional upside on a buy-back option as they marched in to the aforementioned ACC Championship Game in 2015 on an eleven game winning streak.
James Conner can very quietly emerge as the second coming of Lesean McCoy. The Panthers welcomed a coaching change in 2015 and their ceiling can only rise from here. Pittsburgh can swoop in off the radar because they are a blue-collar football team that enjoys getting in to dogfights with any team. Pittsburgh plays a physical style of football that can wear even the most finesse teams down. There is no reason to suspect this club cannot ascend beyond eight games under Pat Narduzzi.