2008 ACC Football Future Betting Odds June 25th, 2008
By: NCAA Football Handicapping Staff
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NCAA Football Futures Betting – ACC Has Some Choices
As Our best Sportsbooks customers evaluating the college football wagering season examine the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), they are not looking at a league laden with national title contenders. But there are a couple of teams that could have an impact on things when all is said and done.
First, we take a look at football betting odds for the ACC this season:
BetUS NCAA Futures Betting
To Win Atlantic Coast Conference
Boston College +2500
Florida State +450
Georgia Tech +1200
North Carolina +800
North Carolina State +5000
Virginia Tech +250
Wake Forest +600
Let’s undertake examine some of the contenders in capsule form, and in doing so I am going to enlist the help of Tom Marino, a scout in the NFL for well over two decades who is currently one of the stalwarts over at Scout.com.
Let’s examine all these sports betting teams in capsule form:
Tom is one of those guys who’s not a big fan of the “dink-and-dunk” offenses that have infiltrated both college and pro football, preferring a quarterback who can really get the ball down the field. He’s going to comment on some of this conference’s signal-callers
BOSTON COLLEGE (+2500 in BetUS odds) will have to go about things without QB Matt Ryan, who is off to the Atlanta Falcons. Senior Chris Crane takes his place. Marino calls Crane “A big sucker with a strong arm, but he hasn’t taken many snaps over his career.” That’s right, and the receivers got knocked last year as a bad complement to Ryan’s abilities. The leading returning rusher, James McCluskey, had 14 yards last year. Defensively, this team was second nationally in rushing yards allowed but must replace seven starters.
CLEMSON (+250 in BetUS odds) — Clemson always has a team that can defend; last year they finished ninth overall in the country, and they really only have to replace three departed starters (though one of them is Miami Dolphin draftee Phillip Merling). What is most exciting about the Tigers, however, is that the running back tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller, among the top five duos in the country last season, are back, a year wiser and more experienced. With Aaron Kelly (88 receptions) and QB Cullen Harper (27 TD’s, 6 INT’s) also back, this has the potential to be one of the very best offenses in the country, and puts Clemson in the running as an outside contender for the national title. Marino, who is not crazy about the quarterbacks in the ACC, calls Harper “clearly the best of a bad lot.”
FLORIDA STATE (+450 in BetUS odds) will always be able to recruit reasonably well, but these are not your father’s Seminoles. Under first-year offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, FSU produced 23.3 ppg, which was 90th in the nation. The defense was so-so, returns a contingent of six starters but was hit hard by an academic scandal in the off-season. As for returning QB Drew Weatherford, Marino says “He has a strong arm, is experienced and big, but is a poor decision maker who hold the ball too long.” Weatherford threw only nine touchdown passes last season.
GEORGIA TECH (+1200 in BetUS odds) might eventually become a contender, but the going may be rough at first under incoming coach Paul Johnson, who used his “flexbone” offense at Navy with so much success. Tashard Choice, who had injury problems last year, is gone, Josh Nesbitt should take the reins at QB, and he can run with the ball, so that’s a positive. The Yellow Jackets sported a Top 20 defense last season, but they have lots of work to do in compensating for considerable losses in the secondary and linebacking corps. Georgia Tech may also find themselves with worse field position than last year because Durant Brooks, perhaps the best punter in the country, is out the door.
MARYLAND (+1400 in BetUS odds) did not finish with a flourish, losing five of its last seven games. After ranking 92nd in total offense last year, offensive coordinator James Franklin comes in and brings the West Coast offense with him. As for the quarterback situation, “Jordan Steffy has talent,” according to Marino, “but he got hurt last year (head injury) and was replaced by a kid named Chris Turner, who was not very nimble.” Will the two-headed system work for Franklin, head coach Ralph Friedgen and the Terps? Maybe, but not well enough to challenge for the crown.
MIAMI (+350 in BetUS odds) is a team that completely lost its swagger under first-year coach Randy Shannon. The ‘Canes finished 5-6 and had to endure such humiliations as a 48-0 loss to Virginia. There is a September 6 date at Gainesville against the Florida Gators, which could cause some embarrassment. There is obviously talent on defense, and Shannon was able to bring aboard one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. But only three starters return on offense. And the post of trigger man is far from settled, with freshmen vying for the job.
NORTH CAROLINA (+800 in BetUS odds) showed improvement in their first year under Butch Davis, and has a chance to have one of the better secondaries in the conference. But they must get more out of the rushing game. And quarterback T.J. Yates, who passed for 2655 yards as a freshman, “threw too many interceptions,” according to Marino. “He’s careless with the ball.” The Tar Heels, curiously, may have a better shot at the ACC title than they do at finishing over .500. They don’t have to play Clemson, Wake Forest or FSU, but they do get to face Notre Dame, U-Conn and Rutgers in the non-conference slate.
VIRGINIA TECH (+250 in BetUS odds) came off the tragedy on its campus to post eleven wins and capture the ACC title,though the Hokies lost to Kansas in the Orange Bowl. The defense was fourth in the nation, and only two teams allowed less points per game. But five members of the front seven and half the secondary has to be replaced. And their is a dearth of talent and production at the skill positions. There is something of a platoon at quarterback with Tyron Taylor and Sean Glennon, who “flashed some skills” according to Marino, and they do complement each other reasonably well, perhaps enough to get them to the ACC title game as Coastal division champ.
WAKE FOREST (+600 in BetUS odds) has perhaps the most industrious coach in the league in Jim Grobe, and one of the ACC’s better returning quarterbacks in Riley Skinner, who completed 72% of his passes last year, admittedly with low-risk throws. He doesn’t have much of an arm,” says Marino, “but he’s smart and a very accurate passer within their system.” Nine defensive starters are returning, as well as very talented running back Josh Adams. Special teams are usually a strength of this team. The Deacons have the profile of an overachiever, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them mount a challenge to Clemson, if a bounce or two goes their way. As such, they can be seen as a viable darkhorse.
As for the others – Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina State, you can forget it. Clemson obviously offers the best value here.
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