ACC Conference Predictions for Nov. 21: No Pressure, Clemson

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst INovember 20, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers looks on against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 10, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Five conference games to pick this week with the lead storyline being heavily favored Clemson hoping to finally wrap up an ACC Championship Game berth with a win over Virginia.

Elsewhere, Boston College is clinging to their title hopes and hoping for a UVA upset, but may have their hands full with a surging North Carolina team.

And could this be the last home game for Bobby Bowden at FSU?

The long time Seminole coach came out this week and said he has made up his mind about his future, but hasn't told anyone yet.

Last week was a good week for me, as I went 11-1 straight up and 7-4-1 against the spread. How do you think I will fare this week?

Virginia Cavaliers at Clemson Tigers

Saturday 3:30 PM TV: ABC/ESPN

Line: Clemson -21

Two teams headed in opposite directions will collide in Death Valley when Virginia tries to spoil Clemson’s Atlantic Division title party.

With a win, the Tigers will wrap up a berth in the ACC title game. I think Al Groh’s job security at UVA has already been decided, even if the Cavs can pull off an upset.

Clemson has really picked up steam after their bye week, especially on offense.

The Tigers are led by their Heisman candidate CJ Spiller, who is doing it all: running it, catching it, returning it, and last week even throwing for a touchdown.

I don’t see how Clemson can lose this game and since Tommy Bowden is no longer coaching, I don’t think they will.

Clemson Wins
Clemson Covers -21

Maryland Terrapins at Florida State Seminoles

Saturday 12PM TV: Raycom

Line: FSU -19

People who don’t like good defense should like watching this game as these two teams rank at the bottom of the ACC in total defense.

But FSU does at least rank third in total offense while Maryland ranks 10th.

The Terps are having a very rough year all around and are plagued by turnovers and poor play in the red zone.

FSU surprised me last week with their execution on the ground in the upset win over Wake Forest.

But I think the Terps are able to move the ball in this game and keep them close enough to cover a big spread.

FSU Wins
Maryland Covers +19

North Carolina Tar Heels at Boston College Eagles

Saturday 12PM TV: ESPN2

Line: BC -3.5

UNC is the hot team coming into this game, but it is BC that still has title hopes as long as it finishes strong. Kind of the opposite of Maryland-FSU, as we have two of the top defenses in the conference going at it.

The Eagles have been a much better team at home than on the road this season, outscoring opponents by 20 points per game in Chesnut Hill.

First-year head coach Frank Spaziani deserves a lot of credit for having this team right back in the thick of things after two years of QB and coaching turmoil.

I was on the In The Bleachers podcast this week and picked the Heels, but after looking at the numbers some more, specifically how well BC has played at home, I gotta change my pick and go with BC to cover here.

Boston College Wins
Boston College Covers -3.5

Duke Blue Devils at Miami Hurricanes

Saturday 12PM TV: ESPNU

Line: Miami -20

If you like quarterbacks slinging the ball all over the field then make sure you tune into Duke against Miami on Saturday.

The Blue Devils rank first in the ACC in passing yards per game and Miami ranks fourth.

The Hurricanes' recent slide can be attributed to their turnover problems because of teams getting pressure on QB Jacory Harris.

I like Duke to keep this one close for a while, but Miami takes it in the second half.

Miami Wins
Duke Covers +20

NC State Wolfpack at Virginia Tech Hokies

Saturday 3:30PM TV: ESPNU

Line: VT -21

It is November and the Hokies are in an unfamiliar place, under the ACC radar.

With an ACC title essentially out of reach, Virginia Tech is focusing on getting the best possible bowl bid and that continues with a win over the howling Wolfpack of NC State.

Now the question is whether or not Va Tech can cover the spread. I think based on the way the Hokies have played at home and the way NC State has played on the road, VT will by a hair.

Virginia Tech Wins
Virginia Tech Covers -21


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