Clemson Still Favored in ACC as Gap Narrows With the Field

  • Oddsmakers agree with pollsters as Clemson futures fall
  • Pitt, Wake Forest have best odds to catch Tigers as ACC favorites
  • Howell, Uiagalelei see Heisman odds fade

Boston College quarterback Denis Grosel mishandled a shotgun snap on the Clemson 12-yard line with just under two minutes to play on Saturday night, and as Clemson recovered, it gave the Tigers their 31st home win in a row.

That stat is less meaningful to a program that has dominated the ACC and won two national championships in the last six seasons. Now the Tigers have been reduced to the point where it might miss its first ACC Championship game since 2014 as the Tigers aren’t ranked in the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since … 2014.

Clemson started as one of the favorites to once again win the national championship as the Tigers opened at (+450), second to Alabama (+260).

Now, after losses to Georgia and NC State and a pair of 6-point wins over Georgia Tech and Boston College, the Tigers are laying (+8000) odds to win the national championship as a berth in the game for them, or maybe even the ACC, is looking dimmer by the day.

Clemson’s story has been written by a continually struggling offensive line that has been one of the primary issues in an offense that is 118th in college football and has yielded only 324 yards per game in conjunction with the Tigers averaging only 21.2 points (108th/CFB). Take out the 49 points vs. FCS-member South Carolina State, and the Tigers only post 14.3 points per outing.

Please Note:
The Tigers started the ACC as an overwhelming favorite as they were posting (-800) to win the league as North Carolina was the next closest competitor at (+900) while Miami (+1000) and NC State were third and fourth.

New Bloods

With Clemson now catching only (+130) odds to win the ACC Title Game, the Pitt Panthers (+550), Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+650), NC State Wolfpack (+700), Virginia Tech Hokies (+700), and the North Carolina Tar Heels (+800) are all packed in a scramble as the sportsbooks see a mad dash for Charlotte and the ACC title game on Dec. 4.

For the first time since the BCS National Championship playoff was formed, it looks like the ACC will be excluded from this Final Four.

Pittsburgh and Wake Forest may be the biggest threats to play in Charlotte as the Panthers sat at (+2000) last week but moved up to (+550) after a resounding 52-21 win over a Georgia Tech squad that was coming off of a 45-22 thumping of North Carolina.

Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett is posting the best Heisman Trophy odds of anyone in the ACC as of now as he is tied with five other players in position (+4000) odds.

Pickett opened the season with (+15000) to win the Heisman, and his rise has seen him throw 19 touchdown passes against only one interception in the Panthers’ 4-1 start.

He has completed 72 percent of his passes for 353.3 yards per game, second in the ACC, as he passed for 389 yards in last week’s win over the Yellow Jackets.

The Panthers have an open date this week before the crossroads, potentially in their season, when they play at Virginia Tech on Oct. 16 and host Clemson on Oct. 23. Wake Forest was at (+2000) last week as well, and the Demon Deacons moved up to the (+650) odds after Nic Sciba hit a 29-yard field goal with 22 seconds left as the Deacons shaded Louisville, 37-34.

Quarterback Sam Hartman is fifth in the ACC in passing yards with 268.2 yards per game as he engineers coach Dave Clawson’s balanced offense. Hartman is another long shot in Heisman Trophy numbers as the online sportsbooks post him at (+20000).

The Demon Deacons are a 7.5-point favorite at Syracuse on Saturday as they are 3-7-1 ATS on the road in their last 11 games, and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 games.

Howell, Ya Doin’?

North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, who opened the season with his Heisman odds set at (+1600), opened his candidacy for the Heisman Trophy on a Tar Heels team that has underachieved this season with a pair of head-scratching losses to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

Currently, Howell has backed up to (+3000) as his numbers are down from a year ago, although he does have 14 touchdown passes and has a shot to pass his career-high of 38 TD tosses in 2019.

Speaking of quarterbacks who faded away, how about Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei, who has fallen victim to the treacherous play on the offensive line and has fallen from second (+700) on most Heisman boards in the preseason to (+10000).

Uiagalelei has completed only 54.3 percent of his passes after playing in nine games behind Trevor Lawrence and completing 66.7 last season. He also has only thrown three touchdown passes as he has been sacked 13 times in five games.

Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.