College football win totals have been available at 5Dimes for a little while now as bettors have been pushing the juice around with $100 max wagers. Heritage Sportsbook has a handful of win totals as well, but it was CG Technologies in Las Vegas that set the standard that most sportsbooks will now follow with their college football season win totals.
To date, the five power conferences have had win total numbers released and here at BangTheBook, we’re going to take a look at each team on a conference-by-conference basis with a little bit of schedule analysis, depth chart analysis, and some coaching thoughts.
The second conference to be covered in this 11-conference that will include the Independents is the Atlantic Coast Conference. The reigning National Champions, the Florida State Seminoles, look like a runaway to be the conference’s top team as they return Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston from the first non-SEC team to win the National Championship since 2005 and the last team to be crowned the BCS National Championship.
The SEC was divided into the West and the East Divisions and the ACC will divided into the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. Here is the first of the ACC divisions, the Atlantic Division.
5Dimes: 10 -300/240
Heritage: 10.5 -250/210
CG Technologies: 11 -140/110
With a 45-8 record under Jimbo Fisher, the Florida State Seminoles are not only the best team in the ACC but a legitimate contender to win college football’s inaugural playoff. Even with the losses of their starting running back, two of their top three wide receivers, and several key defensive players, expectations are sky high for the class of the ACC. They won by a 51-12 average in conference play and scored 723 points while allowing just 170.
When you are an elite team playing in the ACC, your schedule isn’t that difficult. The Seminoles open the season with a neutral site game in Arlington, TX against Oklahoma State. With a down year expected from the Cowboys, the Seminoles will probably be at least a 14-point favorite in every game. They host Notre Dame, Clemson, and Florida, probably their three toughest games, and a trip to Louisville on October 30 is less interesting without Teddy Bridgewater and Charlie Strong.
Pick: Over 11 (-140) (CG Technologies)
While it’s very difficult to advocate laying the chalk at the offshores, the Seminoles are a healthy Jameis Winston away from a 12-0 season. As long as he stays in tact and eligible, the Seminoles won’t lose a game during the regular season. The recruiting pipeline is rich and depth is evident everywhere. The only concern is the depth at quarterback with Jake Coker’s transfer to Alabama. While the Seminoles look like a lock to be 10-2 or better, keep in mind that you’re laying -300 on Winston’s health, so don’t stretch your bankroll too thin.
5Dimes: 8 -155/125
Heritage: 8.5 -145/125
CG Technologies: 9 -110/-120
An offense that scored 522 points has to be completely retooled this season as Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, Roderick McDowell, and two offensive linemen are gone. After three straight double-digit win seasons for the Tigers, Dabo Swinney has a tough job ahead of him. An improving defense returns seven starters, but there will be a lot more pressure on them without the offensive prowess of the past three seasons. The defense should be the second-best in the conference behind Florida State.
In the weak ACC, Clemson has enough talent to still be a factor. The non-conference schedule includes Georgia and South Carolina. With two of their three toughest games on the road, the Tigers certainly have a difficult road schedule, including a tricky game in mid-November at Georgia Tech. The Tigers could easily start 1-2 with losses to Georgia and Florida State, but four home games from September 27 to October 25 provide a chance to get healthy.
Pick: Under 9 (-120) (CG Technologies)
It’s hard to see Clemson having that bad of a season, or worse, with the strength of the ACC and 8-4 or 9-3 seem like the most likely outcome. The Tigers should be favored in nine of their 12 games with underdog spots against Georgia, Florida State, and South Carolina, so they’ll need to win every game that they’re favored in to go over this total. That seems like quite a task.
5Dimes: 7 -250/190
Heritage: 7.5 -230/190
CG Technologies: 8 100/-130
Without Teddy Bridgewater and Charlie Strong, the Cardinals step in class this season to take on the ACC after spending the last several years in the Big East and then one season in the AAC. In place of Strong will be Bobby Petrino, who has been a successful head coach at the collegiate level. Louisville’s strength was the defense, a group that held the opposition to 12 points per game last season. That group returns just four starters, but Todd Grantham is an experienced defensive coordinator. Will Gardner, the projected starter, has 12 career pass attempts and that’s it for quarterback experience.
Louisville’s maiden voyage in the ACC features winnable road games at Virginia, Syracuse, and Boston College. Another tough test comes at Clemson. The Cardinals travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame and have a Thursday night home game against Florida State on October 30.
Pick: Under 7.5 (+190) (Heritage)
This one seems to be worth taking a shot as it looks like a transitional year for the program moving up from the AAC to the ACC. It’s hard to determine the true talent level of the Cardinals moving up to the ACC. With limited experience at quarterback and a lot of productivity lost on defense, traveling to new stadiums and studying new teams with a new coaching staff leads to a lot of uncertainty.
North Carolina State
CG Technologies: 5.5 -145/115
Dave Doeren’s first season in Raleigh was a major transition for him and his team. The Wolfpack went just 3-9 and were outscored by 17 points per game in the mediocre ACC. Nobody took the reins at quarterback as Pete Thomas, Brandon Mitchell, and Garrett Leatham combined for a 12/15 TD/INT ratio. As a whole, the Wolfpack lacked playmakers. This year, they bring in Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett to play quarterback, a much better fit for what offensive coordinator Matt Canada wants to do. Year two of Doeren’s systems and 14 returning starters, plus a more talented QB in Brissett, should provide optimism.
The Wolfpack could enter conference play at 4-0 with non-conference meetings against Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, South Florida, and Presbyterian. Florida State and Clemson are a brutal welcome to conference play, but the home games are extremely winnable and the road games hold upset potential.
Pick: Over 5.5 (-145) (CG Technologies)
A shot of life from Jacoby Brissett is what this program needs, especially given the scheme that is most effective for Doeren and Canada. A lack of top recruits has left the program a little bare, but the Wolfpack still managed 17.7 yards per play because of the creativity in the playbook. The ACC is vulnerable for an under-the-radar team like NC State to succeed.
5Dimes: 5 -145/115
CG Technologies: 5.5 -115/-115
After a somewhat surprising 7-6 season in their first year in the ACC, the Orange are looking for some more consistency in season two. First-year coach Scott Shafer managed a 4-4 conference record, though three of the four losses were by 35 or more points. Syracuse returns 15 starters and dual-threat quarterback Terrel Hunt got much-needed experience last season. Syracuse is reportedly trying to play at a faster tempo this season.
The non-conference schedule includes former ACC team Maryland, Villanova, a trip to Central Michigan, and a neutral site game in the Meadowlands against Notre Dame. Four of Syracuse’s final six conference games are on the road, including outdoor games at Pitt and at Boston College.
Pick: Under 5.5 (-115) (CG Technologies)
The Orange are projected for a pretty big drop-off this season and there must be a reason for that. Their results mostly consisted of blowouts one way or another last season and that makes it hard to gauge a team. With home games against Louisville, Florida State, NC State, and Duke, Carrier Dome success might be tough to come by.
5Dimes: 5 150/-180
Heritage: 5.5 110/-130
CG Technologies: 5 -125/-105
Boston College joins NC State as a team that projects to have a Florida transfer starting at quarterback. Tyler Murphy left Florida for Boston College to be the replacement for Chase Rettig. Andre Williams, a Heisman finalist who ran for over 2,300 yards, is also gone, along with the team’s top five wide receivers. That’s a lot of offense for Steve Addazio to replace in his second season at the helm. A defense that really struggled against the pass lost its top two tacklers. The Eagles were only outscored 28-27 on average last season during their 7-6 campaign. The Eagles also lose kicker Nate Freese, one of the most accurate kickers in the country.
Southern Cal makes the long trip east to be the highlight game of the Eagles’ non-conference schedule. The Eagles don’t leave the Eastern Time Zone all season, so travel is far from a concern for them. The Eagles were 5-1 at home last season and play five of their first seven games at home and will probably have a home crowd in their opener at UMass. They draw a tough game out of the Coastal Division by having to travel to Virginia Tech.
Pick: Over 5 (+150) (5Dimes)
There are a lot of holes to fill on offense for Steve Addazio’s team, but defense can win in the ACC and Boston College’s went from six sacks in 2012 to 36 sacks in 2013. A new quarterback was going to have to develop a rapport with his receivers and skill players anyway, so it may not be a bad thing that the offense will grow up together. Addazio likely had a hand in recruiting Tyler Murphy before he left Florida, so he knows what he has.
5Dimes: 3 -145/115
CG Technologies: 4 -140/110
A lot of turnover took place at Wake Forest since the end of last season. Tanner Price, who has the second-most passing yards in program history, is gone, along with top wideout Michael Campanaro. Nikita Whitlock, the leader of a decent defense, also graduated. That leaves just 10 returning starters and very few impact players for Dave Clawson as he transitions from the MAC (Bowling Green) to the ACC.
A tricky non-conference schedule includes trips to Louisiana-Monroe and Utah State with home games against Gardner-Webb and Army. Syracuse and Boston College at home look winnable, but an 0-4 November is a strong possibility with Clemson and Virginia Tech at home and trips to NC State and Duke. Even though the Demon Deacons won’t leave the state of North Carolina all month, those are four tough games.
The win total analyses for the ACC Coastal Division are posted here.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.