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 second of the ACC divisions, the Coastal Division.
5Dimes: 8 115/-145
Heritage: 8.5 120/-140
CG Technologies: 8.5 -120/-110
After David Cutcliffe orchestrated an improbable 10-4 season and nearly beat Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, expectations are higher than ever for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils are mostly in tact from last season with the exception of the transfer of Brandon Connette to Fresno State to be closer to his ill mother and the graduation of top cornerback Ross Cockrell. Duke also has to replace offensive coordinator Kurt Roper who moved on to Florida.
Duke should be 4-0 entering ACC play with non-conference games against Elon, Troy, Kansas, and Tulane. Four of their first five conference matchups are on the road, leading to a three-game homestand in November to close out the season. The four road games are Miami, Georgia Tech, Pitt, and Syracuse, none of which will be easy. North Carolina and Virginia Tech are two of the November home games. By ACC standards, this is a tougher schedule than most.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-110) (CG Technologies)
This Duke team only outgained opponents by an average of eight yards per game and was outgained in conference play by 73 yards per game, though the Florida State beatdown does skew that number a bit. Georgia Tech outgained them by over 200 yards at home, Pitt outgained them, Virginia Tech held the Blue Devils offense to under 200 yards, and even lowly NC State outgained them. It’s hard to see Duke overachieving so much for a second straight season.
5Dimes: 6 -175/145
Heritage: 6.5 -160/140
CG Technologies: 8 -105/-125
A slight difference of opinion here about Paul Johnson’s team as the CG Technologies number is well above what the offshores are offering. The top three yard-gainers from last season’s triple-option offense are gone, including quarterback Vad Lee. Only four starters return from Georgia Tech’s best defense since 2008. The losses at the line of scrimmage are the biggest with Jeremiah Attaochu, a second-round draft pick, as the most noteworthy departure. The Yellow Jackets also have to replace a three-year starter at center, and center is an enormously important position in this scheme.
A soft opening to the schedule will lead to a 3-0 mark with wins over Wofford, Tulane, and Georgia Southern. It gets real in a hurry with Virginia Tech, Miami, Duke, and North Carolina over the first five weeks of conference play. The end of the season rivalry meeting with Georgia is in Athens and Tech is 1-12 in the season series.
Pick: Under 8 (-125) (CG Technologies)
Unfortunately this looks like a no play at the offshores with the low number, but Georgia Tech has a lot to replace and 9-3 really looks like a stretch. Even though they avoid Florida State, there isn’t a lot of separation between the teams in the Coastal Division this season, so there aren’t a lot of clear-cut conference wins for anybody. Paul Johnson’s teams tend to overachieve, but doing better than 8-4 is a tough task.
5Dimes: 7 -160/130
Heritage: 7.5 -130/110
CG Technologies: 8 -135/105
Another interesting split between Las Vegas and the offshore market with the Hokies. Virginia Tech will replace three-year starter Logan Thomas with Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer, giving the Frank Beamer offense a true pocket passer for the first time in a while. Most of the receiving corps remains in tact and sophomore Trey Edmunds showed some promise as a freshman. Bud Foster is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country and his unit returns a lot of depth that got to play last season because of injuries.
A trip to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes highlights Virginia Tech’s non-conference slate with home wins likely over William & Mary, East Carolina, and Western Michigan. In conference play, the Hokies have a road test at North Carolina to kick off a quirky month of October with a bye and then two Thursday night games against Pitt and Miami. If Virginia Tech can get to November 22 at 6-4, they draw Wake Forest and Virginia to end the season.
Pick: Over 7 (-160) (5Dimes)
Paying 30 cents for a push at 7-5 seems like the best course of action, though very little separates each team in the Coastal Division from a talent perspective. Frank Beamer and Bud Foster may give the Hokies the edge they need to navigate this division and it will be very interesting to see how Beamer and offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler do with more of a pocket passer, if they go that route.
5Dimes: 7 -160/130
Heritage: 7.5 -110/-110
CG Technologies: 7.5 -130/100
Stephen Morris departs after leading the Hurricanes to a 9-4 season as Al Golden’s defense improved and Duke Johnson became a premier running back. After Johnson was lost for the season with an ankle injury, Dallas Crawford played well in relief, so the Hurricanes definitely have depth at running back. Who will start at quarterback is an unknown at this point. The defense cut their yards per game by 60 and their points per game by more than a field goal after being completely awful in 2013. There’s still plenty of talent here, as there always is at The U.
Miami jumps right into conference play with a trip to ACC newcomer Louisville on September 1. Three non-conference games are next with home games against Florida A&M and Arkansas State before a trip to Nebraska on September 20. With the early Louisville game, three of Miami’s final four conference games are at home, but they do draw the short straw and get Florida State from the Atlantic Division.
Pick: Over 7.5 (-110) (Heritage)
Even though redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen will probably start at quarterback, Al Golden’s recruits are fully integrated into the program and most of what Randy Shannon recruited has moved on. That should lead to improvement in and of itself and the Hurricanes could stake claim as the most talented team in the Coastal Division. In a division with few separators between the contenders, talent could be the difference for Miami.
5Dimes: 7 110/-140
Heritage: 7.5 -120/100
CG Technologies: 7 -150/120
Bryn Renner was a good quarterback for North Carolina, but Marquise Williams has more intangibles that fit Larry Fedora’s system. Williams has the job now with Renner’s graduation. The big loss is Eric Ebron, the matchup nightmare at tight end, and finding somebody to pick up his touches and playmaking ability will be tough. Season numbers are skewed by an 80-20 win over Old Dominion, but the Tar Heels return 15 starters and Fedora recruits are front and center all over the field.
The Tar Heels have an intriguing non-conference schedule with San Diego State coming to Chapel Hill and road games at East Carolina and at Notre Dame. The conference slate is balanced with home games against the Techs, Virginia and Georgia, but trips to Durham and Miami. The bye weeks do seem to come at rather inconvenient times and that may be a factor.
Pick: Over 7 (+110) (5Dimes)
This is a value play on the plus money side of 7 for the Tar Heels. This team has the talent and the coaching to win the ACC Coastal, and it’s clear from the win totals numbers that there is probably not a 10-2 team in this division. The Tar Heels return a lot of players from a team that improved last season and the offense could be more efficient with Williams at the helm.
5Dimes: 7 115/-145
Heritage: 7.5 155/-175
CG Technologies: 7 -120/-110
Offensive line shortcomings were the story of 2013 for the Pitt Panthers as Tom Savage was sacked 43 times. The offensive line dealt with plenty of injuries that gave playing time to guys who are now in key roles. Savage departed for the NFL, leaving Chad Voytik the likely starter for Paul Chryst in the third season of his tenure. Defensive playmaker Aaron Donald was a first-round pick and he accounted for 11 of Pitt’s 25 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. Nobody else came close to that production. A lot of sophomores appear at the top of the depth chart and that could be a positive or a negative.
A tough test on September 20 against Iowa is the highlight of the non-conference schedule that includes Delaware, FIU, and Akron. Pitt has favorable byes during conference play and three home games against the Techs and Duke from October 16 to November 1 that could be the separating factor for their win total. November is tough, so Pitt may need to accumulate most of their wins early.
Pick: Under 7 (-110) (CG Technologies)
It’s difficult to advocate a play on this number at 7.5 -175 or 7 -145 at 5Dimes because there’s so much uncertainty for Pitt this season. The offense still has skill players and the defense only allowed 13.5 yards per play last season. But, two key players need to be replaced and it’s a matter of how quickly Chryst and his staff can do that. Ultimately, this line should probably just be a pass.
5Dimes: 3 130/-160
CG Technologies: 3.5 -105/-125
One of the most surprising developments of the offseason is that Mike London kept his job. The embattled UVA coach has one season better than 4-8 in his four-year tenure and last season’s 2-10 mark was one of the worst in program history. There aren’t a lot of big losses from teams that go 2-10, so Virginia returns most of both units in tact. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely that the Cavaliers will go 0-8 in conference again this season.
The Cavaliers have a chance to go 2-2 in non-conference play with Richmond and Kent State on the schedule. The other non-conference matchups are UCLA and a trip to BYU. Virginia’s bye weeks are during conference play, which could benefit them. They draw Florida State on the road from the Atlantic in what could be a really ugly blowout on the heels of gameplanning for Georgia Tech’s triple-option the week before.
Pick: Under 3.5 (-125) (CG Technologies)
Returning starters are great if what you’re returning actually performed well. That’s not the case for the Cavaliers and Mike London has a very good chance of being fired during the season. A four-win season would require two wins in non-conference against Richmond and Kent State and two wins in conference and there are no doormats like Wake Forest on the schedule. Don’t expect much from the Cavaliers again this season, but laying -160 on under 3 doesn’t seem very wise, so this is likely a pass for those with offshore-only access, at least until somebody opens a better number to play.
The win total analyses for the ACC Atlantic 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.