After a slow slate in Week Eight, there is PLENTY of action across the Week Nine schedule in the ACC. Justin, Mike, and Jeff are putting their collective competence at risk once again, as they present their Week Nine picks.
#25 Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1 ACC) Vs. Pittsburgh (5-2, 2-1 ACC), 7:00 PM ET Thursday, ESPN
Line: VT -3.5
Cates: The Hokies have never won at Heinz field (0-4) and three of those trips featured a ranked Tech squad. The Hokies are ranked again, and until they prove otherwise I’m taking Pitt in a close, damp, slugfest.
Greenberg: This game has huge implications in the Coastal Division race. If the Hokies win, they’re firmly in the driver’s seat. If Pitt wins, chaos ensues. Pitt could be undefeated if not for a last second UNC touchdown. But Virginia Tech is my favorite until somebody beats them again. I like the Hokies to cover.
McDaniel: It is about time that Virginia Tech snaps their winless streak at Heinz Field. The Hokies have the better overall defense and I think that’s ultimately the difference in this ballgame. Tech by a touchdown.
Duke (3-4, 0-3 ACC) @ Georgia Tech (4-3, 1-3 ACC), 12:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network
Line: GT -6.5
Cates: Both teams really need a win, but I think Georgia Tech’s offense is marginally better and will lift them to a victory.
Greenberg: This game is hard to read. You just don’t know which version of both teams is going to show up. If the Louisville game version of Duke appears then I like the Blue Devils in the upset.
McDaniel: I’ve got no idea which Duke team will show up, and because of that, it’s hard for me to pick against Georgia Tech at home. They’ll cover, barely.
#5 Louisville (6-1, 4-1 ACC) Vs. Virginia (2-5, 1-2 ACC), 12:00 PM ET Saturday, ABC/ESPN2
Line: Louisville -33.5
Cates: Louisville will win comfortably. The only real drama is what will Lamar Jackson do?
Greenberg: UVa has a lot of issues, and Louisville will win easy. But I think the ‘Hoos cover at home.
McDaniel: Cards in a snoozer. They could score 60.
Boston College (3-4, 0-4 ACC) Vs. NC State (4-3, 1-2 ACC), 12:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network
Line: NC State -15.5
Cates: State should win and creep ever-closer to bowl eligibility. BC will continue to flounder toward the finish line.
Greenberg: NC State’s defense is what will allow the Wolfpack to win and cover those points. Should be an easy day for Coach Doeren.
McDaniel: Boston College just cannot score worth a lick. NC State to win and cover, but it should be relatively low scoring.
Army (4-3) Vs. Wake Forest (5-2, 2-2 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network
Line: Wake -7.0
Cates: Army is much, much improved this season but the Demon Deacons need just one more win to become bowl eligible. I think they’ll get it here.
Greenberg: I think Coach Clawson’s team has turned a corner. But this is the type of game his Deacons need to be winning now to show they’ve made that turn. Wake will win and cover the points at home.
McDaniel: I’m all about the Steamin’ ‘Deacs. I think Dave Clawson’s sqaud will find a way to stop the Army rushing attack and get the win.
Miami (4-3, 1-3 ACC) Vs. Notre Dame (2-5), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, NBC
Line: Miami -2.0
Cates: Notre Dame is not a good football team and I think a more compelling betting line is the over/under on how many times Brian Kelly turns purple with rage. Miami should rebound with a win.
Greenberg: One of those games that looked great before the year began. Now, both teams are desperate to get back on track. I like the Hurricanes by a field goal.
McDaniel: Hurricanes by a field goal..the Irish just keep finding new and exciting ways to lose. This one should be a barn-burner though with those high-powered offenses.
#3 Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC) Vs. #12 Florida State (5-2, 2-2 ACC), 8:00 PM ET Saturday, ABC
Line: Clemson -4.0
Cates: I just don’t trust the Florida State defense anymore. Clemson had a bumpy time against N.C. State, but they’ll get up for this match up. Clemson wins.
Greenberg: This game will come down to quarterback play. I think it will go back and forth. I just can’t see FSU stopping Watson enough to win. I think Clemson wins by a touchdown.
McDaniel: Clemson should find a way to get this done on the road at Florida State, although the Seminoles should have a chance to make a game of it in the fourth quarter. Wayne Gallman being healthy makes all the difference in the world for the Tigers, and will take pressure off of Deshaun Watson and the passing attack in the win.