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Toutville, Week 1: Head for the Mountains

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Welcome back to Toutville, where our Week 1 ACC schedule is so packed that we have no room for a long-winded intro. Let’s get straight to the matchups. As always, be smart out there, and good luck!

Week 1 ACC lines and notes

(Amac’s line lean in bold)

West Virginia (+7.5, O/U 51.5) at Pitt. When the Mountaineers struggle, it typically happens later in the season. They’re 10-3 ATS in their past 13 September games. The underdog has covered in four of the past five Backyard Brawls.

VMI (no line) at Wake Forest. The Deacons were double-digit favorites twice last season against FBS foes. Both times, they covered with ease, beating Rutgers 38-10 as a 17-point chalk and whacking Duke 45-7 as a 16-point choice.

Temple (+6.5, O/U 51.5) at Duke, Man, are gamblers frustrated with these two squads. The Owls failed to cover in each of their final seven games last season, while the Blue Devils suffered six straight ATS defeats to close the year. No wonder both have new coaches.

Virginia Tech (-7.5, O/U 48.5) at Old Dominion. One of Brent Pry’s tasks this year is getting Tech to play better on the road, where the Hokies have covered in just three of their past 12. ODU has covered in four straight against ACC foes and brings back experience on offense.

UNC (-0.5, O/U 55.5) at Appalachian State. This line opened at UNC -3 and quickly was bet down to a coin flip. Led by record-breaking quarterback Chase Brice, the Mountaineers (who went 10-4 a year ago) are poised to give the Tar Heels trouble in Boone.

Rutgers (+6.5, O/U 47.5) at Boston College. The Scarlet Knights have covered in nine of their past 11 road games, which gives me some pause here. Still, the Eagles have playmakers at quarterback, running back and receiver and should be solid on defense.

Richmond (no line) at Virginia. The Spiders have gone 5-2-1 ATS in their past eight games against ACC opponents. The Cavaliers’ offensive weaponry, though, should make this a lopsided one in Tony Elliott’s head-coaching debut.

N.C. State (-11, O/U 51.5) at East Carolina. Are the Pirates back to being a pest? They’re getting there, having won seven games last year after a dreadful run of form. I’ll be backing the Wolfpack a lot this season but feel like this will be a single-digit road win.

Louisville (-4.5, O/U 56.5) at Syracuse. Orange AD John Wildhack said this summer that coach Dino Babers is not on the hot seat, but I’m not sure how many people are buying that. Gamblers would be the most likely to give Babers a pass, considering he’s covered in seven of his past 10 ACC games.

Bethune Cookman (no line) at Miami. This is a matchup that belonged in Week 0. That’s about all the consideration it deserves.

Clemson (-22.5, O/U 49.5) vs. Georgia Tech (in Atlanta). The Tigers have gone 5-1-1 ATS against the Yellow Jackets in the past seven meetings. Don’t expect a repeat of Clemson’s sluggish September from a year ago, as the rout will be on at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Florida State (+3.5, O/U 51.5) vs. LSU (in New Orleans). The Tigers have covered in five of their past six neutral-site games, although calling the Caesars Superdome a neutral venue would be a stretch. This is a big one for the ACC, and I’m betting the Seminoles get it.

Amac’s ACC Lock of the Week

Appalachian State (+0.5) over UNC

Week 0 overachievers

ACC: Florida A&M (+44.5) lost to UNC 56-24

Nation: Vanderbilt (-11.5) beat Hawaii 63-10

Amac’s Pesky Pup of the Week

Purdue (+3.5) over Penn State

The Nittany Lions are replacing three offensive linemen from a team that had a crummy ground game last season. Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell (school-record 71.8% completion rate in 2021) will celebrate his 24th birthday on Thursday night by pitching the ball all over the field in West Lafayette, engineering a prime-time upset.

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