College football is in the spotlight for so many unusual reasons right now. The empowerment of players has been building as a storyline for years now. The NCAA agreed to accept an Olympic model for name and likeness, meaning for the first time ever players will be able to profit on their ability in financial ways. In the middle of the movements for social equality, players at Oklahoma State, Texas and UCLA have challenged their coaches and programs to change old ways of thinking. And on top of all that, will a season be played during this time of uncertainty regarding COVID-19?
There are many factors being taken into play during this pandemic. What are the health logistics of getting every player and staff member tested? How expensive will the testing be for players, and how often will they get tested? Will wealthier schools with deeper pockets have an upper hand on smaller schools with limited budgets?
After eight states reported on Saturday their highest single-day case counts since the pandemic began, concerns began bubbling. These were some of the nation’s highest daily totals in more than seven weeks, and even though the optimism has taken a hit, and chances of a disruption to holding a season are increasing every day, SBD’s betting section is still releasing odds. If there is a season, what will it look like? There’s still hope that football can be played this fall, so let’s take a look at the ACC odds.
As expected, Clemson is by far the leader in winning the conference. The Tigers are -500 after yet another dominant run in the league last year, and a spot in the national championship game. Clemson went 8-0 in the league, and buried Virginia in the title game.
Miami and Virginia Tech are the closest competitors at +1200. Part of the reason most likely is because they play on the other side of the ledger. If either the Canes or Hokies won the ACC championship they could afford to lose games in the regular season and just find a way to beat the Tigers in the title game. To show just how shallow the depth is in the conference, Miami was a sub-.500 team last year that lost to FIU, yet have the second best odds to win the ACC. UNC felt a jolt in Year One under Mack Brown, and the oddsmakers put them at +1400.
FSU and Louisville are both trying to restart their programs with relatively new coaches, and they come in next at +2000. Pitt, UVA and Wake are all at +4000. Next up is Syracuse, who along with Duke, comes in at +6600. SU was just 2-6 in the league last year after being a trendy pick to challenge Clemson as a Cinderella in the ACC. That never materialized and the Orange were hampered by injuries, upset losses and scattered quarterback play. Could SU be sneaky good value? Only if the Orange fix their myriad of problems from last year, and somehow find the magic of ’18. But in a crazy season like the upcoming one where a million questions may make every Saturday a total crapshoot perhaps the Orange are worth throwing a small wager on.