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ACC Football Previews & Predictions: Week of October 14, 2021

A look at some of the big games from around the conference this weekend
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There are five ACC games this weekend, and all of them look to have implications on the race for the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions. 

Clemson (-13.5) vs. Syracuse, Friday, 7:00

Syracuse famously defeated Clemson at home on a Friday night in 2017, and earlier this season defeated a good Liberty team as well. The big question facing the Tigers moving forward will continue to revolve around their offense. When will they figure out how to best maximize what they have and get the Tiger buzz saw rolling again. I don't think Syracuse will win this game, but it could be close. Against the spread, a heavy dose of Garrett Schrader and Sean Tucker should shorten the game and keep the Orange around. 

Pick: Syracuse (+13.5)

Duke  at Virginia (-10.5), Saturday 12:30pm

Virginia is going to need to figure out their rushing defense which currently ranks 113th in the country if they are going to slow down Duke running back Mateo Durant. As poor as UVA's defense has been, they just need to focus on that piece, and let Brennan Armstrong cook. Go with the Cavs in this one, Durant can do a lot but he won't be the answer to UVA's quarterback who is one of the best in the ACC.

Pick: UVA (-10.5)

Miami (FL) vs. UNC (-7.5), Saturday 3:30pm

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The Hurricane got the devastating news this week that D'Eriq King is gone for the season, so they will be going with true freshman Tyler Van Dyke. UNC continues to struggle, losing to FSU by ten points last weekend. They have the talent to get points in a hurry, but which team actually shows up on both sidelines? Last season the Tar Heels clobbered the Hurricanes, and this week looks like the perfect week for Mack Brown to figure out a plan to get them another win.

Pick: UNC (-7.5)

Pittsburgh (-5) at Virginia Tech, Saturday 3:30pm

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett is clearly the front runner for ACC Player of the Year, and is starting to hear some murmurs about the Heisman. Pitt is the class of the Coastal right now, and should take care of business in Blacksburg. 

Pick: Pitt (-5)

NC State (-3) at Boston College, Saturday 7:30pm

The game of the week features two teams battling for the top spot in the Atlantic (behind Wake of course). The Wolfpack have a win against a common opponent (Clemson), and look to be slightly better in many positional groups, but not by much. Alumni Stadium at night is a weird place to play, and the Eagles have had some special moments in the past against teams like USC, Florida State and Miami. With the home field energy, go with BC and the moneyline. 

Pick: Boston College (+3)