ACC Football: Week Three Staff Predictions

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We’re already in Week Three and this is undoubtedly the biggest weekend of the season yet across college football. The ACC provides one of the biggest games of the day as #10 Louisville hosts #2 Florida State in a game that should give the nation a better idea about just how good both of these teams really are in 2016. However, this isn’t the only exciting game on the docket across the ACC, as there are many other games to watch for throughout the day.

Justin Cates, Jeff Greenberg, and Mike McDaniel provide their picks below to all the Week Three ACC games on the slate.

#2 Florida State (2-0) Vs. #10 Louisville (2-0, 1-0 ACC), 12:00 PM ET Saturday, ABC

Line: Florida State -1.0

Cates: Florida State to win and cover. Louisville is good but they haven’t played anyone yet. My feeling is that they give FSU a run but come back to Earth a bit in this one.

Greenberg:  This game has a chance to be a great back-and-forth battle. In the end I think the Seminoles pull out the win by 3.

McDaniel:  Louisville in an upset. I love both of these teams this year, but Lamar Jackson is a dynamic talent. He has 1,015 all-purpose yards this season, more than 99 FBS teams. I understand the Cards have yet to play elite competition, but I’m all in on Jackson and the Cards in this game, for better or worse.

South Carolina State (0-2) Vs. #5 Clemson (2-0), 12:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: No Line

Cates: Clemson to win.

Greenberg: Clemson.

McDaniel: Yeah, Clemson. Time to get that offense back on track.


#25 Miami (2-0) Vs. Appalachian State (1-1), 12:00 PM ET Saturday, ESPN

Line: Miami -3.5

Cates:   Miami to win and cover. This should be a close game, but Miami should just be able to cover late.

Greenberg:  This could be the best game to watch if App. St recreates their opening night performance against Tennessee. Miami by a touchdown.

McDaniel:  App. State in an upset. I don’t buy the Miami hype, but admittedly I will be in on the improvement of the Hurricanes if they are able to get past this under-the-radar game on the road.

Vanderbilt (1-1) Vs. Georgia Tech (2-0), 12:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: Georgia Tech -6.5

Cates:  GT to win and cover. Georgia Tech may not be fully back to form yet, but they should be able to beat Vandy comfortably.

Greenberg: The Yellow Jackets will win, but won’t cover.

McDaniel:  Yellow Jackets, big. They’ll cover easily.


Virginia (0-2) Vs. Connecticut (1-1), 1:30 PM ET Saturday,

Line: Connecticut -4.0

Cates:  Connecticut to win and cover. UVA’s offense is quite bad but UConn’s isn’t much better. I think it’s a toss up so advantage to the home team.

Greenberg:  Can UVA score points? I’m not sure and I think the Huskies win at home.

McDaniel:  Connecticut wins, but it’s a toss-up on the cover. The ‘Hoos need this one bad.


Boston College (1-1, 0-1 ACC) Vs. Virginia Tech (1-1), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ESPNU

Line: Virginia Tech -5.5

Cates:  Tech to win and cover. BC’s defense is good again, but the numbers are inflated from weak competition.

Greenberg:  I think BC gets this game closer than people think but the Hokies will pull out the win but not cover.

McDaniel: Hokies win by a touchdown to barely cover. They need to take care of the football though, or this could perhaps be one of the uglier offensive games on the slate.

James Madison (2-0) Vs. North Carolina (1-1), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: No Line

Cates:  Carolina wins by a lot.

Greenberg:  UNC. They’ll hit the long ball this week.

McDaniel: Tar Heels. JMU can’t defend all of the UNC weapons.


Pittsburgh (2-0) Vs. Oklahoma State (1-1), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ESPN

Line: OK State -3.5

Cates:  Pitt to win and cover. Oklahoma State should be plenty motivated, but they weren’t impressive against Central Michigan. Pittsburgh is a Coastal contender and should get a big road win for the conference.

Greenberg:  Great matchup. How will OK St rebound from last week’s crazy finish? They’ll win and cover.

McDaniel:  Oklahoma State wins and covers after that heart breaking loss last weekend. Pittsburgh will be a major player in the ACC Coastal Division this year, with a huge game next week against North Carolina. They are in the middle of a three game stretch that will tell us all we need to know about just how good they really are. Pitt can lose this non-conference game and still have a major impact in the ACC before it’s all said and done.


South Florida (2-0) Vs. Syracuse (1-1, 0-1 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: USF -14.0 -5.0

Cates:  USF to win, Cuse to cover. The Bulls thumped Towson and Northern Illinois, so it’s unclear if their gaudy point totals are legitimate. The Orange have enough offense to make this a shootout.

Greenberg:  USF will win this game but won’t cover that many points.

McDaniel:  14 points is a ton to cover, especially in the Carrier Dome. With that being said, USF has a good football program and they’ll find a way to cover the spread late.

Old Dominion (1-1) Vs. North Carolina State (1-1), 6:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: NC State -23.5

Cates: NC State to win and cover. ODU is down a bit and State should get a comfortable home win.

Greenberg:  The Wolfpack have to rebound in a big way. They’ll win this game in a big way.

McDaniel:  Wolfpack will win and cover. They need this win today.

Delaware (2-0) Vs. Wake Forest (2-0), 6:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network Extra

Line: No Line

Cates:  Wake to win and get halfway to bowl eligibility.

Greenberg:  Wake Forest will build on last week and have a win streak going now.

McDaniel:  Wake could be a fun story in the conference if they march ahead towards bowl eligibility. I like the ‘Deacs.

Duke (1-1) Vs. Northwestern (0-2), 8:00 PM ET Saturday, Big Ten Network

Line: Northwestern -4.0

Cates:  Duke to win. Must win for both teams but I think Duke has the better quarterback.

Greenberg:  This game will be close, but I’m going with the home team. Northwestern.

McDaniel:  Duke? Not comfortable with it.


#12 Michigan State (2-0) Vs. Notre Dame (1-1), 7:30 PM ET Saturday, NBC

Line: Notre Dame -7.0

Cates:  Notre Dame to win and cover. The Irish looked much better in week two against Nevada and MSU struggled with Furman. Irish win big at home.

Greenberg:  I think Michigan State will “upset” the lower ranked Irish with strong defense.

McDaniel:  Irish roll. They’re much better than people think and they’ll have a chance to prove it today in a big win at home.


Follow us on Twitter @jeffgberg, @MikeMcDanielACC, and @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.

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