ACC Football: Week 11 Staff Picks

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Another exciting week of ACC football action is ahead, with seven conference games across the slate this weekend. Mike, Justin, and Jeff are back with their weekend picks for all of the exciting football action.
#17 North Carolina (7-2, 5-1 ACC) Vs. Duke (4-5, 0-5 ACC), 7:30 PM ET Thursday, ESPN

Line: UNC -11.0

Cates: I’m picking Duke based purely on gut instinct. They’ve been so close lately and they’re a very capable team. Carolina is good, but the fanbase and many writers still appear hung up on the “Hurricane game” and the Coastal Division crown.

Greenberg: Thursday night matchup for this rivalry game. Duke is still desperate for an ACC win if they want to stay now eligible. But UNC is on a roll. The Tar Heels will paint the Victory Bell Carolina Blue but won’t cover.

McDaniel: UNC needs this game and I think they’ll get it, although Duke should cover in the rivalry tilt at home.

Boston College (4-5, 1-5 ACC) @ #18 Florida State (6-3, 3-3 ACC), 7:30 PM ET Friday, ESPN2

Line: FSU -21.0

Cates: FSU isn’t exactly inspiring confidence lately, but I expect even a half-asleep Jimbo Fisher can overcome the Eagles.

Greenberg: I just don’t have the faith in BC at all. FSU wins at home and covers.

McDaniel: FSU by 70.

NC State (4-5, 1-4 ACC) Vs. Syracuse (4-5, 2-3 ACC), 12:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: NC State -7.0

Cates: I like the Orange to win this with or without Eric Dungey. Again, this is purely a feeling and it may well be wrong if the Orange have to platoon QBs but the Dome is a tough place to play.

Greenberg: If Dungey plays, the Orange will upset the Wolfpack. If not, NC State has too much up front on defense and will win in the Carrier Dome.

McDaniel: I like Syracuse to find a way to get this done at home. NC State hasn’t played well for the better part of the last month.

Miami (5-4, 2-3 ACC) Vs. Virginia (2-7, 1-4 ACC), 2:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: Miami -10.5

Cates: Like Duke, Virginia is a far more dangerous team than their record indicates. Miami appeared to get back on track this week, and even though I don’t trust that result, I’ll go with the Canes.

Greenberg: Which Miami team will show up? They one that protected Brad Kaaya last week? Or the one that couldn’t get out of its own way? The Cavaliers will make this one close and cover but the Hurricanes will win the game.

McDaniel: If the Miami team that showed up last week against Pitt is the one that plays at Scott Stadium on Saturday, Virginia is going to have a really tough time. I’m not sure that same Miami team will show, which is why this will be a closely contested game in my opinion. With that being said though, I think Miami will find a way to get it done on the road and win.

Pittsburgh (5-4, 2-3 ACC) Vs. #2 Clemson (9-0, 6-0 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ABC/ESPN2

Line: Clem -21.0

Cates: Clemson should pull this out. Pitt has taken a step or two back after that tough loss to the Hokies a few Thursday’s back. Deshaun Watson got banged up last week but he and the Tigers will be fine.

Greenberg: Pitt is headed in the wrong direction. Clemson is headed in the right direction. The Tigers win and cover at home.

McDaniel: Clemson is going to roll in this game in my opinion, and they could even cover. Pittsburgh is just a mess right now.

Georgia Tech (5-4, 2-4 ACC) Vs. #14 Virginia Tech (7-2, 5-1 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ESPNU

Line: VT -14.0

Cates: This should be a tight game, but the Hokies are the better club by a fair amount. It does sound like Justin Thomas will play for GT, but the Hokies will win regardless.

Greenberg: If Georgia Tech gets ahead first they have a chance to make this game interesting. But their defense won’t last as the Hokies will win this game but not cover the points.

McDaniel: There’s potential for this to be a huge game for the Hokies, especially if Duke finds a way to knock off North Carolina. If that happens, a win on Saturday will secure Virginia Tech’s spot in the ACC Championship Game in December.

Regardless, Bud Foster’s defense has OWNED the Paul Johnson option offense in the past, and the Yellow Jackets are struggling right now anyway. Virginia Tech should win and cover at home.

Wake Forest (6-3, 3-2 ACC) Vs. #6 Louisville (8-1, 6-1 ACC), 7:00 PM ET Saturday, ESPN2

Line: Louisville -35.0

Cates: Louisville will walk to another ho-hum win behind six or seven TDs from Lamar Jackson.

Greenberg: Why not another huge spread? Lousiville will cover and blow out the Deacons.

McDaniel: Wake has been a great story this year, but there’s about a 5% chance they beat Louisville on Saturday. I think they could cover thouugh, although I have no basis for that belief.

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

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