ACC Football: Week 12 Staff Picks

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Another exciting week of ACC football action is ahead, with nine games across the slate this weekend. Mike, Justin, and Jeff are back with their weekend picks for all of the exciting football action.
#5 Louisville (9-1, 7-1 ACC) Vs. Houston (8-2), 8:00 PM ET Thursday, ESPN

Line: Louisville -14.0

Cates: Houston derailed a long time ago and you have to wonder if Tom Herman is going to look elsewhere for employment a bit more seriously this time. Louisville should win with more Lamar magic.

Greenberg: Louisville has a lot on its mind this week between the CFP and the Wake accusations. I still think their unsung hero is their defense. That’s who will drive them to win this week and cover.

McDaniel: This is a trap game of sorts for Louisville. They have bee upset from the College Football Playoff Rankings all week, with multiple players making comments on social media. Will this serve as a distraction or motivate the Cards? I say motivate, and Louisville will win this game. Give me Houston to cover 14 though.

Virginia (2-8, 1-5 ACC) @ Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4 ACC), 12:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: GT -10.5

Cates: Georgia Tech may have found something last week on both sides of the ball. Virginia will start Matt Johns at quarterback, but it won’t help much. Yellow Jackets win.

Greenberg: This game is puzzling. Will the UNC-game Yellow Jackets show up or the one that beat VT? I’m think by Paul Johnson’s team wins this game and pulls away late to cover.

McDaniel: Georgia Tech and their rushing attack will win this game at home but don’t be surprised if Virginia hangs around. Yellow Jackets should cover late though, they’re the better team.

Miami (6-4, 3-3 ACC) Vs. NC State (5-5, 2-4 ACC), 12:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: Miami -2.5

Cates: Miami appears to have righted the ship and they’ll continue against the inconsistent Wolfpack.

Greenberg: Will Miami protect Kaaya? That will determine the winner. I think in the end, the Hurricanes win in a push. But I won’t be surprised if it’s the other way around if the Wolfpack gets to Kaaya early and often.

McDaniel: Miami is really hitting their stride the last couple of weeks. I like them to find a way to win this game on the road.

Connecticut (3-7) Vs. Boston College (4-6, 1-6 ACC), 1:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: BC -9

Cates: UConn is really bad this season. BC should win at home to keep hopes alive of qualifying for a bowl game.

Greenberg: Boston College will bounce back and win but won’t cover that extra half point.

McDaniel: If any of you out there have a better gauge than I do on this game, let me know. I’ll take BC, no idea if they’ll cover though.

Duke (4-6, 1-5 ACC) Vs. Pittsburgh (6-4, 3-3 ACC), 3:00 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: Pitt -7.5

Cates: Both teams had big wins last weekend, but I think Pitt is riding a little bit higher after knocking off Clemson. I’ve got Pitt winning here against a rapidly improving Duke team.

Greenberg: Which team responds best from their big win last week? I think the difference will be Pitt’s defensive line and the Panthers’ running attack. I’m picking Pitt to win but not cover.

McDaniel: I like Duke in an upset here. The Blue Devils are improving every week and I’m not sure if Pitt will come to this one ready after their huge upset last week at Clemson.

Virginia Tech (7-3, 5-2 ACC) Vs. Notre Dame (4-6), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, NBC

Line: ND -2.0

Cates: Truly a toss up. Which Tech team will show up? If it’s the mistake prone turnover machine from the three losses, things could get ugly. The Hokies have responded to each loss so far with a winning streak however and I think they start another one here. Hokies win close.

Greenberg: Virginia Tech is the better team here so I’m taking the Hokies to win on the road in South Bend.

McDaniel: Agree with the guys here. Virginia Tech is the better team but they will need to run the ball well in brutal South Bend weather to win this game. I think they’ll find a way to score just enough points to beat the Irish, but this one should be very close.


#17 Florida State (7-3, 4-3 ACC) Vs. Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ABC/ESPN2

Line: FSU 21.5

Cates: I’m assuming Eric Dungey won’t play again. Cuse had a good effort from Zach Mahoney last weekend, but it won’t be enough against Florida State. ‘Noles win comfortably.

Greenberg: FSU will win this game. If Dungey plays, Syracuse will cover. If not, the Seminoles will cover in their victory.

McDaniel: Florida State will win, but if Dungey plays I like Syracuse to cover in this one late.


The Citadel (10-0) Vs. North Carolina (7-3, 5-2 ACC), 3:30 PM ET Saturday, ACC Network

Line: No line

Cates: The Citadel is undefeated! They’re 10-0 and while it’s at a lower level of competition, that’s still pretty impressive. I expect Carolina to win but closer than most would expect.

Greenberg: UNC. Don’t be surprised if the score is closer than you think at halftime.

McDaniel: UNC. I don’t care about the Citadel’s record on the FCS level.


#4 Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC) Vs. Wake Forest (6-4, 3-3 ACC), 7:00 PM ET Saturday, ESPN

Line: Clem -23.5

Cates: Clemson should recover against a solid Wake squad. The Demon Deacons will probably cover though.

Greenberg: Clemson will bounce back but I don’t think the Tigers will cover those points on the road in Winston-Salem.

McDaniel: Clemson wins and covers. I don’t see a path to even covering here for Wake Forest unless they shut down the Clemson run AND if Watson makes a couple of mistakes.

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

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