Early 2013 ACC Football Betting Lines

"Clean, Old Fashioned Hate" is One of 48 ACC Matchups With Current Betting Odds in Vegas

“Clean, Old Fashioned Hate” is One of 48 ACC Matchups With Current Betting Odds in Vegas

While I’m not endorsing gambling (unless you’re in Las Vegas, then go right ahead), it’s always a great sign that college football’s right around the corner when you can start betting on games. To that end, Golden Nugget’s sports books have published lines for almost 250 games this fall — 48 of which are involving ACC squads. The full list of ACC games, which I’ve included below, are gleaned from the list provided by Don Best via SB Nation.

Week One

North Carolina at South Carolina (-12)

Penn State at Syracuse (+6.5) (at East Rutherford, NJ)

BYU at Virginia (+3.5)

Alabama at Virginia Tech (+17) (at Atlanta)

Georgia at Clemson (+3.5)

Florida State at Pittsburgh (+13)

Week Two

Syracuse at Northwestern (-13)

Oregon at Virginia (+21)

Florida at Miami (+2.5)

Week Three

Boston College at USC (-21.5)

Nevada at Florida State (-26)

Louisville at Kentucky (+14)

Week Four

Clemson at NC State (+11)

North Carolina at Georgia Tech (-4.5)

West Virginia at Maryland (+2)

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Ranking the Best ACC Football Matchups of 2013: #50-41

Miami and Pittsburgh Renew Their Rivalry From the Old Big East Days This Year

Miami and Pittsburgh Renew Their Rivalry From the Old Big East Days This Year

The 2013 ACC football schedule has officially been released, meaning we finally have some clarity as to whom the conference’s 14 teams will face-off with from week-to-week next season. So with that in mind, we thought it would be an entertaining undertaking to rank all 112 ACC football games for 2013 because, well… it’s the offseason.

Today, we take a quick glance at numbers 50 through 41; which are almost entirely made up of in-conference matchups. With that in mind, we’ll be skipping our out-of-conference analysis below.

#50: Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Syracuse Orange (Saturday, November 2)

#49: Miami Hurricanes at USF Bulls (Saturday, September 28)

#48: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday, October 26)

#47: Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils (Saturday, November 16)

#46: Maryland Terrapins at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Saturday, October 19)

#45: Boston College Eagles at Maryland Terrapins (Saturday, November 23)

#44: Syracuse Orange at Maryland Terrapins (Saturday, November 9)

#43: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Duke Blue Devils (Saturday, September 14)

#42: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Cavaliers (Saturday, October 19)

#41: Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Panthers (Friday, November 29)

Previously: #112-101, #100-91, #90-81, #80-71, #70-61, #60-51

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ACC Football Top 25 Players of 2012: #15, Alec Lemon

Alec Lemon Ended His Career at Syracuse as the Orange's All-Time Leading Receiver

Alec Lemon Ended His Career at Syracuse as the Orange’s All-Time Leading Receiver

As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.

No. 15, Alec Lemon, WR/Syracuse (Preseason Rank: NR)

From the standpoint of a Syracuse fan, it’s been great to see Alec Lemon’s progress over the past four years. The Orange senior started off as a quiet possession receiver, and then, by the time he played his last down, was the school’s career leader in most major receiving categories. Prior to the 2012 season, his accomplishments were always made with little fanfare and attention. He’d quietly catch five-plus passes per game while big-play targets like Marcus Sales grabbed all the attention. But this year, Lemon officially came into his own. Despite missing the first game, and failing to score until the seventh, Lemon still tallied 72 catches and over 1,000 yards. Along with seven receiving touchdowns, he rushed for another. But two of his catches this year were truly indicative of how much he’d improved as a player and a leader for SU. With just a few seconds left on the clock against USF, he caught the game-winning touchdown pass on fourth down. And with 20 seconds to go against Missouri, he sped by defenders for a 17-yard game-winner. That last catch would be his 12th of the game; a contest in which he scored twice and had 244 receiving yards, along with handing SU bowl eligibility for the second time in three seasons. The Orange will miss him next year, but wherever he goes in the NFL Draft (the Buffalo Bills, if I’m wagering on that one), chances are he’ll continue applying his work ethic and leadership to his play, and imparting it to future ‘Cuse receivers as well.

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BBVA Compass Bowl Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Pitt Running Back Ray Graham Holds the Key for a Panthers Victory

Pitt Running Back Ray Graham Holds the Key for a Panthers Victory Against Ole Miss

After one of the streakiest seasons in recent memory, Pittsburgh attempts to end their string of two losses followed by two wins, as they come up against Ole Miss. This is Pitt’s third consecutive postseason trip to Birmingham, and each time, they’re less thrilled to get an invite. Mississippi, on the other hand, is thrilled to be back in the postseason after two consecutive down seasons, and their fans promise to show up in droves.

Bowl Game: BBVA Compass Bowl

Location: Birmingham, Ala.

First Year: 2006 (PapaJohns.com Bowl)

2012 Participants: Pittsburgh Panthers (6-6) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (6-6)

Last Meeting: None

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Pittsburgh (previous bowl game: 28-6 loss vs. SMU in 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl)

Pitt’s season, as alluded to above, was as frustrating as it gets, alternating embarrassing losses with triumphant wins. So which Panthers team will we see in this game? According to the pre-established pattern, they’re looking at a loss, but it’s hard to ignore just how impressive they were in their last two wins. Faced with must-win situations in both games, Pitt outscored their opposition by a combined score of 54-9, holding them to 324 total yards while forcing five turnovers (four against USF). In their victories, not one game came down to one possession. In the Panthers’ losses, they saw defeat by a touchdown or less three separate times. And while Pitt’s defense was not among the country’s most talked about by any measure, it’s hard to understand why that’s the case. Only four opponents scored more than 20 points against them, and they ranked 17th in total defense. The issue, all season, has been the team’s spotty offense — boosted up by two games in which they scored over 45 points. In Pitt’s other 10 games, they scored 20 points or less half the time, and struggled to establish a running game; their Achilles’ heel. So long as running back Ray Graham ran the ball well, the team mostly found success. However, when relying solely on quarterback Tino Sunseri (who was stll vastly improved this season), they could not generate enough consistency to pull through.

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New Era Pinstripe Bowl Preview: Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

Syracuse and West Virginia Have Two of the Country's Best Passing Attacks, But Which Will Prevail?

Syracuse and West Virginia Have Two of the Country’s Best Passing Attacks, But Which Will Prevail?

Syracuse‘s year certainly started rough — a 2-4 start that appeared to be spiraling into another disappointing season for the Orange after last year’s 5-7 campaign — until they wrapped up on a hot streak that saw them win five of their final six wins, and capture a share of the Big East title. West Virginia, on the other hand, shot out of the gate at 5-0, and had a national championship on their minds. A few months later, they’re 7-5 and playing in one of the Big 12’s lesser bowls. So who’s got the upper hand in this rivalry renewal (despite the Schwartzwalder Trophy’s absence)?

Bowl Game: New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Location: Bronx, N.Y.

First Year: 2010

2012 Participants: Syracuse Orange (7-5) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5)

Last Meeting: Syracuse over West Virginia, 49-23 (2011)

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Syracuse (previous bowl game: 36-34 win vs. Kansas State in 2010 Pinstripe Bowl)

Dynamic. Disappointing. Surprising. Frustrating… any or all of these adjectives apply to Syracuse football during a 2012 season that saw them both struggle and succeed in spurts. The passing game, behind senior quarterback Ryan Nassib, put up some of the best numbers in team history: 301.6 yards per game through the air, which would rank them 21st in the entire country. While the defense could never truly gain its footing from week to week, the group still allowed just 25.7 points per game (good for 52nd in the FBS), though it admittedly struggled against both mobile quarterbacks and the passing game in general (21 passing TDs allowed). The bright side for them, however, is that they also thrived in high-scoring situations. Six different times they scored 30 or more points, and in five of those instances, they were victorious. Syracuse knew how to play close to the vest too, with a 3-3 record in games decided by a score or less (including two straight victories in such games — October 27 vs. USF and November 17 at Missouri). Against a West Virginia team that can throw with the best of them, while failing to stop anyone in the same breath, it’s hard to see this as anything but a strength. The Orange defense will need to find some consistent pass-rushing from the defensive front, and lock down receivers on deep routes (a struggle all season). But if they can’t, SU’s offense has shown it can beat teams through both the running and passing games, respectively, piling up over 250 yards on the ground in two of their last three games.

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Top 10 ACC Football Games of 2012

Could Jamison Crowder and the Blue Devils Claim the Top Spot For Duke's Impressive Win Over UNC?

Could Jamison Crowder and the Blue Devils Claim the Top Spot For Duke’s Impressive Win Over UNC?

In a season full of parity, it’s understandable that the ACC had so many memorable contests to choose from when compiling this list. So many last-second scores, one-possession ball games and overtime battles, it was truly difficult to decipher which really were the “best” the league had to offer. Nonetheless, we make an attempt below, nodding to the 10 contests that — more than any others the ACC gave us this season — really gave us a reason to remember them. Agree or disagree with our picks? Share away in the comments.

Top 10 Games of 2012

10. Syracuse 37, USF 36: Down 20 points at the half, this was supposed to be the tombstone in another disappointing Syracuse season. And yet, as they did all year, this Orange squad refused to quit, and battled all the way back in the second half. Down five with just seconds on the clock, Ryan Nassib delivered a gutsy touchdown pass to Alec Lemon on fourth-and-goal, sealing the win and adding to his reputation as a master of the comeback.

9. Syracuse 31, Missouri 27: We promise this is the last you hear about Syracuse on this list. Once again facing a late deficit — this time 27-24 — Nassib and Lemon would complete their furious comeback with a wide-open 17-yard touchdown pass. The strike, with just 20 seconds remaining, would end up being the game-winner, sending ‘Cuse bowling for the second time in three seasons.

8. Florida State 28, Virginia Tech 22: From sloppy, to boring, to inexplicable and then miraculous, this game truly ran the gambit of emotions for players and fans. What should have been a quick win over a lackluster Hokies squad would turn into a struggle for FSU; one they were certainly lucky to come away with. Even now, the final few minutes rush by like a blur: Devonta Freeman‘s idiotic safety, EJ Manuel‘s easy 39-yard TD pass, and then Logan Thomas‘s ultimate hero-turned-goat act. Just another Thursday night ACC showdown.

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ACC Football 2012 Power Rankings: Week 14

Tajh Boyd and the Clemson Offense Were No Match for South Carolina, as the Gamecocks Embarrassed the Tigers Once Again

With the regular season officially over, we check back in with the ACC’s teams to assess the damage of 2012. The good: two teams won ten games during the regular season, just one team won less than four games, and 10 teams (could be 11 if Pitt wins this weekend) won at least six games. The bad: No team won more than 10 games, two of the league’s top five teams are ineligible, and eight teams (out of 14) won between five and seven games. Oh, and Maryland decided to leave. Which is bad.

1. Florida State Seminoles (10-2) (7-1) (LW: 1): Favored against archrival Florida, the Seminoles had a very manageable game at home and seemed poised for their first 11-win regular season in years. But then they struggled out the gate, and closed just as poorly en route to a 37-26 defeat. As a team, FSU looked outmatched everywhere but the defensive line, and quarterback EJ Manuel‘s four turnovers were the stuff of a worst-case nightmare. They’ll be favored again in the ACC Championship Game, and under no circumstances can the conference really afford for them to lose.

2. Clemson Tigers (10-2) (7-1) (LW: 2): Clemson’s BCS dreams are all but dead after they came up very short against South Carolina and its vaunted defensive front. The Tigers impressive offense was shut down in a way no one had really figured out up until Saturday, and the result exposed a team that can’t run the ball with consistency, nor can they manage to stop anyone on defense either. If Clemson hopes to take the next step and become a truly elite program under coach Dabo Swinney, they need to take full advantage of opportunities against top-tier competition. They had just three games against teams with winning records all season, and went 1-2 in those contests, while being outscored 124-116.

3. Miami (FL) Hurricanes (7-5) (5-3) (LW: 5): It’s unfortunate for the conference to see Miami sit out another postseason, but if the alternative is seeing an even better, more experienced version of this group next year, it may be the best option for everyone. In line to play in its first ACC title game, we miss out on a ‘Canes/’Noles matchup this year in exchange for what’s hopefully many more to come. Anyone who watched Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson in action this season knows there are good times ahead, so long as the defense starts to clean up its act.

4. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4) (5-3) (LW: 4): As the year’s wore on, we’ve caught glimpses of what this Heels offense could truly become under Larry Fedora and his spread attack. But on Saturday, quarterback Bryn Renner really delivered on that potential by putting up over 300 yards and five touchdowns. The junior’s obviously taken a bit more time to adapt to the new system than initially expected, but all in all, you still can’t argue with 3,356 yards and 28 scores. Expect even better production next year, as Fedora really turns him loose.

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