College football betting odds suggest the ACC title race will come down to Clemson and Florida State. Most experts agree with the sports betting market.
“To me, they clearly are the top two teams in the ACC, and I think both will be ranked in the preseason Top 10,” Phil Steele, who authors a popular annual college football preview magazine, told Sports Handle.
Florida State and Clemson have odds hovering around +150 to win the ACC across most mobile sportsbooks, and they’re both +1800 to win the national championship at BetMGM. The ACC eliminated divisions, which means the two teams could meet in the conference championship in a rematch of their Sept. 23 game.
Seminoles or Tigers?
Recent history suggests the ACC is almost always Clemson’s to lose. The Tigers, who are +150 to win the ACC Championship on FanDuel, have won seven of the last eight ACC titles, with Pitt breaking through in 2021.
Cade Klubnik is the team’s projected starting quarterback, and he’ll lead an offense figuring to be dangerous under new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, who oversaw TCU’s high-powered attack last fall. Defensively, Clemson is expected to be among the nation’s most fearsome units.
“I rate them the best defensive line in the country,” Steele said.
Clemson hosts Florida State in the regular season, a notable advantage against the other top contender. A home game against Notre Dame gives the Tigers a favorable path to potential College Football Playoff inclusion. One mobile sportsbook, bet365, lists Clemson at +325 to make the playoff and Florida State at +333.
Still, Florida State is a trendy offseason pick. The Seminoles are +150 to win the league on DraftKings.
Jordan Travis is a dual-threat quarterback with experience, and the Florida State wide receiver room is stacked. The defense is led by star defensive lineman Jared Verse, and it’s expected to be a deep and talented unit.
“At College Football Network, we’re extremely high on Florida State and what the program is capable of achieving this season,” College Football Network’s Oliver Hogkinson told Sports Handle. “It took a minute, but [head coach] Mike Norvell has slowly returned the Seminoles to being a nationally relevant entity.”
Florida State won 10 games last season, and the Seminoles face LSU and Clemson in September. Wins in those games would signal Florida State’s return to national title contention.
BetMGM’s Chase Kiddy, who often handicaps college football futures, likes Florida State’s progress. But he questions the Seminoles’ schedule, which includes major road tests against Clemson, Pitt, and Florida that could hurt the team’s overall record even if the Seminoles play well for most of the season.
“FSU strikes me as the team we have at the end of every season that’s, like, 8-4, but is still ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll because nobody wants to play them,” Kiddy said. “They’re definitely going to be good. I just wonder about the schedule.”
Any other contenders?
The general consensus is that Clemson or Florida State will win the ACC, but can another team make a title run? It’s a hard sell.
“Truthfully, every team not named Clemson and Florida State has a glaring weakness that completely kills the mood — there’s a reason the tandem sits +150 to win the ACC [and] everyone else is 10/1 or longer,” Action Network’s Alex Kolodziej said.
Louisville (+1200 at Caesars Sportsbook), North Carolina (+1200), Miami (+1600), NC State (+1800), Pitt (+2000), and Duke (+3000) are possible contenders outside the Clemson-FSU duo.
🔹 4,321 Pass Yds
🔹 698 Rush Yds
🔹 45 Total TD
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) July 8, 2023
If Kolodziej had to take an ACC team outside the top two betting favorites, he’d lean toward North Carolina, with Drake Maye among the best quarterbacks in the conference. The question, as it always seems to be with Mack Brown’s recent North Carolina teams, is the defense.
“I project North Carolina’s defense to be below average — every model will — but to allow fewer points than last year overall, therefore giving UNC’s offense and new OC Chip Lindsey some wiggle room,” Kolodziej said.