2019 ACC championship odds, picks: Is Clemson worth it as such a heavy favorite?

Talking season is in full swing, and oddsmakers are taking advantage of the chatter by releasing all kinds of odds and lines in advance of the 2019 season. FanDuel recently released its 2019 ACC championship odds, which are led by the the reigning national champions and four-time ACC champions.

Clemson is an overwhelming favorite to win the ACC for a fifth time, though that shouldn't come as a huge surprise with star quarterback Trevor Lawrence set to lead one of the top offenses in the country in his sophomore season. There's a lot of familiar faces to replace on the defensive side of the ball for sure, but Xavier Thomas and other stars in the making have been waiting for this opportunity to show they can uphold the standard set by Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and others.  

Let's take a look at the full odds list below.

TeamOdds

Clemson

-600

Miami

+850

Virginia 

+3000

Virginia Tech

+3000

Florida State

+3500

NC State

+3500

Syracuse

+3500

Georgia Tech

+6500

Boston College

+10000

North Carolina

+10000

Pitt

+10000

Wake Forest

+10000

Duke

+15000

Louisville

+15000

Now lets break down some of those odds. 

Best bet: Virginia Tech (30-1) -- For starters, I would not recommend picking any ACC Atlantic team besides Clemson to win the ACC title. Cashing that ticket requires a team to both finish ahead of Clemson in the standings (likely beating the Tigers in order to do so) and then winning the title game in Charlotte, North Carolina, in early December. It's not crazy to think that Clemson might lose an ACC game (see: Pitt in 2016, Syracuse in 2017) but there's not another ACC Atlantic team trustworthy enough to count on an upset win against Lawrence and near-perfection the rest of the way. On the contrary, picking from the ACC Coastal gives you a puncher's chance in that title game (likely) against Clemson. After all, Clemson has had some close calls in Charlotte before. 

  • 2015 ACC Championship Game: Clemson 45, North Carolina 37 
  • 2016 ACC Championship Game: Clemson 42, Virginia Tech 35 

So who could be that team this year and maybe break through? Take Virginia Tech. Not only has Justin Fuente taken the Hokies to the title game and up against Clemson already once, but he has every reason to instill a sense of urgency in the program. Last year was a nearly a disaster, losing to Old Dominion and nearly missing the postseason for the first time in decades. The Hokies had player attrition from injuries, off-field and in-house issues, but when their pride was tested against rival Virginia with the bowl streak on the line they responded. I love the value here for what I think could be a bounce back year for Fuente. I'll be picking Virginia Tech to win the Coastal in 2019, so why not keep riding the Hokies to pull a stunner in the title game? 

Worst wager -- Miami (17/2): I'm not sure Tate Martell is going to be the answer to Miami's offensive woes, but at the same time, I'm not expecting Miami's defense to take any huge steps back despite losing some of its key contributors. The analysis of Miami is that Manny Diaz and a defense that he helped construct gives the Hurricanes a high floor, but I will wait to buy stock in Miami as a team that can win the ACC and make a playoff run until offensive consistency and explosiveness shows up to raise the team's 2019 ceiling. As it stands, I see Miami as a solid nine- or 10-win team, set to take at least a loss or two in conference play during the regular season and definitely on a different level than Clemson. I view Miami and Virginia Tech as similar teams in the ACC race and the oddsmakers clearly do not, so I cannot advocate a Canes pick at this price.  

Personal pick -- Clemson (1/6): Because the price is so steep, we're not going to actually advise betting on Clemson. But that doesn't mean we don't think the Tigers will be back in the College Football Playoff at the end of the season. In general, we agree with the oddsmakers here: At the beginning of June -- and certainly things can change -- there is no team in the ACC that appears to be close to Clemson's level.  

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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