Expert Picks: 2013 ACC over/under win totals

With players like Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett back in 2013, Miami is a contender for the ACC title. (USATSI)
With players like Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett back, Miami is a contender for the ACC title. (USATSI)

Media days will begin in the next few weeks, kicking off the 2013 college football preseason. With 5Dimes releasing early over/under win totals last week, the Eye On College Football has decided to break down the wager for each major conference team. Remember, as always, this advice is for entertainment purposes only.

NOTE: The over/under totals listed by 5Dimes does not include any potential conference championship or bowl games. The number is for the 2013 regular season only.


Florida State, 10.5

Over (+110)/Under 10.5 (-150)

Despite claiming its first ACC championship since 2005 and first BCS bowl win since 1999, Florida State actually fell short of this 10.5 number in 2012. The Seminoles face Clemson and Florida on the road in 2013, so picking the over is a vote of confidence for Florida State winning one of those games and not stubbing its toe anywhere else on the schedule. Florida State could fall short of this number again and still repeat as ACC champs, which makes more sense to me than a 11-1 regular season finish. VERDICT: Under

Clemson, 10.5

Over (+165)/Under (-215)

With Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and offensive coordinator Chad Morris all returning, the Tigers' offense could see one of the most prolific seasons yet in 2013. Unfortunately, the team also faces a difficult schedule that begins against Georgia on Aug. 31 and concludes at South Carolina -- the Gamecocks have won the last four meetings in the rivalry. Like Florida State, the Tigers could fall short of this number and still win the ACC. Even with the temptation of a nice payout (+165) on the over, I cannot see the Tigers finishing 11-1 with that schedule. VERDICT: Under 

NC State, 6.5

Over (-185)/Under (+145)

Tom O'Brien recorded 24 wins in his last three seasons with NC State, so a 6.5 Over/Under might seem alarming to many Wolfpack fans. Dave Doeren has done great work on the recruiting trail, but the payoffs from that work and installation of the new schemes will take some time. NC State must replace quarterback Mike Glennon and six starters on defense -- including three of their four defensive backs. The good news for Doeren is that the schedule sets up well for seven wins. The Wolfpack should be able to go 4-0 or 3-1 in non-conference play (Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina) and finish close to .500 in conference play. Even with the friendly payout on the under, I think NC State should be able to get seven wins on a schedule that requires only two trips beyond North Carolina state lines all season. VERDICT: Over

Maryland, 6.5

Over (-140)/Under (EVEN)

It might look surprising to see Maryland, a team that has won six games in two years under Randy Edsall, favored to exceed that number in 2013, but the Terps' rebuilding process should come full circle with a postseason appearance -- the first since Ralph Friedgen's final year as coach. Starting quarterback C.J. Brown never saw the field last season due to a knee injury in fall camp, missing the opportunity to team with all-purpose threat Stefon Diggs. If Maryland can avoid the historically bad luck with injuries, there will be six wins. But seven? I think it's possible, but don't like the risk with a (-140) payout. VERDICT: Under

Wake Forest, 5.5

Over (-170)/Under (+130)

After offensive struggles (ACC-worst 4.36 yards per play) kept the Demon Deacons from a bowl game in 2012, Jim Grobe decided to change the offense and put an end to the practice of redshirting most freshmen. A less pass-happy offense will require improved performances from running back Josh Harris and some nifty footwork from quarterback Tanner Price. I think the Deacons will be solid on defense with eight starters back, but some health concerns on the offensive line lead me to believe this is a five- or six-win team. In that case, I'll err on the side of +130. VERDICT: Under

Syracuse, 4.5

Over (-120)/Under (-120)

Scott Shafer takes over a Syracuse team that won eight games and earned a share of the Big East title in 2012, but the Orange will have a tough time repeating that performance in their first year of ACC play. The offense must replace the production of quarterback Ryan Nassib and his top two targets, Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales, in addition to three starters on the defensive line and leading tackler Shamarko Thomas. Several notable transfers and junior college signees will have an immediate impact, but the early schedule is not favorable with a season opener against Penn State and a trip to Northwestern. However, it is possible the Orange could top 4.5 wins in the final two weeks with home games against Pitt and Boston College. With even odds on each side, I'll take my glass half full. VERDICT: Over

Boston College, 4.5

Over (+140)/Under (-180)

Steve Addazio has a tough challenge ahead reversing the slide of the program. The good news is that 18 starters return, hungry to erase the bad memories of the 2-10 performance a year ago. Chase Rettig and Alex Amidon proved to be one of the best quarterback-wide receiver combos in the league a year ago, and Kevin Pierre-Louis emerged as the next great linebacker in an impressive line of BC defenders. Unfortunately, the Eagles' schedule does not favor a dramatic bounceback. They draw North Carolina and Virginia Tech from the Coastal Division and must travel to Southern Cal in mid-September. Combine that with the annual division games against Florida State and Clemson, and five wins seems like a tall order for Addazio in year one. VERDICT: Under


Virginia Tech, 9.5

Over (+140)/Under (-180)

It took a come-from-behind overtime victory against Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl for the Hokies to avoid their first losing season since 1992. I expect quarterback Logan Thomas to bounce back after a step back last season, but an improved performance from the 6-foot-6, 257-pound NFL hopeful might not be enough to jump-start an offense with a lot of questions. The defense should be at Bud Foster-approved strength with nine starters back, and the conference schedule is favorable with Maryland and Boston College as the cross-divison opponents. Unfortunately, a season opener against Alabama and trips to Georgia Tech and Miami make 10 wins seem highly unlikely -- even with the unfavorable -180 odds. VERDICT: Under

Miami, 9.5

Over (+150)/Under (-190)

After two years of self-imposed postseason bans, there is a belief around Coral Gables that 2013 could be a special year for Miami football. The Hurricanes bring back 18 starters from a 2012 squad that tied for first place in the Coastal Division. There are plenty of reasons to think Miami can win the division this fall: senior quarterback Stephen Morris, ACC Rookie of the Year running back Duke Johnson, a physically imposing and experienced offensive line. The key to success will be improved play from the defense, a unit that struggled with injuries and inexperience a season ago. The key to 10 wins will be a meeting with Florida on Sept. 7. It's an early-season noon kickoff at Sun Life Stadium, just the kind of situation that seems ripe for upset. VERDICT: Over

North Carolina, 9.5

Over (+170)/Under (-230)

There is a reason that the oddsmakers have set longer odds on the over for 9.5 total wins. Despite all of the NFL talent that has come from Chapel Hill in the last 15 years, the Tar Heels have not recorded 10 regular-season wins since 1997 -- Mack Brown's last year as coach. Larry Fedora's second year carries the possibility of an ACC title run (North Carolina tied for first place in the Coastal Division in 2012 but was ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions), but 10 wins seems difficult with road games at South Carolina, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. VERDICT: Under  

Georgia Tech, 8.5

Over (-120)/Under (-120)

It's not always pretty, but Paul Johnson has kept Georgia Tech as a consistent title competitor, never finishing worst than third in the Coastal Division since his arrival. Four returning starters on the offensive line bode well for his flexbone scheme, and first-year starting quarterback Vad Lee has shown promise as a true dual threat -- yep, that includes passing. The defense should have a new look as well with Ted Roof's return and the change to a 4-3 scheme that will includes Jeremiah Attaochu's move to defensive end. This is one of the hardest picks in the ACC, but with trips to Miami, BYU and Clemson on the schedule, in addition to the season finale against Georgia, it seems more like an 8-4 season to me. VERDICT: Under

Pittsburgh, 5.5

Over (-110)/Under (-130)

The offseason has not been kind to Paul Chryst and the Pitt coaching staff. Rushel Shell's decision to leave, paired with a few conduct-related dismissals, will require some unplanned contributions in 2013. The Panthers kick off ACC play on Labor Day against Florida State, then face both Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech on the road in the midst of an eight-week stretch with no breaks. With so many questions on offense and an unfriendly schedule, it will take some luck and an upset (or two) to reach the postseason. VERDICT: Under

Duke, 5.5

Over (+120)/Under (+100)

The Blue Devils were one of the ACC's best stories in 2012, earning bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994 in a thrilling victory against rival North Carolina. David Cutcliffe has set a new bar for Duke football, and now the challenge will be returning to the postseason with only 14 returning starters and an arguably tougher schedule. The nonconference schedule should give Duke 3-4 wins depending on the Oct. 12 game against Navy. The season will be made or broken in November, when Duke faces all three in-state ACC opponents and Miami in a four-week span. VERDICT: Under

Virginia, 4.5

Over (-120)/Under (-120)

Mike London re-worked his staff after a disappointing 4-8 finish in 2012, adding former NC State coach Tom O'Brien as associate head coach and bringing in new coaches on the defensive side of the ball. The good news for those coaches? The Cavs bring back nine starters on defense, including cornerback Demetrious Nicholson and talented defensive end Eli Harold. David Watford and Greyson Lambert will continue to battle for the starting quarterback job after the transfers of last season's duo, Michael Rocco and Philip Sims, looking to bring some consistency behind an experienced offensive line. The season could get off to a rocky start with BYU and Oregon, but there is enough talent to find five wins. VERDICT: Over

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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