ACC Week 5 Overview: Duke Ranked Entering Tilt vs. Reeling Hokies

Monday, September 24, 2018 1:53 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 24, 2018 1:53 PM UTC

No. 22 Duke has joined the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2015, while Virginia Tech slipped out after the season's biggest upset. Here are our thoughts on this week's matchup and all the Week 5 ACC action.

ACC Spotlight: Virginia Tech at No. 22 Duke (-3.5)Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN2Free NCAAF Pick: Duke ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Virginia Tech (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) is coming off one of its worst defeats in program history, stunned 49-35 at Old Dominion as a 27.5-point favorite. The embarrassing defeat knocked the Hokies out of the AP Top 25, exposed serious holes in the defense, and witnessed starting QB Josh Jackson go down to injury.

Jackson was carted off the field after hurting his left ankle on a 19-yard run with 12:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. The redshirt sophomore left the game on crutches and wearing a protective boot. He’s considered doubtful this weekend with backup Ryan Willis set to handle the snaps.

No. 22 Duke (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS), meanwhile, crawled into the national rankings for the first time since 2015 with a dominating, but sloppy performance over FCS North Carolina Central. The Blue Devils coasted to a 55-13 win, but struggled with discipline and plenty of errors, called for nine penalties. Head coach David Cutcliffe’s squad will have to focus up against a much superior ACC opponent, as the Hokies will surely take advantage of such mistakes.

Another concern for Duke was the play QB Quentin Harris, who connected on just 15 of 27 passes. This will prove problematic if recent matchups are a judge. Cucliffe’s offense has mustered just 16.4 points per game in 10 prior clashes against Virginia Tech. The Hokies have held the Blue Devils under their projected team total in all but two of the outings. Duke’s passing offense is atrocious in past battles, averaging 182.0 yards, 0.7 TDs, and 1.8 INTs.

Expect Cutcliffe to roll out a mirror game plan as the Monarchs, who thrashed Tech with 495 passing yards. Duke should win the air battle, despite recent history with Tech’s offense bound to misfire with Willis under center. Tech is young and reeling. Play Duke ATS.

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#Duke cracks the national polls this week:

🔵 No. 22 in @AP_Sports
🔵 No. 23 in @usatodaysports

See you Saturday at 7 pm at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium when we host Virginia Tech pic.twitter.com/IFLhfdXb6s

— Duke Football (@DukeFOOTBALL) September 23, 2018
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Around the ACC (All Games Saturday Unless Noted)

North Carolina at No. 16 Miami (-19), Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, on ESPN: North Carolina (1-2 SU, 1-1-1 ATS), which picked up its first victory of the season on Saturday with a 38-35 comeback win over Pitt, looks to ride momentum into Miami (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) as a hefty 19-point underdog. Head coach Larry Fedora has covered five of his last six on the road against ranked opponents, including a 20-13 upset win as 6-point pups in his last trip to Hard Rock Stadium.

Temple at Boston College (-17), noon ET, on ESPNU: Boston College (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) head coach Steve Addazio squares off against his former squad as a 17-point favorite. The Eagles are 10-5 ATS laying double-digits behind the sixth-year leader.

Syracuse at No. 3 Clemson (-21), noon ET, on ABC: A battle of ACC unbeatens see Syracuse (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS) getting three touchdowns at Clemson (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS). The Orange are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 against ranked inside the AP top 10, including five of the last six.

Bowling Green at Georgia Tech, noon ET, on ACC Network: The "over" is 15-5 all-time when Georgia Tech (1-3 SU, 4-0 ATS) plays a non-Power 5 opponent behind head coach Paul Johnson. A 59.3 combined final score is soaring 7.5 points past a 55.0 average total. The Yellow Jackets roll for 321 yards on the ground with the always-tricky option attack.

Virginia at N.C. State (-8), 12:20 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: Virginia (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) is 3-21 SU in ACC road clashes since the start of 2012, losing by an 11.5 average margin. The Cavs average just 18.1 points per game in 12 as a single-digit pup. It might be enough to stun an N.C. State (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) offense that has put just 16.8 points per game as a single-digit favorite in this span. If anything, a low-scoring affair should be on your radar.

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How’d you feel when you woke up this morning? We felt 3-0.#1Pack1Goal 🐺🐺🏈 pic.twitter.com/GYGBPQcNXp

— NC State Football (@PackFootball) September 23, 2018
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Pitt at No. 13 Central Florida (-14), 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPNU: Pitt’s (2-2 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) offense tallies 18.6 points per game as a road underdog since the start of 2017, never scoring more than 24 in a contest. Central Florida (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) averages 52.2 at Spectrum Stadium in this span. Good luck, keeping up.

Florida State at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: It’s the battle of underachievers as Florida State (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) and Louisville (2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS) clash in Kentucky. The two rank at the very bottom among FBS teams in covering the spread to begin the year. Combined, they have failed to top the number by 134 points, the Seminoles averaging 16.9 and Louisville 16.6 below expectations.

Rice at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: Unranked ACC teams are just 19-28-2 (40.4 percent) ATS hosting unranked Conference USA opponents all-time. Wake Forest (2-2 SU, 4-0 ATS) is 0-3 ATS in this situation.

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