2010 NCAA Football Predictions: ACC

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Is it possible that I fell for one of the biggest sucker bets of the year? Two weeks ago, I posted that I felt Miami would win the ACC and sited all their playmakers on offense and the return of a fast defense. My thesis centered on the playmaking ability of Jacory Harris and that he will be more responsible with the ball this season.

At the time I posted my article, our preseason simulations were not ready. Now that we have done our season simulations, AccuScore projections list Virginia Tech as the favorite with a 50-percent chance of winning the ACC. Projected for seven conference wins, the Hokies are a full game ahead of Miami who has an 18.1-percent chance of winning the ACC.

Miami is a distant second because of Harris. Sure Harris throws a pretty ball and played great against Florida State and Oklahoma, but his play was directly responsible for the ‘Canes late season struggles. The real story is Harris’s 2009 statistics where he threw 17 interceptions and was sacked 34 times, meaning over 11-percent of his drop backs either resulted in turnover or an average loss of 7.5 yards.

The oddsmakers at have made Virginia Tech and Miami co-favorites in the ACC at +250. Our projections show these teams are the only real contenders in this conference, which makes it an intriguing conference future bet.

Although the odds are nice, the player is actually getting bad value here. Miami’s odds of +250 converts to 32.3-percent, but our seasonal projections list them with just an 18.1-percent chance of winning the conference meaning the ‘Canes should be +650 to win the ACC.

A bet on Miami to win the ACC is a bet that Jacory Harris will limit his mistakes by at least 50-percent which is a very tall order. Vegas is smart and knows the public will see the +250, the weapons on offense and be willing to pass off Harris’s numbers as youthful mistakes.

The real value is Virginia Tech. As I stated earlier, the Hokies are 50-percent to win the conference and should be -150 at the betting window. The player gets +250 with Virginia Tech, which is a steal considering you are getting odds with the conference’s statistical favorite. Virginia Tech’s schedule is also a bit more manageable then Miami’s with the Hokies playing the same Coastal teams, but don’t line up against Florida State.