Clemson under 8.5 wins (-105): Clemson has won double-digit games the last three seasons. However, I think they will only win seven or eight games in 2014. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Wakins are gone. Clemson’s returning leading rusher Zac Brooks won’t play this season after sustaining a foot injury in August. Vic Beasley’s surprising return to school helps the defense but that unit will be overmatched against opponents like Georgia, Florida State and South Carolina. The Tigers have trips to Athens and Tallahassee in September along with a home contest against North Carolina. Home against Louisville and at Georgia Tech will be tricky. They end the year at South Carolina, which is an opponent even Boyd and Watkins couldn’t beat.
Duke under 8.5 wins (-175): Have to give credit to coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils for winning 10 games and the ACC Coastal last season. Duke won eight straight games at one point including victories at Virginia Tech and North Carolina. They also defeated Miami at home. All three of these teams will be hungry for revenge against Duke when they meet in 2014. I think they will lose those games along with a few others. Tight end Braxton Deaver and linebacker Kelby Brown picked up season-ending injuries in August. Deaver was Duke’s second most productive receiver last season and Brown was the Blue Devils’ best defensive player.
Virginia Tech over 8 wins (-125): The last two seasons have been a disappointment for Frank Beamer’s program. Quarterback Logan Thomas is gone but a new player at that position could be a good thing. Thomas never met his potential in Blacksburg. Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer is now under center and leading the offense. The conference schedule lines up nicely with cross-division games against Boston College and at Wake Forest. The Hokies travel to Ohio State in week 2 but they have a better chance to win now with the Buckeyes still recovering from the Braxton Miller injury.
North Carolina over 8 wins (-125): The Tar Heels ended the season winning six of seven including the bowl game. Dual-threat quarterback Marquise Williams is a name all college football fans will know. Trips to Clemson and Notre Dame is why I only lean over.
Miami under 7.5 wins (+110): Al Golden has brought in talented recruits but the results haven’t been anything special. The quarterback issue could be a problem if someone doesn’t step up. The Hurricanes play cross-division games at Louisville and against Florida State. They also will take trips to Nebraska and Virginia Tech.
1. Florida State
5. Boston College
6. NC State
7. Wake Forest
1. Virginia Tech
2. North Carolina
5. Georgia Tech