Quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers did just about everything right last season except win the national title, and they will try to take that next and final step in the 2016 season.
But the Tigers will likely need to win the ACC championship again in order to make a repeat appearance in the College Football Playoff. Clemson is a +150 betting favorite (wager $100 to win $150) to win the ACC at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.
Led by Watson, the Tigers got off to a 14-0 start before falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide 45-40 in the CFP National Championship. Watson threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 73 more yards against Alabama, but it was not enough.
He also finished third in last season’s Heisman Trophy voting and could win it this year with another outstanding campaign; he’s the betting favorite on the odds to win the Heisman at +350. Of course, winning the ACC first is critical all the way around.
Clemson’s main competition for the conference championship this year is the Florida State Seminoles (+225), who have a top Heisman candidate of their own in running back Dalvin Cook.
The Seminoles were second in the ACC’s Atlantic Division behind the Tigers with a 6-2 mark, finishing 10-3 overall. Cook totaled 1,691 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns for Florida State in 12 games and may be the nation’s top back in 2016.
Other schools in the mix to win the ACC championship on the college football betting lines include the Miami Hurricanes (+900), Louisville Cardinals (+1000), North Carolina Tar Heels (+1000) and Virginia Tech Hokies (+1000).
The Hurricanes and Hokies will both have new head coaches in Mark Richt and Justin Fuente, respectively. Richt previously coached the Georgia Bulldogs for 15 years, compiling a 145-51 record. Fuente led the Memphis Tigers for four years, going 19-6 the last two years following a 7-17 mark in his first two there.
The Tar Heels faced Clemson in last year’s ACC Championship Game and lost 45-37. Like the Tigers, they went 8-0 in ACC play during the regular season en route to winning the Coastal Division. North Carolina will play seven teams with first-year head coaches on its schedule this season, including Miami and Virginia Tech.
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Source: Bleacher Report-ACC Football