Vegas is about making money, but they know a little about college football too. A number of early lines have been released, but maybe none as expansive Golden Nugget’s.
Despite Clemson making some headway versus LSU last December, the ACC’s road to respect will have to come on the field this fall
There are seven ACC/SEC matchups in 2013 – three at home or neutral sites – and the ACC team is the underdog in each one.
Clemson is a 3.5 point dog to Georgia and 4.5 on the road at South Carolina by the service, while a favorite/presumed favorite to go 10-0 in the rest for a third consecutive double-digit win season.
The other showdowns include UNC at South Carolina (-12), Virginia Tech against Alabama (-17) in Atlanta, Florida (-2.5) at Miami, Georgia Tech at Georgia (-9) and Florida State at Florida (-2).
Since 2009, the Clemson/FSU winner has taken the Atlantic Division, while, since 2005, only Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech have won the Coastal.
Vegas is seeing a change in at least one of those trends.
Clemson is favored by just two points over FSU. Each team holds both a double-digit and a win by less than a touchdown in the last four years. Looking at the trends, the road team is due for some success though, as Clemson was the last to capture an away win in the series (2006) and FSU hasn’t won in Death Valley since 2001.
The Tigers are listed as a double-digit favorite over ACC opponents NC State (road, -11), Wake Forest (-21), Boston College (-22) and Virginia (road, -13.5). The Terps-Tigers line wasn’t there, but it’s safe to assume, at home, that makes Clemson double-digit favorites in five conference matchups and both FCS games.
Outside of FSU, the single-digit margins are both by a touchdown or more (Georgia Tech, -9; at Syracuse, -8).
FSU is favored (or a presumed favorite) by double-digits in eight games, including their Labor Day road opener at Pittsburgh (-13). They are a dog to only Clemson and Florida and both by 2.5 points or less.
In the Coastal, the Techs aren’t expected to come out on top.
Miami, returning 10 starters on offense and defense each, is the Vegas darling – only an underdog in ACC play against Florida State (-8) and the co-conference favorite with Clemson (7/4) by at least one service.
The Hurricanes started 4-1 and took a share of division title in 2012, but sat out a bowl game for a second-straight season with the NCAA investigation fiasco ongoing.
At this point last year, Florida State was the prohibitive favorite and they cashed in on that with a 12-2 record. If the odds hold, this will be the first season since 2008 that Florida State or Virginia Tech wasn’t the preseason favorite. That brings us full-circle, as it was Clemson in '08, and the ever-unexpected start of the Dabo Swinney era in TigerTown.