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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Clemson Tigers ACC Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 3, 2016

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Clemson Tigers ACC Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – December 3, 2016

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Clemson Tigers Preview

Where: Camping World Stadium – Orlando, Florida

When: Saturday, December 3, 8:00 PM ET

Line: Virginia Tech Hokies (+10) vs. Clemson Tigers (-10) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: ABC

Writer’s Pick: Clemson Tigers (-10)

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Betting on the Virginia Tech Hokies (+10)

Justin Fuente’s impact at Virginia Tech has been immediate. The first-year head coach has led the Hokies back to the ACC championship game thanks to a 9-3 record (6-6 against the spread). They will head into the title game coming off the high of their 52-10 win over Virginia in the Commonwealth Cup.

After working wonders with Paxton Lynch in Memphis, Fuente has done the same with quarterback Jerod Evans. The junior has legitimately been one of, if not the best quarterback in the ACC this season. Evans is in the top four in the conference in completion percentage (63.8 percent), yards per attempt (8.6), and touchdowns (26).

Apart from his arm, Evans will also give the Clemson defense something to think about with his legs. He has rushed for five touchdowns in his last four games.

However, Virginia Tech’s calling card remains its defense. The Hokies are in the top 20 nationally in terms of both scoring defense (21 points) and total defense (332 yards). They’ve been especially effective against the pass, and are ranked No. 6 in the S&P+ advanced metric.

Clemson has been much more reliant on the pass this season, and Deshaun Watson has thrown eight interceptions against the three ACC teams with a winning record they faced (Louisville, Florida State, and Pitt). Expect that excellent Virginia Tech pass defense to see a fair amount of Deshaun Watson dropbacks, and to get their chance to force some turnovers.

Betting on the Clemson Tigers (-10)

By all accounts, this season’s Clemson has not quite been the same all-conquering force that went to last year’s national championship game. The Tigers (11-1) have been a bit too inconsistent in their performances, and that reflects in their 6-6 record against the spread.

They played down to opponents too often (see: their games against NC State and Pitt). However, they were still able to get to another level when they faced top opposition. That’s exactly what they did when they won their two biggest games of the year against Louisville and Florida State.

Despite a few turnovers, Deshaun Watson raised his game in those two matchups. The junior quarterback will come into his second ACC championship game on the heels of his best game of the season. He threw for 347 yards on 81 percent completion with 6 touchdown passes in Clemson’s 56-7 blowout of South Carolina.

Watson and the rest of the offense have been under the bright lights of a high-stakes conference title game before, which should give them the significant experience advantage over their Virginia Tech counterparts.

But the bigger advantage for Clemson (17 points allowed per game, No. 8 in the country) will be its terrific defense going up against Virginia Tech’s good but not great offense. The Tigers have the ability to dominate up front and put the games in the hands of Evans, who is still unproven in the big stage.

Writer’s Prediction

Clemson (-10) breaks out a complete performance as it wins its second straight ACC championship, 37-24.

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Written by Joel

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