2021 ACC Football Predictions and Analysis: CFB Betting Picks

Last updated October 10, 2023 | Published August 31, 2021

The ACC as a football conference lacks depth, as the Clemson Tigers tend to run roughshod all over the rest of the teams in the league. But with the start of a new season comes the opportunity for a team to step up and challenge the Tigers for the top spot in the conference. In this look at the ACC football season, we examine just what kind of chance the challengers in this league have against Dabo  Swinney’s squad before you make your college football picks.

2021 ACC Championship Odds

As expected, the odds for the 2021 ACC championship are heavily stacked in the favor of the Clemson Tigers. With very little competition from top to bottom in the conference, it is expected that the Clemson Tigers will get to the ACC championship game, where they are then expected to win. Here is the full list of odds for the upcoming ACC football season, from Clemson all the way to the biggest longshots in the league.

TeamOdds to Win ACC
North Carolina+700
Virginia Tech+3000
Boston College+4000
NC State+4000
Wake Forest+4500
Florida State+5000
Georgia Tech+10000

Key ACC Football Storylines

Can Clemson Be Beaten?

The Clemson Tigers are far and away the best team in the ACC heading into the 2021 season, with the question being whether they will be beaten before the College Football Playoff takes place. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei got some reps in last season while Trevor Lawrence was out, which should help him this year. The Tigers will also have to try to replace the production of Travis Etienne, who joined Lawrence in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

We could find out early in the season just how good Clemson is, as they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in one of the marquee games of the opening week in college football. Georgia is one of the best defensive teams in college football year in and year out, which will be a good test for a Clemson offense that features a lot of new pieces in starting roles. But in conference play, there is unlikely to be any team that can get in Clemson’s way.

UNC and Miami Look to Push Clemson

If two teams could give Clemson a push in the regular season in the ACC, they could be North Carolina and Miami. The Tar Heels and Hurricanes both have Heisman hopefuls at quarterback in Sam Howell for the Tar Heels and D’Eriq King for the Hurricanes. While their teams may not be as good as Clemson, asking them to beat the Tigers in a one-game sample is more than doable.

Is There a Fourth Respectable Team?

The other major storyline in the ACC is whether or not there is a decent enough team in this league to make Clemson, North Carolina and Miami work for the top three spots in the conference standings. A team like Florida State could be intriguing this season, as McKenzie Milton returns to college football after being injured at UCF. But it remains to be seen if any team can rise up and become relevant over the course of the season on a national level.

2021 ACC Football Predictions

Clemson Rolls to the Playoff

Clemson should have little to no trouble in winning the ACC and making it to the College Football Playoff. The problem for bettors is that there is virtually no value on betting them, as the Tigers are at -700 to win the conference and -650 to make the playoff. Instead, it might be a better idea to hope that they drop a game and to bet them after that, when their prices might come down to a more reasonable level.

Miami Outperforms North Carolina

Between the second and third best teams in the conference, expect the Miami Hurricanes to get the better of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the standings this year. There is a lot of hype around Howell at quarterback for UNC, but their defense was not up to par and that isn’t something that should change this season. The superior defense of Miami will help it finish second in the ACC, as they look to challenge Clemson for the conference title.

Jay Sanin
Jay Sanin is a sports writer and broadcaster from Albany, NY. He has covered sports betting and the gambling industry since 2013.