2022 ACC title odds: Clemson's chances lined at 50-50
The ACC took a step back in 2021 thanks to a down year from its flagship program. As tough a season as it was for Clemson, the Tigers take their usual position atop the oddsboard in the fifth of our Power 5 conference championship market opening looks.
ACC championship odds
|North Carolina St.||+800|
The Tigers are the lone favorite - like Ohio State is in the Big Ten. The key difference is that, unlike the Buckeyes (-200), there's considerably less confidence in Clemson getting back on top of the ACC. The +100 price implies a 50-50 win probability for Dabo Swinney in his first year without Brent Venables, his defensive game-planner, signal-caller, and energy source.
Clemson gets the second and third choices - Miami and NC State - at home this season. It has revenge on its minds against the Wolfpack, who revealed the Tigers' first sign of weakness with an overtime win last season. Victory at Death Valley might be enough to get Clemson to the title game.
Wake Forest and Pittsburgh each went 7-1 last season to reach the ACC championship game - even though neither were favored to win their respective divisions. At 20-1, the betting public doesn't expect a repeat season from the Demon Deacons. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is getting some credit even with Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison, his favorite target, off to the NFL and USC, respectively.
Miami is deemed to have the inside track in the Coastal Division, which might earn it a date with Clemson as two-touchdown underdogs in Charlotte. Given that possibility, is backing the Hurricanes at +450 now really all that valuable?
Of those listed at 20-1, Florida State, Louisville, and Wake Forest all have to climb past Clemson, with only the Seminoles getting the Tigers at home. Virginia is the fourth team in that range and is intriguing for a variety of reasons.
The Cavaliers brought back Brennan Armstrong at quarterback. He recorded 4,444 passing yards for 31 touchdowns last season, despite suffering an injury against BYU that hampered him the rest of the year. While the defense has a long way to go before it can ease Armstrong's burden, a one-dimensional team is better than nothing, especially with a soft schedule.
Virginia's conference road games in 2022 are against Syracuse, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech - the four longest shots to win the conference on the oddsboard. Even a split in its tougher home games (Miami, Louisville) could result in a 7-1 record and a surprise appearance in the ACC championship game.
Virginia would still be 14-point underdogs to Clemson in Charlotte, but if the Tigers don't take care of their own business, we might see another randomizer-style matchup for the ACC title, at which point a 20-1 ticket on anyone would be more than a little valuable.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.