It is time to dissect the final division in the Power Five ahead of the 2022 college football season.
If you haven’t been following along, I’ve been writing about WynnBET’s college football win totals to help prepare for the upcoming season. Make sure to check out my analysis on the SEC East, SEC West, Big Ten East, Big Ten West, Big 12, Pac 12 South, Pac 12 North, and ACC Atlantic before betting on those divisions.
Let’s wrap up this series with the ACC Coastal, which has a few interesting teams that could surprise in 2022.
ACC Coastal Win Totals
Miami: 8.5 (Over +100/Under -110)
Pittsburgh: 8 (Over -125/Under +115)
North Carolina: 7 (Over -110/Under +100)
Virginia: 6.5 (Over -125/Under +115)
Virginia Tech: 6 (Over -115/Under +105)
Georgia Tech: 3.5 (Over +100/Under -120)
Duke: 3 (Over -130/Under +115)
2021 ACC Coastal Standings
Pittsburgh 11-3 (7-1)
Miami 7-5 (5-3)
Virginia Tech 6-7 (4-4)
Virginia 6-6 (4-4)
North Carolina 6-7 (3-5)
Georgia Tech 3-9 (2-6)
Duke 3-9 (0-8)
Miami vs. Pittsburgh
This division appears to be wide open, but Miami and Pittsburgh enter as the favorites with the highest win total.
Miami has a slightly better mark, thanks to the return of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and head coach Mario Cristobal leading the way. Cristobal came from Oregon, and has already made an impact on the recruiting trail. His resume suggests the wins will follow, too, as Oregon has posted a winning record in each of his last five seasons.
This roster is ready to compete after a seven-win season. Van Dyke, who has NFL potential, finished with 2,931 passing yards to go along with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He produced a Pro Football Focus grade of 75.5, which ranked 20th in all of college football.
Pitt, meanwhile, is coming off a double-digit win season that ended with a conference title. The Panthers will have to replace quarterback Kenny Pickett, who was drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They hope USC transfer Kedon Slovis is the answer after he threw for 2,153 passing yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Fortunately for Slovis, there are plenty of weapons around him. Receiver Jordan Addison might have transferred out, but there are still some playmakers on this offense. Running backs Israel Abanikanda and Vincent Davis should be a nice duo in the backfield. Konata Mumpfield transferred from Akron, where he led the team with 63 catches for 751 yards.
Even if the offense takes a step back, the defense returns seven starters from a group that gave up 23.6 points per game. The Panthers have a formidable group up front, which ranked in the top-three in both sacks and tackles for loss last year.
I can see why these two teams have the highest win total in the division, but you can also poke holes in either squad. And that leads me to my best bet…
This feels like the division of chaos, so I would recommend choosing your favorite long shot in this group and sprinkle some ACC title futures. Keep in mind that these teams have high-variance, so you are hoping for the ceiling outcome. For me, that team is North Carolina.
Last summer, the Tar Heels were the offseason darling and everyone was tripping over themselves to bet Sam Howell in the Heisman market. UNC proceeded to go 6-7 and Howell was drafted on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. So are the Tar Heels really going to have a hard time replacing Howell?
Drake Maye, who will compete for the starting job, was a four-star prospect and the No. 3 player in North Carolina in the 2021 class. If he wins the job, Maye will play behind an experienced offensive line and have some weapons around him. Receiver Josh Downs is slated to lead that group after he recorded 101 receptions for 1,335 yards and eight scores.
On the other side of the ball, the Tar Heels’ secondary should have a bounce-back season. Cornerbacks Tony Grimes and Storm Duck have the potential to be one of the best duos in the entire country.
North Carolina should start the year 3-0 before a notable matchup with Notre Dame. The Tar Heels have to travel to both Miami and Wake Forest, but will get NC State and Pittsburgh at home.
If it all breaks right, North Carolina could be in position to crush this win total. I’m counting on Mack Brown’s squad to do just that.