Week 4 of the college football season is upon us, so it’s a perfect time to look at the futures odds to win the ACC championship.
No. 9 Clemson, which has won six straight ACC championship games, is favored to win again at -500 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook and -900 at DraftKings Sportsbook. But with the Tigers looking vulnerable early this season, there is value right now in the odds for No. 21 North Carolina to win the ACC title.
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North Carolina’s odds to win the ACC are +1000 at FanDuel and +700 at DraftKings. The Tar Heels are 2-1 this season and ranked second in the ACC Coastal. Clemson is also 2-1 this season and second in the ACC Atlantic. Where it stands right now, I don’t see why North Carolina can’t knock off Clemson in the ACC.
UNC lost to Virginia Tech 17-10 to start the season, but bounced back with a 59-17 win over Georgia State and a 59-39 win over Virginia. They’re set to face 1-2 Georgia Tech on Saturday. It's worth noting that no remaining ACC teams on UNC's regular-season schedule are ranked entering Week 4.
Another schedule factor on UNC’s side is that without No. 12 Notre Dame in the ACC this year, the Tar Heels facing them on Oct. 30 won’t have any bearing on their division record; Notre Dame beat UNC 31-17 last season as a temporary member of the ACC because of COVID-related scheduling issues.
UNC also has QB Sam Howell, who is in the running for the Heisman Trophy and has already been named ACC Quarterback of the Week and Maxwell Award Player of the Week. In North Carolina’s win over Virginia, Howell threw for five touchdowns and totaled 419 yards.
Clemson has won the ACC Championship each year from 2015-2020, but that doesn’t mean North Carolina can’t take it this season. A factor to consider with Clemson is the team is still learning how to play without stars Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers after those three players were taken in the NFL Draft. It remains to be seen if quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei can live up to being Lawrence’s replacement.
Taking this into account, I would put money on the value in UNC’s odds to win the ACC now before those odds get shorter.