NCAA Football Odds and Predictions: ACC Player Props
by Alan Matthews - 8/25/2011
Bodog has released literally hundreds of NCAA football player props for the upcoming season, and I will take a look at each BCS conference’s options here at Doc’s Sports. Let’s go alphabetically and start today with the options offered in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has been in the news for mostly the wrong reasons this offseason with the issues/at Miami (which threatens to change the ACC for years), North Carolina and Georgia Tech. Of those three, really only UM had a realistic shot at winning the conference title in 2011.
The first two props belong to probably the three top quarterbacks in the ACC this year: Maryland’s Danny O’Brien, Duke’s Sean Renfree and Florida State’s E.J. Manuel. You can bet on which of those three has the most passing yards per game in the regular season and the most touchdown passes. And the odds for both props are the same: Renfree is the -120 favorite, O’Brien at +175 and Manuel at +350.
It’s hard to imagine a Duke QB being the best in the conference, but in terms of pure passing that is probably the case with Renfree. And he has a great QB coach in David Cutcliffe. Last year, Renfree threw for 3,131 yards, but only 14 touchdowns in his first season starting. In his final seven games he threw only four TD passes. On the positive side, Renfree plays on a team that’s going to be well behind often, so he will be slinging it. But on the negative, he also comes out of the game at times for Brandon Connette, who brings a running option.
I like O’Brien to win both categories. He didn’t even open last season as the starter, but he went on to win ACC Rookie of the Year honors. O’Brien, who started 10 games (including bowl), threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns. The Terps figure to have a very explosive offense again in 2011, and even under a new coaching staff. Manuel could well be the ACC Player of the Year in 2011. However, he will run a lot and likely won’t put up huge passing numbers.
There are six running back options for the most rushing yards per game and the most rushing touchdowns props: Clemson’s Andre Ellington, Florida State’s Chris Thompson, Virginia Tech’s David Wilson, Wake Forrest’s Josh Harris, Miami’s Lamar Miller and Boston College’s Montel Harris. Now, I would jump all over BC’s Harris on both of these props, and he’s the favorite in both: 5/2 in the yards and 23/10 in the touchdowns. Harris needs 126 yards to become the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher. With 1,002 yards, he would set the conference record for rushing as well. But he will miss possibly the first two games of the year with a knee injury. And if the knee doesn’t heal fast, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Harris could redshirt this year.
I don’t really like Miller or Thompson because they will be sharing carries. Josh Harris is a stud, as in his first career start he rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns at Virginia Tech. But the Deacons will be lousy again and defenses can key on him. Ellington last year rushed for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games before suffering basically a season-ending foot injury. But I say the best value in both props is Wilson at 27/4 (yards) and 13/2 (TDs). He rushed for 619 yards and five touchdowns on just 113 carries last year because he was behind Darren Evans and Ryan Williams. But both of those guys are in the NFL now, so it’s clearly Wilson’s job. I don’t see how you can bet against a Virginia Tech running back.
Finally, there are six wide receiver options for the most yards and most TDs props. They are: Duke’s Conner Vernon, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, North Carolina’s Dwight Jones, Virginia Tech’s Jarrett Boykin, Virginia’s Kris Burd and FSU’s Willie Haulstead. Because a receiver’s numbers are so dependent on his QB, I think you simply take the best passing quarterback of these six teams and go with that WR: And thus my choice for both is Duke’s Vernon. Last year, he was second-team All-ACC after catching 73 passes for 973 yards and four touchdowns. Vernon is 4/1 in the yards prop and 3/1 in the TDs prop.
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