Our 2016 ACC Championship free pick features the #3 Clemson Tigers (11-1 Overall, 7-1 ACC) at # 23 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3 Overall, 6-2 ACC). The Tigers took the ACC Atlantic Division to earn their shot at the ACC Championship, while the Hokies won the Coastal Division. The game will be played tonight at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL with kickoff at 8 p.m. ET.
The Clemson Tigers are 4-1 for their last five games. Their one loss was 43-42 to Pittsburgh on Nov 12. On Oct 29, they beat #12 Florida State 37-34. Last week they beat South Carolina 56-7.
The Virginia Tech Hokies are also 4-1 over the past five games. Their one loss was to Georgia Tech 30-20. Wins included a 39-36 victory over a tough Pittsburgh team and 34-31 over Notre Dame. Last week, they beat Virginia 52-10.
The Tigers are scoring on average 40.0 PPG with much of their offensive thrust coming from their passing game. Junior QB Deshaun Watson (67.6 COMP%, 34 TDs, 14 INTs, 11 Sacks) has a wealth of receivers to toss to. WRs Mike Williams (79 REC, 1,114 YDs, 14.1 AVG, 10 TDs) and Deon Cain (30 REC, 552 YDs, 18.4 AVG, 9 TDS) are top-notch playmakers. Watson is a solid runner who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Top RB Wayne Gallman (179 ATT, 943 YDs, 5.3 AVG, 14 TDs) offers fine rushing chops.
Clemson is holding opponents to 17.0 PPG. They are keeping teams to 307.9 YPG of offense. The Tigers have made an impressive 42 sacks and an equally impressive 104 TFL. They’ve totaled 16 interceptions and broken up 49 passes. Finally, Clemson has 34 QB hurries.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Junior QB Jerod Evans (63.8 COMP%, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, Sacks) leads the Hokies. Along with being a fine passer, he’s the team’s top rusher. Over 161 carries, Evans has 713 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s averaging 4.4 YPA. Three other fine running backs offer sound ground gains, including Travon McMillan (129 ATT, 600 YDs, 4.7 AVG, 4 TDs). Top pass catchers include WR Isaiah Ford and TE Bucky Hodges. Each has seven touchdown catches. Virginia Tech is averaging 34.8 PPG.
The Hokies are holding opponents to a respectable 21.1 PPG. The defense has 26 sacks and 98 TFL. They’ve posted 12 picks and broken up 52 passes. They’ve managed 49 QB hurries and eight forced fumbles.
2016 ACC Championship Free Pick
The Virginia Tech Hokies are definitely outmatched in this championship game. The spread stands at 11.5. In our 2016 ACC Championship free pick we like the Hokies at +11.5. We think they will beat the spread.