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College football picks, odds for ACC in Week 6: Clemson relying on defense in top-10 showdown with Miami

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Week 6 in the ACC sets up a key piece of the conference championship race with one of the games of the year not just in the league but in all of college football taking center stage. Not everyone had Miami at Clemson circled as one of the pivot points in the season, but after watching D’Eriq King thrive in Rhett Lashlee’s new offense, the Hurricanes are looking like an appropriate foil to the Tigers’ pursuit of a sixth-straight conference title. 

Whether the top-10 showdown between Miami and Clemson serves as a preview of a potential ACC Championship Game rematch is highly dependent on what happens elsewhere in the conference, particularly at Notre Dame, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. In that sense, Saturday’s game between the Tar Heels and the Hokies is yet another key piece to figuring out who ends up in the top two spots of the final standings in this 15-team, one-division 2020 season. It’s too early to throw out terms like “elimination game,” but that first conference loss at this point in the season can quickly have a contender on the outside looking in when it comes to the championship race.

Speaking of, we begin this week’s picks with ACC Friday night action and Louisville’s trip to Georgia Tech.

Louisville (-4.5) at Georgia Tech: Circle the wagons, back against the wall time, whatever cliche you want to use — that’s where we’re at for Louisville right now. A team that finished solo behind Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division in Year 1 of the Scott Satterfield era returned most of its key pieces on offense and entered 2020 with hopes of contending for a conference championship. With two conference losses in September, the Cards will need to basically run the table and get some help