Let the conference season begin.

The power-five conferences are officially in the full swing of conference season. For the ACC, which started out so well, the teams are likely ready to get fully inside the conference.

After registering the best number against the spread during the first two weeks, ACC teams have failed in the last two to make a statement on a national level. Two weeks ago, ACC teams went 3-3 against power-five competition. Last week, the ACC was 0-3 in power-five games outside of conference. Boise State also hammered Virginia.

The ACC race should be wide open again this season, and a conference favorite, Georgia Tech, has lost two straight games, including the conference opener against Duke last week.

Here are two games we’ll keep an eye on this weekend. Last week’s betting guide for each power-five conference went 6-4, with an 0-2 mark in the ACC. Overall for the season, the betting guides have been 4-4 in the ACC.

Clemson will attempt to eclipse eight wins this season. Flickr
Clemson will attempt to eclipse eight wins this season. Flickr

Notre Dame at Clemson (-1)

The nation’s game of the week will feature another big game for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame has already defeated Texas (considered a semi-big game at the time) and Georgia Tech. The biggest difference in this game is that Notre Dame will have to travel to Clemson.

The Tigers haven’t been challenged much this season, winning two games against Wofford and Appalachian State, and then on the road last week against Louisville.

We were a little dissatisfied with Clemson’s offense against the Cardinals. Deshaun Watson looked average at times, throwing two interceptions to go along with two touchdowns.

That’s a bad sign against a Notre Dame defense that’s playing as well as almost any unit in the country. The Irish have shut down each opponent this year, other than some lapses against Virginia.

This game will come down to a few question marks being answered. Can Clemson perform on the big stage, unlike several times in the past? Which unit will prevail, the Tigers offense or the Irish defense? And was that Virginia game a telling sign of how Notre Dame will perform on the road?

Oddsmakers are saying the Irish are a better team, but since Clemson is at home, the Tigers are favorites. We agree the Irish are the better team, so we’re going with Notre Dame in what should be a good game. — Go against the chalk with Notre Dame 

The Louisville Cardinals face an over/under of 7.5 wins this season. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1JQEsfA
The Louisville Cardinals face an over/under of 7.5 wins this season. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1JQEsfA

Louisville (+4.5) at North Carolina State

Louisville has its problems, while North Carolina State has cruised.

Then why are we going with the Cardinals?

Oddsmakers know it, too. The Wolfpack haven’t played anyone. Look at the schedule so far — Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion and South Alabama. Wow, that’s tough.

Obviously North Carolina State enters this game undefeated and that was the reason why oddsmakers inflated the Wolfpack’s season over/under to 7.5 wins. We’re not sold on the Wolfpack going over that number, based on its inability to challenge themselves in the non-conference schedule.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, are 1-3, but the losses have come against Auburn, Clemson and a quality Houston team. We knew the early part of the season would be difficult for Louisville based on how many NFL draft picks departed after last season.

The team will continue to get better and that will show in this game. Don’t sleep on Bobby Petrino’s ability to coach. The Wolfpack will be in for a rude awakening with the jump in talent. — Go against the chalk with Louisville

Other ACC games

Spreads provided by Oddsshark

Miami (-5) at Cincinnati

Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech (-5.5)

Boston College at Duke (-6.5)

Florida State (-19.5) at Wake Forest

North Carolina at Georgia Tech (-7.5)

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