Clemson Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Pick
The first time Clemson and Notre Dame played this season, Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sidelined due to COVID-19. Notre Dame stunned the Tigers 47-40 in double overtime. But now, the teams meet again for the ACC Championship on Saturday.
The Fighting Irish (10-0) have a chance for their first conference title in the storied history of the program. Clemson stumbled through Lawrence’s absence but otherwise rolled through its schedule to finish the regular season at 9-1.
Notre Dame is second in the College Football Playoff rankings with Clemson right behind it in third. Speculation holds that Notre Dame is a lock for the playoff, while Clemson needs to win to make it.
Clemson will be playing in its sixth consecutive ACC title game, winning the previous five. Due to scheduling challenges presented by COVID-19, Notre Dame played an ACC schedule, making it eligible for the conference championship.
Clemson is a 10.5-point favorite over the Irish with an over/under of 60.5 points for the game in Charlotte. The moneyline has Clemson with odds of -420 and Notre Dame at +310. What do the top sports handicappers feel about this one?
For the season, Clemson was a disappointing 4-6 against the spread. That was mainly because of the large lines it had to overcome. Notre Dame was 5-5, suffering from a similar fate, especially later in the season.
The first meeting between these teams was a wide-open, back-and-forth affair. Notre Dame scored on a four-yard pass with 22 seconds left to force overtime. Earlier, Clemson had overcome a 13-point deficit to go ahead with 3:33 left in the fourth quarter.
Clemson was held to 34 yards rushing while giving up 208 yards on the ground to Notre Dame. The Irish average 235 yards per game running the ball, 11th in the country. Clemson’s ability to stop Notre Dame’s ground game will be a major factor in the rematch.
On the other side of the ball, Clemson was 29-of-44 for 439 yards through the air in the first meeting. For the season, the Tigers are averaging 346 passing yards per game, seventh in the nation. The outcome could depend on which team can do what it’s done all season.
Clemson’s 40 points in that game is deceiving, since the final seven came in overtime. Its 33 points in regulation was its lowest output of the season. Lawrence’s presence in the ACC Championship could, and is expected to, have a significant impact on the outcome.
It’s difficult to beat a team twice in one season, especially one as talented as Clemson. Look for Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to come up with an answer to Notre Dame’s rushing attack. Also, expect the Tigers to run the ball better the second time around.
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Clemson should be able to handle Notre Dame, especially with Lawrence under center. The Tigers showed the ability to throw the ball on the Irish in the first game. Notre Dame will need to come up with a defensive gem to get a repeat win.
Take Clemson, give the points, and bet the over.
Clemson 37, Notre Dame 24.
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