The #2 Clemson Tigers hope to springboard a victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers in this Saturday’s ACC Championship betting matchup to not only a spot in the College Football Playoff, but also another national title. Clemson’s been one of the most consistent teams in college football this season.
The Tigers are undefeated at 12-0 with key wins over Texas A&M, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Boston College, and South Carolina. Clemson knows that they have the necessary ingredients to come up with a College Football National Championship brew. Only Pittsburgh stands in their way from a third straight trip to the CFP. They’re probably in regardless of the outcome of this game, but a loss to the #24 team in the nation would send the CFP committee in to a tailspin.
For the Panthers, a CFP berth isn’t at stake on Saturday. Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college football history is, though, because Pittsburgh will step onto the field at Bank of America Stadium as a +26.5 point dog. A win could shuttle Pitt into the upper echelons of college football programs.
If the Panthers can’t upset Clemson, can they at least keep it close? Or, will the Tigers swat away Pittsburgh like an annoying fly?
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING
#2 Clemson Tigers vs #24 Pittsburgh Panthers
Saturday, December 1st – Bank of America Stadium – 8:00pm ET
Odds: Clemson -26.5 (53)
Clemson Ready for Statement Making Performance?
Although the Tigers have some key wins, they haven’t yet had the type of win that’s forced college football analysts to speak of them in the same breath as the Alabama Crimson Tide. But this is the ACC Championship betting matchup, one of the more high profile games of the year. A statement win here should send Clemson onto Alabama’s level with every other team in the nation trying to catch up.
Clemson might not be ready mentally to make such a statement. The Tigers face an opponent on Dec. 1 that they should dominate. Still, I’m not sure if a four touchdown victory is ensured with the team likely already planning for a CFP Semifinal. Getting ahead of themselves could cause Clemson to play well below coach Dabo Sweeney’s standards.
After starting the season terribly against the spread, the Tigers covered in 5 straight before failing to cover against Duke and South Carolina in their final 2 regular season games. If Clemson wants to make a statement, they must become the touchdown scoring juggernaut they were a few weeks ago.
Pittsburgh Relishes Spoiler Role
The Panthers have what it takes to upset one of the best football teams in the nation with a hefty ACC Championship betting line to fall back on . Pittsburgh’s relishing its spoiler role, looking to go virtually undetected into Bank of America Stadium and punching Clemson in the mouth.
To accomplish that, Pittsburgh must play a perfect game. The Panthers can’t take a single down off, provide Clemson firepower with costly penalties, or allow Tigers’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence to get into a rhythm.
The odds are long that Pitt does everything right on Saturday. Massive upsets do happen in college football, though, and it’s hard to see how Clemson’s paying too much attention to Pitt with another CFP berth on the doorstep.
#2 Clemson vs #24 Pittsburgh Analysis and Pick
By a healthy margin, college football handicappers are taking the points on the Pittsburgh Panthers to keep this one within the spread. Makes sense because Clemson is only 6-6 ATS this season.
But, the Tigers are also 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games, 12-3 ATS in their last 15 after allowing less than 100 yards in their previous, and 10-2 ATS in their last 12 at a neutral site.
Like Clemson, great trends follow the Panthers into this game. Pittsburgh is 6-1 ATS in their last 7, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 in the conference, and 4-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Pittsburgh doesn’t have much shot of beating Clemson straight up. The trends, and Clemson possibly looking past the Panthers, makes Pitt the play against the spread.
ACC Championship College Football Betting Free Pick: Pittsburgh +26.5