Prediction Machine NCAAF Free Pick: Clemson Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

NCAAF Free Pick: Clemson Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Clemson Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish (ND +10, O/U 60)

Saturday’s ACC title game is shaping up as the marquee matchup of the weekend, featuring two of college football’s top three ranked teams. Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish come in as double-digit underdogs now that Clemson has Trevor Lawrence back under center, as he missed the first matchup between these two teams while sidelined with COVID-19.

The Tigers are hoping for revenge after falling 47-40 in Notre Dame’s double-OT victory, and should feel confident with Lawrence back at the helm. Clemson has won by at least 18 points in every game started this season by the presumable No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL draft.

Sportsbooks are giving the clear edge to Clemson (No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings) in this rematch, listing Dabo Swinney’s squad as a 10-point favorite even though Notre Dame comes in as the higher-ranked team (No. 2 in CFP).

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Our model is projecting Clemson to win this matchup by a score of 33.1-26.7, giving us a solid edge on Notre Dame against the spread based on the current double-digit line. With a projected margin of victory less than seven points for Clemson and a line of -10 in favor of the Tigers, our model suggests a $75 wager on NOTRE DAME +10 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NCAAF picks are 516-485 ATS (51.5%) and 556-420 on O/Us (57.0%) since the start of 2019, profiting +60.0 units, or $6,000 for an average $100 bettor. Head over to to sign up for a free trial and get access to every NCAAF projection.

Why will Notre Dame cover the spread?

  • Both teams match up fairly well across the board, entering top two in total defense and yards per play allowed in the ACC, and top three in overall offense (total yards and points per game) in the conference as well. Neither team has a glaring weakness that can be exploited, and our model believes this will end up being a one-score game.
  • The Irish proved they can run the ball on anyone in their first matchup with Clemson. Notre Dame racked up 204 yards on 40 carries (5.2 ypc) and Kyren Williams reached pay dirt three times on the ground against a Tigers defense that has surrendered just 2.9 yards per carry and seven total rushing touchdowns on the season. Notre Dame has boasted one of the most prolific rushing attacks in the country all season thanks to a dominant offensive line and will welcome back fifth-year senior and starting guard Tommy Kraemer after he missed a few weeks due to an appendectomy.
  • Clemson leans much more toward the pass on offense, sitting 18th in the FBS with a 54.3 percent pass rate on the season. Trevor Lawrence is averaging 304 passing yards per game on a healthy 9.7 yards per pass attempt, so Notre Dame will need to slow down that production to keep this one close. The Irish enter with a solid chance to do just that, ranking first in the ACC with 6.7 yards allowed per pass attempt. They’ve also allowed just eight passing TDs on the season, which is the fewest of any FBS team with nine or more games played (ND has played 10 games). Although Lawrence is clearly one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football, Notre Dame is at least equipped to slow him down with their strong secondary play.

Tigers vs Fighting Irish: How to bet the total

This matchup currently features an OVER/UNDER of 60 points. Prediction Machine’s projected score totals 59.8 points (33.1-26.7), giving us no edge on the current total in this game.