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Clemson Ready to Roar in ACC Championship Game

It has been more than two months since the Clemson Tigers played a competitive game – and oddsmakers don’t see that streak ending Saturday as the defending national champions tangle with Virginia in the ACC title game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Clemson has won seven consecutive games by 30 or more points, most recently trouncing South Carolina 38-3.

Virginia Cavaliers vs Clemson Tigers

Opening Odds Analysis

The Tigers opened as more than three-touchdown favorites against Virginia; if it holds, it will mark the second-lowest spread Clemson has faced all season (it failed to convert at -16.5 in a 24-10 win over Texas A&M on September 7).

Virginia News & Notes

If only the Cavaliers could play this one at Scott Stadium. While Virginia has been a wrecking ball on home field in 2019, the Cavs have been decidedly less effective on the road: all three of their defeats have come away from Charlottesville, and they have averaged just 23.6 points in their five road contests (compared to 39 points in home-field matchups vs FBS opponents this season).

If the Cavaliers are going to keep this one close, it will come down to how effective Bryce Perkins is as a two-way threat. Perkins was one of the top quarterbacks in the conference this season, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding a team-best 687 yards and 11 scores on the ground to join teammate Wayne Taulapapa (12) in the double-digit rushing TD club.

Clemson News & Notes

The Tigers might not get the attention of the Ohio State Buckeyes or LSU Tigers, but they’ve been full value for a College Football Playoff berth all season long. They own the No. 2 average scoring margin in the nation vs FBS opponents at +34.1 (behind only Ohio State at +38.1), and they’re an incredible 9-3 ATS despite being favored by 20-plus points in all but one game.

And while the Tigers defense certainly can’t be ignored (allowing an NCAA-low 10.1 points per game), it’s the balanced offense that has made them dangerous enough to challenge for a second straight national title. At the core is running back Travis Etienne, who ranks 10th in the country in rushing yards (1,386) despite having fewer carries than anyone else in the top 19.

Betting Pick: Clemson ATS

The Tigers are the superior team on both sides of the football, and will almost certainly treat this game as a legitimate tune-up for another CFP run. Expect no mercy – which should mean a comfortable cover.

Shark Bites
  • Virginia is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in its last 4 games.
  • Clemson is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The UNDER is 8-3 in Clemson’s last 11 games vs ACC opponents.