Clemson is 3-0 straight up against Louisville since the latter joined the Atlantic Coast Conference a few seasons ago, but the Cardinals are 2-1 against the spread and gave the eventual national champions a good scare last year at Death Valley. In a big game in the ACC's Atlantic Division, Louisville challenges the national champion Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Papa John's Stadium.
College football point spread: The Tigers opened as 2.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 41.0-31.9 Tigers (College football picks on every game)
Why the Clemson Tigers can cover the spread
After opening this season with an easy win over Kent State, the Tigers gutted out a 14-6 victory over Auburn Saturday. Clemson trailed those other Tigers 6-0 late into the second quarter, but it took the lead on a short Kelly Bryant touchdown run and added a 27-yard Bryant scoring jaunt early in the third quarter. The Clemson defense did the rest, blanking Auburn from there for the cover as a six-point favorite.
On the day the Tigers only came up with 285 yards of offense but only allowed Auburn 117 yards. The defense also came up with 11 sacks.
Bryant, replacing the departed Deshaun Watson at quarterback, completed 19 of 29 passes for 181 yards and led the team in rushing with 59 yards on 19 carries. His performance helped Clemson go 9-of-16 on third-down conversions. The Tigers are now 2-0 ATS this season while being a popular betting pick.
Why the Louisville Cardinals can cover the spread
The Cardinals followed up their season-opening win over Purdue with a 47-35 victory at North Carolina on Saturday. Louisville actually trailed the Tar Heels through three quarters 28-27 before scoring 20 unanswered points to take control on its way to an unlikely cover at minus-11.
For the day the Cardinals outgained UNC 705-401, outrushed the Heels 312-17 and won the time of possession by a 36-24 margin.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, chasing another Heisman Trophy, threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 132 yards and another three scores. Running back Malik Williams added 145 yards on the ground and wide receiver Jaylen Smith had 183 receiving yards.
The cover snapped a five-game ATS losing streak for Louisville, stretching back to last season.
Clemson may not have Watson anymore, but it still has possibly the best offensive and defensive lines in the ACC. While Jackson is certainly a handful, the Cardinals defense remains an iffy proposition. The smart money on the college football point spreads here sticks with the Tigers.
College football betting trends
The total has gone over in five of Louisville's last six games in September.
Louisville is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in Week 3.
Clemson is 4-0 ATS in its last four games.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.