2018 ACC Championship Game: Odds, Analysis, College Football Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2018

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 24:  Christian Wilkins #42 picks up teammate Tavien Feaster #28 of the Clemson Tigers after a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The last time Clemson played Pittsburgh, two seasons ago, it suffered an outright upset as a 21-point favorite. The Tigers are favored by even more than that for Saturday night's clash with the Panthers in the ACC championship game in Charlotte.

College football point spread: The Tigers opened as 20-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 53.0-19.1 Tigers (College football picks on every game)

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Why the Clemson Tigers can cover the spread

The Tigers just completed a perfect regular season with a 56-35 Palmetto Bowl victory over rival South Carolina last week. Clemson spotted the Gamecocks the first seven points of the game, then scored the next 21 and led 28-21 at the half. The Tigers then scored the first 21 points out of the locker room to take control and cruised from there.

On the day, Clemson amassed 38 first downs and 744 yards of total offense, 351 on the ground and 393 through the air. So the Tigers have now out-gained every opponent this season except Texas A&M and out-rushed every opponent except North Carolina State. Clemson has also scored at least 56 points four times in its last seven games.

The Tigers aren't just playing for a conference championship Saturday; a win should clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff.


Why the Pittsburgh Panthers can cover the spread

Pitt won four games in a row to clinch the ACC's Coastal Division title but saw that streak come to an end last week in a 24-3 loss at Miami. The Panthers only trailed the Hurricanes 10-3 deep into the third quarter but gave up a touchdown on a 64-yard run from scrimmage and could not respond.

On the day, Pitt only allowed 345 yards of total offense to Miami, and as mentioned above 64 of those yards came on one play.

The Panthers came up nearly empty offensively last week but averaged 41 points per game during their four-game winning streak. Pitt has also now out-gained four of its last five opponents and out-rushed six of its last seven foes. Not coincidentally, the Panthers are 6-1 ATS over their last seven games.


Smart betting pick

The only time these two teams ever previously met, two Novembers ago, Pitt shocked Clemson at Death Valley 43-42. But that's not going to happen this time. The Tigers are out-gaining opponents by 250 yards per game this season, and of their eight ACC victories this year six came by 28 points or more. Meanwhile, the Pitt defense is giving up 400 yards per game. The smart money here gives the points with Clemson.


College football betting trends

The total has gone under in three of Pittsburgh's last four games.

Clemson is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.

Clemson is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in December.


All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.