The winner of the Notre Dame-Clemson primetime tilt will move up a notch in the College Football Playoff pecking order, which makes for an intriguing betting matchup.
It is a pick’em between the visiting Fighting Irish and the host Tigers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Clemson opened as a 2-point favorite and No. 6-ranked Notre Dame was even a 1-point favorite before the line for the Saturday night non-conference game between top 15 teams stabilized.
Coach Brian Kelly’s Irish are 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 road games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams, although none of those contests were at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium, aka Death Valley. Notre Dame is 0-3 ATS in its last three road games, but is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games in October.
The Irish will be entering an intimidating environment, but QB DeShone Kizer (67.7 percent completion percentage so far this season) was part of the team that played Florida State tough on the road in 2014.
The Irish have an elite NFL wide receiver prospect, Will Fuller, who will be matched up against tough Clemson cornerback MacKensie Alexander. Their offensive line that is led by left tackle Ronnie Stanley is faring well at opening running lanes and preventing sacks. That has helped the Irish start 3-0 and 2-1 ATS.
Clemson is 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 October home games, but failed to cover in both of those instances last season. Sophomore QB Deshaun Watson is an exciting dual threat that can threaten defenses with his passing and rushing, although Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith can counter Watson’s elusiveness.
Clemson is a high-echelon program that has averaged 10.5 wins over the past four seasons, but it is breaking in three first-year starters on its offensive line and turned over eight starters from its dominant defense of 2014. It is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS, but has yet to face such a formidable foe.
The total for Saturday’s Notre Dame vs. Clemson betting matchup is set at 54 points at the sportsbooks. The total has gone UNDER in five of Notre Dame’s last seven games on the road against ACC teams. The total has gone UNDER in six of Clemson’s last seven games.
The OddsShark Computer is projecting a 23.2-21.9 Fighting Irish victory.