The Tigers are one win away from another trip to the College Football Playoff. Clemson is playing at a dominant level as they get ready to take on Virginia on Saturday in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers have looked nearly unbeatable since an early-season scare against North Carolina. Clemson needed a stop on a two-point conversion in the final seconds to hold off the Tarheels in a 21-20 victory. The Wahoos earned a spot in the conference title game thanks to a dramatic 39-30 win over Virginia Tech last week. The win snapped a 15-game losing streak for UVA against their rival.
Virginia and Clemson have not met on the football field since the 2013 season when the Tigers defeated the Cavaliers 59-10. If the Tigers win again on Saturday, they will become the first team since Alabama in the early 1970s to win five consecutive outright conference titles.
ESPN’s FPI gives Clemson a 94.9% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Saturday’s ACC Championship Game matchup between the Cavaliers and Tigers.
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Virginia vs. Clemson Game Details
Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Spread: Clemson -28.5
This line opened at Clemson -21.5 and has been bet all the way to Clemson -28.5 with the majority of the bets and money coming in on the Tigers. This line is correlated to the action and is moving with the market.
- Cavaliers are 9-3 SU and 6-5 ATS this season
- Tigers are 12-0 SU and 9-3 ATS this season
- Over is 8-4 in Cavaliers games this season
- Under is 7-5 in Tigers games this season
Analysis & Pick
This is the most difficult game to handicap on the championship weekend slate. Yes, it’s a foregone conclusion that Clemson will win and earn a trip back to the CFP to try and defend their national title, but the oddsmakers are doing us no favors with this bloated spread. The big question for me is how motivated will Virginia be for this game. One week after snapping a lengthy losing streak against their biggest rival, and with the Orange Bowl on deck even if they lose this game, the Cavaliers might be content to just show up in Charlotte. On the other hand, Bronco Mendenhall is a very underrated coach and I would not be surprised if Virginia played even better than they did last week against Virginia Tech. The problem there is in order to beat Clemson, the Wahoos need to play a perfect game. The Tigers’ dominant defense has not allowed more than 14 points since that near disaster against UNC very early in the season. Clemson is allowing just 10.1 points per game this season and I expect their defense to be up for the challenge of stopping UVA dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins. Clemson has won seven straight games by 30 points or more, tied for the longest streak since 1936, and I think that trend will continue on Saturday. Swallow the points in what should be another massive Tigers blowout.
PICK: Clemson -28.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith