Notre Dame vs Clemson Preview & Free Pick [Cotton Bowl]

Notre Dame (12-0) vs Clemson (13-0)
When: Saturday, December 29th 2018
Where: AT&T Stadium,
Arlington, Texas

Time: 4:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Clemson -12/56.5


Another year, another playoff appearance for the Clemson Tigers. While this is old hat for the Tigers, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are playing in the College Football Playoff for the first time (began in 2014) and will be looking to shock the world as almost two touchdown underdogs in this semifinal matchup. Clemson is 3-2 in the College Football Playoff over the past three years, including a national title in 2016 and a 24-6 loss to Alabama in last year’s semifinal. The Tigers have been crushing opponents all season, winning by at least 20 points or more in their last eight games, while the Irish had a handful of close calls this year. Notre Dame will need to do a good job of stopping Clemson’s big play threats, and have done well in that category this season, allowing just nine plays of 60 yards or more – fewest in the country. The Tigers boast a lot of big plays including 90 plays of 20 yards or more and 19 of 50 yards or more. While quarterback play has been solid for both, the running backs could be key in this one with two of the country’s best in Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams. Etienne (1,434 yards, 21 touchdowns) averages over eight yards per carry, while Williams has averaged 117.6 rushing yards in eight games since a four-game suspension while scoring 12 touchdowns. Irish coach Chip Kelly is 3-4 SU and ATS in bowl games at Notre Dame, while Dabo Swinney is 7-4 SU and 8-3 ATS for Clemson.


Notre Dame had a few scares this season with five games decided by eight points or less and played only three ranked teams in the final Top 25 poll. Williams helps take pressure off quarterback Ian Book with his running ability. Book has thrown for 2,468 yards with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions and has thrown at least two touchdowns in all eight games since taking over the starting role from Brandon Wimbush. The defense is very opportunistic, creating 20 turnovers on the season and are ranked 10th in points allowed at 17.2.

The Tigers can beat you on offense and defense with a multitude of weapons at their disposal, making them one of the best all-around teams in the nation. Clemson ranks fifth in total offense and scoring, second in scoring defense, and sixth in total defense. Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence (2,606 passing yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs) is having a sensational season, throwing a scoring strike to 10 different players. The defense boasts 121 tackles for loss and 46 sacks with end Clelin Ferrell (17 tackles for loss, 10 1/2 sacks) leading the charge.


I don’t care that Notre Dame is undefeated. Clemson is a far more superior team than them and can easily cover the two touchdowns, as they’ve done most of the season. Dabo Swinney always has his team prepared and shouldn’t have any trouble outcoaching Kelly in this one.

Pick: Clemson -12.5

https://youtu.be/sCBQIkXgsGg


Betting Trends:

  • Fighting Irish are 4-0-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
  • Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. ACC.
  • Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Fighting Irish are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
  • Fighting Irish are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.
  • Fighting Irish are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
  • Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games in December.
  • Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 bowl games.
  • Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games.
  • Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
  • Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
  • Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
  • Tigers are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
  • Under is 4-1 in Fighting Irish last 5 neutral site games.
  • Over is 4-1 in Fighting Irish last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Over is 15-4 in Fighting Irish last 19 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 7-2 in Fighting Irish last 9 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Over is 6-2 in Fighting Irish last 8 games in December.
  • Under is 5-2 in Fighting Irish last 7 games following a ATS loss.
  • Under is 7-3 in Fighting Irish last 10 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 13-3 in Tigers last 16 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games in December.
  • Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 neutral site games.
  • Under is 7-2 in Tigers last 9 games following a ATS win.
  • Under is 8-3 in Tigers last 11 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
  • Under is 12-5 in Tigers last 17 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Under is 7-3 in Tigers last 10 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Under is 11-5 in Tigers last 16 bowl games.

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