(23) Virginia at (3) Clemson
Time: 6 PM CST
Spread: CLE -28.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 3 ranked Clemson Tigers are 12-0 after defeating South Carolina 38-3 to close its regular season. It will host the Virginia Cavaliers as heavy 28.5-point favorites in the ACC championship game at 6 PM CST on Saturday. The game will air on ABC and the over/under is set at 57 points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
Clemson has outright dominated its last five opponents since barely escaping with its 21-20 win over North Carolina six weeks ago. The Tigers defeated Florida State by 31, Louisville by 35, Wofford by 45, knocked off NC State 55-10, then defeated South Carolina. That run of domination has given Clemson a +35.2 point differential on the heels of a top-25 pass offense and a top-10 rush offense.
The Tigers balance its attack about as well as possible: It averages 285.3 passing yards per game and 256.4 via the rush. Starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been phenomenal and even better than expected. He has thrown for 2,870 yards this season with a 68.6 percent completion ratio. He has 30 TD passes, eight INTs, but amazingly just 10 sacks on the year (for a total loss of 79 yards). It is hard to find fault with anything he has done. He threw for three more touchdowns in the finale against South Carolina.
Lawrence is also the No. 3 leading rusher with 383 yards on 71 rush attempts, and he is No. 2 on the team in rushing touchdowns with five. Lead running back Travis Etienne has been consistently very good once again. He has 1,386 yards on the season with an outstanding 8.3 yard-per-carry average, to go along with having scored 16 of the team’s total 36 rushing TDs, including two last week.
The wideouts are led by Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross. Collectively the pair has combined for over 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Higgins averages 20.9 yards-per-catch and has a long-catch of 65-yards which he recorded in the win last week.
The kicking game has been decent, with BT Potter and Steven Sawicki combining to hit 72 of 73 PATs (a block) and 11 of 19 field goals. However, of the eight misses, four came within the 40-yard line. Potter did knock down a 51-yarder though, so it is not purely a range issue.
The Virginia Cavaliers won its final four games of the regular season to finish 9-3 with a 6-2 mark in ACC play. It won the Coastal Division and will take on Clemson for the conference title.
UVA gets it done with a top-40 pass offense that helps it average 33.7 points per game, but its rush attack is weak at best. Its defense is decent, holding teams to 23.5 per.
The Cavaliers have got a solid season from QB Bryce Perkins. He has thrown for nearly 3k yards with a 64.2 percent completion ratio and 16 touchdowns to his nine picks. Troublesome are his 36 sacks, though, and the fact that he is the leading rusher at just 3.5 yards-per-carry is not really a great sign either. Virginia is badly outclassed by Clemson in this title game, but it is still a nationally ranked team (No. 23) and should prepare itself for a quality Bowl appearance to conclude its 2019-20 season.
CLEMSON ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):
Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in December.
Tigers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Tigers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games as a favorite.
Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
Tigers are 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Tigers are 14-3 ATS in their last 17 neutral site games.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Tigers are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games overall.
Tigers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up win.
Tigers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite.
Tigers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games.
Tigers are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
Tigers are 36-16 ATS in their last 52 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.