Saturday’s matchup between Clemson and Miami is called the ACC Championship game officially. But we might as well refer to it as a College Football Playoff Quarterfinal because it’s presumed that the winner gets into the national semifinals – a sure thing if Clemson wins. And MyBookie has the Tigers as solid favorites in the NCAAF odds.
ACC Championship Odds & Expert Preview: Clemson vs. Miami
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 29, 2017
When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
Radio: WCCP 105.5 FM (Clemson) / WQAM 560 AM (Miami)
Opening NCAAF Lines: Clemson -9.5 (47.5)
- Overcast: 8°C/46°F
- Humidity: 85%
- Precipitation: 24%
- Wind: 3 mph SE
- Cloud Cover: 80%
- Type of Stadium: N/A
It wasn’t pleasant for Miami the last time it played Clemson – but it eventually led to the hiring of current coach Mark Richt. On Oct. 24, 2015, Clemson won at Miami 58-0, the worst loss in Hurricanes history. Miami’s worst loss had been a 70-14 defeat to Texas A&M on Dec. 8, 1944. The Hurricanes hadn’t been shut out since a 2007 loss to Virginia. It was Clemson’s largest win over an FBS opponent since an 82-24 win over Wake Forest on Oct. 31, 1981. Clemson had 33 first downs to Miami’s six, picked up 567 total yards to Miami’s 146 and outrushed the Hurricanes 416-53. It was the most rushing yards for the Tigers since 2000, the most allowed by Miami since 2008. The next day, Miami fired Coach Al Golden.
Why Bet On Clemson?
The Tigers look to win their third straight ACC title game and certainly will be in the playoff for a third straight season with a victory. Clemson avoided a trap game last week at rival South Carolina, winning 34-10.
Clemson was sparked by Hunter Renfrow, who totaled 75 yards and two touchdowns on four catches, one of which was a career-long 61-yard scoring reception. Including Renfrow, Kelly Bryant connected with 11 different receivers, amassing 272 yards and two touchdowns on 23 completions. The Clemson defense held the Gamecocks to just 3.2 yards per play and 99 total yards in the first half, and both Ryan Carter and Trayvon Mullen hauled in interceptions during the game.
It was Clemson’s fourth road win over a top 25 team this year, marking the first Clemson team to amass that many top 25 road wins in a single season. It was also Clemson’s first win over a South Carolina team that entered the game with at least eight wins since 1988. South Carolina and Clemson were both 8-2 going into that game at Clemson, and the Tigers won 29-10.
Dabo Swinney picked up his 100th career victory. He has a record of 100-29. He is just the fourth coach in FBS history to win 100 games within his first 10 years as a head coach. The others are Bob Stoops (109), Chris Petersen (107), and Urban Meyer (104).
Clemson is now 42-3 dating to the 2014 season. Clemson is 15-1 at night over the last two seasons, with eight of the wins coming against teams ranked in the top 25 of either the AP, USA Today or College Football Playoff polls.
Overall, 13 Clemson players were named first, second or third team All-ACC, seven on offense and six on defense. It marked the first time Clemson had six linemen earn first-team all-conference honors. The previous high was just four set eight previous seasons, including 2016.
Why Bet On Miami?
The Hurricanes had their national-best 15-game winning streak end as they were upset by below-.500 Pittsburgh 24-14 last Friday on the road. The Canes struggled so much offensively that starting QB Malik Rosier was pulled late – the first time he has been yanked all season.
Miami entered the fourth quarter trailing for only the second time in 2017. The Canes managed to overcome an 8-point deficit to beat Georgia Tech, 25-24, on Oct. 14. With 9:58 remaining in the game, redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs took over at quarterback for Miami. A new quarterback under center led to similar results for Miami’s offense, as the Hurricanes went three-and-out and punted for the 10th time in the game.
Richt, the ACC Coach of the Year, has said Rosier remains his starting QB: “Malik has responded great. I wanted to observe his demeanor, his body language, his voice. He knew when the game was over — he knew he was our guy. He knew there was no controversy. It could shake up a guy. He knows we believe in him and I do believe in him.”
Winning the turnover margin could be the difference on Saturday night in the ACC championship game. The Hurricanes are third nationally in turnovers forced with 29 and lead the nation in turnover margin, having committed only 12. Clemson has forced 16 turnovers on the year but eight of those have come in the past four games. Miami has created at least two turnovers in six consecutive games and is averaging 3.5 turnovers forced per game during that time period. The Hurricanes have gained at least one turnover in every game this year.
If the Canes win, they should reach the playoff. If not, they very likely play in the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m. Dec. 30 from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami – a home game. And their opponent likely would be Alabama, Georgia or Wisconsin, with an outside chance of two-loss Penn State and an even smaller chance of Auburn or Ohio State.
Latest ACC Championship Betting Trends
- Miami is 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games
- Miami is 15-1 SU in the last 16 games
- The total went UNDER in 8 of Miami-FL’s last 9 games
- Clemson is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games
- Clemson is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games when playing Miami
- The total went OVER in 4 of Clemson’s last 5 games when playing Miami
Expert Prediction & ACC Championship Pick
Miami has been a very different team away from home. Clemson covers to threepeat in the ACC.