North Carolina @ Clemson NCAA Football Betting Preview

Posted by Alex Murphy on December 3, 2015 in

The incendiary eighth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will look to pull off the huge college football odds upset over the top-ranked Clemson Tigers to both, improve their chances of reaching the College Football Playoff when they square of against their longtime conference rivals in the 2015 ACC Championship on Saturday. Now, let’s find out if the Heels can complete their stated task of taking down the unbeaten Tigers.

How To Bet the Tar Heels @ Tigers NCAA Football Odds & Game Info

When: Saturday, December 5, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
NCAAF Odds: Clemson -5.5
Over/Under: 63

Betting on the Clemson Tigers (12-0 SU, 5-7 ATS)

The Tigers hand their hands really full in getting by South Carolina 37-32 on Saturday though they never came close to covering the spread as a 17.5-point road favorite. “We don’t always play perfect, but we continue to find ways to win,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, whose team lost three fumbles. “If we ever win the turnover margin, we’re going to kill somebody. But I’m proud of our team. It’s not easy to win on the road and we got the result we came here for.”

Quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 20 of 27 passes for 279 yards and one touchdown while rushing for a career-high 114 yards and three scores on 21 carries. Watson was instrumental in helping the Tigers go 9-for-13 on third downs (69%). “He was the difference in the game,” Swinney said. “That’s what great players do: They make everyone else better. At this stage, he’s special. I think he’s the best player in the country. He just doesn’t flinch.”Clemson’s defense took most of the day off as Gamecocks quarterback Perry Orth completed 13 of 28 passes for 219 yards and three scores and the Tigers somehow managed to overcome three lost fumbles in the win.

The Tigers average 37.9 points per game (15th) and limit their opponents to just 18.8 points per contest defensively (17th).

Betting on the North Carolina Tar Heels (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS)

The Tar Heels beat in-state rival North Carolina State 45-34 on Saturday to cash in as a 3.5-point road favorite just as I predicted as quarterback Marquise Williams completed 19 of 30 passes for 174 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “The phrase of ‘I’ve got your back’ was repeated throughout the entire game,” North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. “It didn’t matter what happened in the game today, but everyone was very positive and that’s the epitome of who this team is.”

Running back Elijah Hood led the way to victory by rushing for 220 yards and two scores on 21 carries while backup running back T.J. Logan added 100 rushing yards and two more scores on six carries. “The running game was working, so let’s not go away from it,” Williams said of the approach that resulted in 374 yards on the ground. “Just the tempo. The tempo was getting to those guys. You could tell they wanted to substitute out.”

The Tar Heels average 41.2 points per game (11th) and allow 20.8 points per game defensively (19th).

My Expert Game Analysis, Prediction & Pick

I really like Clemson and I believe they’re a legitimate national title contender in every sense of the word, but right now, I just can’t pick the Tigers to cover the spread against a North Carolina team that is playing as well as any team in the country and I do mean any team. Both teams have flee-footed, dual-threat quarterbacks tat know how to get the job done, but I like North Carolina’s defense just a bit more than Clemson’s. More importantly, this game has the look of a classic field goal game that I believe will be decided by three points at most no matter who wins.

North Carolina has compiled a perfect 6-0 ATS mark in their last six games against a team with a winning record while also going 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games and an identical 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an SU win. Conversely, Clemson is just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS loss and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 conference games overall. I know Clemson has gone 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games, but the Tigers are also 0-4 ATS in their last four games following an SU win and an identical 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.

Call me crazy, but I believe the Tar Heels will not only cover the spread, but do so by shocking the college football world – and playoff committee – by upsetting the Tigers outright!

My Betting Pick: North Carolina 38 Clemson 35