ACC Championship Betting Guide: Clemson vs. North Carolina Odds, Picks and Predictions

ACC Championship Betting Guide: Clemson vs. North Carolina Odds, Picks and Predictions

This article is part of our College Football Picks series.

Clemson vs. North Carolina Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions for Championship Week

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These two sides limp into this conference championship game. North Carolina has lost two straight, to lowly Georgia Tech and rival North Carolina State, and sits at 9-3 overall as a result, going 6-5-1 ATS. Clemson is coming off of a stunning loss to rival South Carolina and are just 2-2 over their last four games. They sit at 10-2 SU and 7-5 ATS. The over has hit at the same 7-5 rate in the Tigers outings, while UNC's high-powered offense and very beatable defense has yielded just six overs in 12 outings, possibly a result of elevated numbers.

Clemson vs. North Carolina Odds for Championship Week

Spread: Clemson -7.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Total: 63.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Moneyline: Clemson -303 (BetMGM); North Carolina +260 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

As of Thursday night, the books were pretty uniform in the spread and total, so we're looking at fractional off shopping as the only differentiator. The total hasn't moved all week, while the spread has danced a bit, opening at Clemson -6.5, peaking at -8 before slightly contracting. It's of course still sitting at slightly over one score, so I'll again preach alt lines if Clemson is your preference. 

Clemson vs. North Carolina Betting Picks This Week

I've struggled to peg Clemson on a weekly basis, so I'm lacking confidence here as well. On one hand, they have a championship pedigree and know what it takes to get it done here. On the other hand, seasonal aspirations are long gone, and they aren't good enough to just show up and dominate. As noted above, if you're backing the Tigers, I highly support the alt line at -6.5. I have a slight lean on the under here. For as vulnerable as Clemson is to deep balls, they are still elite up front and UNC will struggle to block. And on the other side, UNC's defense is bad enough to make DJ Uiagalelei look competent, but he's just not an elite player, and the Tigers lack skill talent as well. I don't think many will disagree that UNC QB Drake Maye and WR Josh Downs are the best players on the field. Are they good enough to make up for all of the rest of UNC's flaws? Probably not, but I'm ultimately backing the Heels to show up and push the Tigers.

ACC Championship Game Best Bet: North Carolina +7.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Clemson vs. North Carolina Prediction

Clemson's two losses have come in very different ways. Their 10th-ranked rush defense that allows only 3.3 ypc and 10 rushing scores all year were gashed by Notre Dame for 5.6 ypc and 263 yards. Last week, South Carolina averaged a mere 1.8 ypc but threw for 360 yards on 9.2 ypa. That's a path Wake Forest used earlier in the year to put up 45 points on the Tigers, routinely isolating their receivers on Clemson's young defensive backs. No other teams have been capable of challenging Clemson in this fashion, and they've failed both tests when presented with vertical passing attacks. If UNC can protect Drake Maye, there's no reason for the Heels not to follow that same script. And I don't trust Uiagalelei to be able to match points. Clemson is the far better team, and could win this with Will Shipley and controlling the line of scrimmage. But I question their motivation, and look for UNC to flirt with an upset.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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