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2018 College Football Playoff Betting Odds, Picks for Notre Dame-Clemson, Alabama-Oklahoma

Dec 29, 2018 8:22 AM EST

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney

  • The 2018 College Football Playoff kicks off at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 29.
  • Alabama over Oklahoma and Clemson over Notre Dame are two of the biggest betting point spreads in CFP history.
  • Should you ride with the underdogs, or back the favorites? We break it all down here.

We’ve arrived at the most wonderful time of the year — the 2018 College Football Playoff.

This year’s semifinals feature Clemson-Notre Dame at 4 p.m. ET in the Cotton Bowl and Alabama-Oklahoma at 8 p.m. ET in the Orange Bowl. The Tide are a 14-point favorite, while Clemson is a 12-point favorite over Notre Dame.

Here are our detailed breakdowns of every game — from live odds, trends and metrics to our best bets and picks.

2018 College Football Playoff Betting Odds: Clemson-Notre Dame

  • Odds: Clemson -12
  • Over/Under: 57.5
  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 29
  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time bowl odds and win probabilities on your bets

Clemson is exactly where we expected it to be — in the College Football Playoff after rolling through most of its ACC schedule behind an elite defense and running game. It did make a quarterback change to the more explosive passer in Trevor Lawrence, hoping to avoid the same fate it did against Alabama in last year’s CFP.

Notre Dame surprised some folks by running the table and also made a much needed change at quarterback as well, going away from run-first Brandon Wimbush to a more dynamic passer in Ian Book.

Both teams are balanced — Clemson has a top-10 offense and defense, per S&P+, while Notre Dame’s defense is No. 4 and offense is No. 26.

Are the Irish being disrespected by this point spread, or is it about right? Let’s dive in.

How Odds Moved for Notre Dame-Clemson

By Danny Donahue

Clemson is in unfamiliar territory this Saturday, currently drawing just 29% of bettors to its double-digit spread. Despite the lack of support, however, this margin has widened since opening at -10.5.

Up to as much as -13.5 for a significant period of time, the line’s latest fall to -12.5 seems to have been correlated with the suspension of Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.

As for the total, it has risen from 55 to 56.5 thanks to 93% of money landing on the over from 76% of bets.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

— Since 2005, Notre Dame is 8-5 against the spread (ATS) when getting 10 or more points but 0-1 ATS in bowl games.

— Dabo Swinney is 71-3 straight up (SU) when favored by double-digits but only 37-36-1 ATS in those games.

— Against top 10 teams, Swinney is 12-4 ATS.

Did You Know?

By Evan Abrams

— AT&T Stadium has presented us with some thrilling college football bowl games. But since 2005, 32 games have been played at AT&T Stadium with an over/under of 50 or more, and the under is 20-12 (62.5%). The under is 6-2 in the last two bowl seasons in this spot.

— Clemson and Notre Dame face off in the CFP semifinal both undefeated with a chance to go to the national title game. Since 2005, this will be the sixth showdown in December or later of two undefeated FBS teams and the first since the Auburn-Oregon 2011 national title game.

In the previous five games, the underdog is 4-1 SU and ATS, covering by 7.9 PPG with the largest three underdogs winning outright.

Lawrence Suspension Not Worth Much

By Steve Petrella



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