2019 ACC Championship Game Odds: Will Clemson vs. Virginia Turn Into a Laugher?

2019 ACC Championship Game Odds: Will Clemson vs. Virginia Turn Into a Laugher? article feature image

Joshua S. Kelly, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dabo Swinney

  • 2019 ACC Championship Game odds list Clemson as a 28.5-point betting favorite over Virginia, with the over/under at 56.5.
  • The Tigers are 9-3 against the spread this season, and have covered their last six ACC games.
  • Virginia is playing in its first ACC title game, and will need some serious heroics from quarterback Bryce Perkins to have a chance against Clemson.
  • Our experts give their ACC Championship Game picks and predictions below.

2019 ACC Championship Odds: Clemson vs. Virginia 

  • Spread: Clemson -29
  • Over/Under: 57
  • Moneylines: Clemson -3,333 | UVA +1,200
  • Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC
  • Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Had North Carolina converted on a potential game-winning 2-point conversion against Clemson on Sept, 28, the complexion of this college football season would be drastically different. The Tar Heels came up short on that attempt and it served as a wake-up call for the Tigers.

Since its 21-20 win over UNC, Clemson has blown through its opposition. The Tigers have won seven games in a row by at least 31 points. All that stands in between Clemson and another trip to the College Football Playoff is a game against Virginia.

The Cavaliers got to this point thanks to some heroic play from their dual-threat quarterback, Bryce Perkins. The Cavs will go as far as Perkins can take them, but the odds suggest that won’t be much further than an impressive trip to the ACC Finale.

The Tigers are no strangers to being huge favorites, but is this line too high? Let’s discuss:

Odds as of Saturday night and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $200 and a deposit bonus of up to $500.

Clemson vs. Virginia Line Movement

Even with a four-touchdown spread, most bettors have been happy to lay the points with Clemson. As of Friday afternoon, 64% of the tickets have come in on the favorites and that has pushed the line to -28.5.

The over has been the most popular bet in this game, drawing 86% of bettors. And with those bets making up nearly the same percentage of money (81%), this number has risen from 53. To 57.5. — Danny Donahue

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Collin Wilson’s Pick: Clemson Can Name the Score

Clemson will be playing with a chip on its shoulder. Head coach Dabo Swinney criticized the “moonwalking media” for the way it treated the Tigers. Paul Finebaum, the famous radio host called Swinney “the most annoying winner in all of sports.”

Virginia got to the ACC Championship by breaking a 15-year drought against rival Virginia Tech. The prize for winning that game, outside of getting the proverbial monkey of its back, is a date with the reigning national champions.

There’s no secret to how the Cavaliers operate when they have the ball. They rely on quarterback Bryce Perkins for every designed pass and rush. Virginia will go as far as Perkins can take them. Unfortunately, Clemson’s defense grades out as one of the best units in the nation. The Tigers rank first in opponent passing success, second in sack rate, sixth in havoc, 11th in passing explosiveness and 12th in rushing explosiveness.

Although the Tigers have not seen Perkins this season, Clemson did shut down dual-threat quarterbacks Kellen Mond and Michael Cunningham this season. I expect Clemson to get to Perkins all night, as Virginia’s offensive line that is 105th in sack rate.

Trevor Lawrence and his cast of wide receivers should hammer Virginia’s injury-depleted secondary. Cornerback Bryce Hall was lost for the season in mid-October and that set off a scramble of players rotating in the secondary.

Virginia is 74th in opponent pass explosiveness, which should lead to a lot of big plays from Lawrence. Look for Clemson to leave no room on the table for the media to question the 2019 version of the Tigers.

The Bet: Clemson -28 or better

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Collin Wilson is 482-404-23 (54.4%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.

Stuckey: Do We Know How Good Clemson Is?

Since 2005, only two conference championships have closed with a line above -28. In 2011, Oregon didn’t cover against UCLA, but Florida State did beat the number against Duke in 2013.

It’s hard to gauge the true level of the 2019 Clemson Tigers. They have played an extremely soft schedule and were favored by at least 24 points in all but one game. The outlier was a home game against Texas A&M and the Tigers were still 16.5-point favorites. The average spread in Clemson’s 12 games this season was just under 32 points. That is close to what we’re dealing with here in the ACC finale.

Even with its soft schedule, its hard to argue that Clemson isn’t one of the best two or three teams in the country. The coaching and talent are there and the Tigers have been blowing out their competition all season long. Clemson did survive a scare against UNC in September, but since then have won seven games by an average of 40-plus points. The closest game Clemson has played since that one-point win over the Tar Heels was a 31-point win over Florida State.

As for this specific matchup, I think the number is a tad high. I make the line Clemson -24, but I’m in no rush to back the Cavs here. It’s hard to see how they will stop Lawrence. The Tigers should own the line of scrimmage, which will lead to success for running back Travis Etienne.

Clemson defensive coordinator Will Venables has done a terrific job re-loading his defense and I expect him to be able to come up with a plan to take away Perkins’ running ability. Without the threat of Perkins gaining chunks on the ground, it’ll be hard for Virginia to consistently move the ball.

The only on-paper edge the Wahoos do have is on special teams. Clemson has struggled with the third phase all season, while Virginia leads the nation in kick return average.

Without some fluke turnovers and/or some magic from Perkins, I’m not sure how Virginia keeps this close. That said, I don’t see much value backing Clemson at this number.

At 55.5, I am looking to the Under. Virginia plays at a slow pace, even though I’m not sure how the Cavaliers will be able to put together long drives to keep Lawrence and the Clemson offense off the field. And if Clemson races out to a big lead, I expect Dabo to keep things vanilla as he has bigger fish to fry in the college football playoff.

The Pick: Under 55.5 or better

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Stuckey is 519-478-29 (52.1%) overall betting on college football. You can follow him in our free app.

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