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ACC Championship Odds, Picks: Our Bets for North Carolina vs. Clemson

ACC Championship Odds, Picks: Our Bets for North Carolina vs. Clemson article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Drake Maye (10) of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Sheridan Jones (6) of the Clemson Tigers.

ACC Championship Odds

#23North Carolina vs. #9Clemson

Saturday, Dec. 3
8 p.m. ET
North Carolina Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-112o / -108u
Clemson Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

By Dan Keegan

The ACC Championship has lost any hope of impacting the College Football Playoff picture, but the game still is worth tuning in for.

A league will crown a champion, we can enjoy watching some of the sport’s stars, and — of course — any game is an opportunity to find an edge and make some money.

Both teams clinched their spot in this competition weeks ago and now are limping into the matchup licking their wounds.

The Tar Heels have dropped two straight, including a frustrating home loss to archrival NC State last week. But few rivalry losses stung more than Clemson’s shocking defeat at the hands of South Carolina, and now the Tigers will have to get off the mat in Charlotte.

Clemson will need more from beleaguered quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who went just 8-of-29 for 99 yards in the loss to the Gamecocks.

The Tigers are at a distinct quarterbacking disadvantage in this matchup, as Carolina’s all-galaxy freshman Drake Maye is one of the best signal-callers in the sport.

Clemson will have a clear advantage on defense, however. It’s fallen from the heights of the Brent Venables era and has had some glitchiness in the secondary this year, but this is still around a top-25 unit. Compare that to the Tar Heels, who have one of the most porous defenses in all of Power Five.

Despite the lack of playoff stakes, this will still be a hotly-contested game.
Dabo Swinney is looking to return to the king of the ACC hill, as Clemson’s six-year title streak was broken last season. The Tar Heels are looking to win the conference for the first time since 1980.

We polled 15 of our college football experts to find a consensus on how to bet this matchup. Our staff collectively believes there’s value in backing both the underdog Tar Heels and the over. Let’s take a look at the reasons for these conclusions.

North Carolina vs. Clemson Point Spread

8 Picks

Coin Flip

2 Picks
5 Picks

North Carolina +7.5

By Cody Goggin

Our staff has a strong lean toward the Tar Heels this weekend, and it’s not hard to see why. Drake Maye has led one of the best offenses in college football this year in just his first year as a starter.

UNC is the 11th-best offense in the country, per SP+. It ranks 24th overall in Offensive Success Rate, fourth in points per opportunity and 13th in offensive explosiveness.

Most of this is due to Maye and the Tar Heels’ passing attack, which ranks 14th in Passing Success Rate and eighth in Passing PPA. Maye ranks fourth in FBS with 3,847 passing yards and comes in tied for fourth with 35 passing touchdowns.

His 91.2 PFF passing grade ranks second among FBS quarterbacks with at least 20% of their team’s passing snaps. If you’re backing North Carolina this week, Maye and this offense is one of the primary reasons why.

On the other side, Clemson may have a tough time keeping up. This Tigers offense comes in ranked 33rd by SP+ — a far cry from where it typically stands. This offense is 42nd in Success Rate, thanks in large part to its ranking of 19th when it runs the ball.

DJ Uiagalelei has failed to live up to his billing as a five-star recruit and the hype that surrounded him at the start of his Clemson tenure. He ranks 59th in PFF passing grade as this Tigers offense sits just 82nd in Passing Success Rate.

If Clemson is going to cover in this matchup, DJU will need to have a big day against this North Carolina defense. Even still, that may not be enough as Mack Brown’s squad certainly has the ability to put points on the board.

Staff Pick: North Carolina +7.5

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North Carolina vs. Clemson Over/Under

Over 63.5

12 Picks

Coin Flip

1 Picks

Under 63.5

2 Picks

Over 63.5

By Alex Hinton

Last week, Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei simply could not complete a pass in the loss to South Carolina. The junior went 8-of-29 for 99 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Clemson also turned the ball over four times, but it still scored 30 points.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says he’s sticking with Uiagalelei, but I imagine he will have a shorter leash with a conference championship on the line. Whether it is Uiagalelei or freshman Cade Klubnik, Clemson should have more success moving the ball against this UNC defense.

North Carolina ranks 117th in total defense, 111th in yards per play allowed, 116th in passing yards allowed per game and 107th in scoring defense. It has allowed 20 points in 11 of its 12 games and 30 points in five games.

Clemson won’t have to rely solely on its passing attac,k as UNC also sits 91st in rushing defense.

Running back Will Shipley, a North Carolina native, has run for 1,092 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He racked up 132 yards and a touchdown last week. Shipley could be in a line for a big day against his home state school.

Meanwhile, Clemson’s defense ranks top-30 in points allowed per game, total defense and yards allowed per play.

However, it has struggled against the better quarterbacks on its schedule. It allowed 337 passing yards and six touchdowns to Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, along with 254 passing yards and two touchdowns to Florida State’s Jordan Travis.

South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler had the recruiting pedigree of an elite quarterback, and despite throwing two interceptions, he gained 360 yards and two touchdowns last week.

On Saturday, the Tigers will have to contend with Drake Maye, the top quarterback in the ACC. Maye accounts for nearly 400 yards of total offense per game and has 41 total touchdowns.

He has struggled the last two weeks, but I expect him to bounce back on Saturday.

Clemson’s defense can be attacked on the perimeter. Just last week, South Carolina had four receivers with over 50 yards against Clemson. Look for UNC’s Josh Downs and Antoine Green to take advantage.

This line has moved up to 63.5, but these offenses should find a lot of success on Saturday. We like the over here and would play it up to 65.

Staff Pick: Over 63.5

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