Clemson-Pitt Betting Guide: Can Panthers Score Enough to Cover in ACC Championship?

Clemson-Pitt Betting Guide: Can Panthers Score Enough to Cover in ACC Championship? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Darrin Hall and Travis Etienne

Clemson-Pitt Betting Odds for ACC Championship

  • Odds: Clemson -27.5
  • Over/Under: 52.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

Clemson and Pitt will meet at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Saturday night, where the Tigers will be the third-largest conference championship game favorite since 2005.

The last time these two teams met, Pitt upset the Tigers as 22-point underdogs at Clemson before Dabo Swinney’s group won the national title.

This year, the Tigers have won by at least 20 points in seven straight games and are rolling after some slight early-season sputters. Pitt has outperformed expectations against a weak ACC Atlantic, but faces a tough matchup against Clemson for a lot of reasons. Let’s dive in.

Odds Movement for Clemson-Pitt

By Danny Donahue

The opening 24.5-point spread didn’t scare bettors away from Clemson this weekend. In fact, 70% of bets and 81% of dollars have landed on the Tigers throughout the week, which has driven this line up by a field goal to its current number of -27.5

The movement on the total has been a bit more noteworthy. It’s fallen five points from it’s opening number, but that’s been no thanks to public action. More than 60% of bets are on the over to this point, but with those accounting for only 53% of dollars, bigger bets on the under have caused oddsmakers to readjust this number on a few occasions.

Pitt in Trouble vs. Elite Run Defense

By Stuckey

If you can shut down Pitt’s rushing attack, you can shut down Pitt’s offense. The Panthers rely heavily on their explosive rushing and average a top-10 mark of 5.8 yards per carry.

We saw what Pitt did last week against a great run defense in Miami, which won 24-3 after holding the Panthers to just 69 rushing yards on 38 carries. Well, Clemson has an even more dominant run defense.

In fact, nobody can shut down the run as effectively as the No. 1 ranked S&P+ rush defense of Clemson, which only allows an NCAA-best 2.2 yards per carry. That’s historically dominant, as only four other teams have allowed the same or fewer yards per rush since 2007.

As a result, Pitt will find itself in plenty of passing situations, which should give quarterback Kenny Pickett nightmares. The Panthers’ offensive line has allowed 28 sacks or 2.33 per game, which ranks 78th in college football. They will be tasked with containing a Clemson defense that has totaled 43 sacks on the season (tied No. 2).

The advanced metrics paint the same picture, as Pitt ranks 115th in Adjusted Sack Rate (113th on Passing Downs). Meanwhile, Clemson’s defense ranks in the top 10 in that same category — both overall and on Passing Downs. Pickett will be running for his life all night long in Charlotte, as Clemson will force the Panthers into plenty of obvious passing situations by stopping the run early.

Key Metrics for Pitt-Clemson

By Stuckey

  • Pitt ranks 115th against rush explosiveness, which could spell trouble against Travis Ettiene and company. Clemson’s offense ranks in the top 30 in rush explosiveness.
  • Pitt does have a significant advantage in the kicking department. Alex Kessman has been one of the best kickers in all off college football this season. In fact, he has the record for most 50-plus yard field goals made in Heinz Field — college or pro!  On the other side, Greg Huegel doesn’t have the most reliable leg (9 of 13 on the year). It won’t win Pitt the game, but it certainly could swing the cover.

Bet to Watch

By Collin Wilson

When looking to wager against Clemson, you need to examine whether or not its opponent has the makeup to hang with the Tigers. Texas A&M had a mobile quarterback with talented wide receivers to take advantage of the inexperience at the cornerback position of Clemson.

Syracuse took advantage of a couple of fumbles and also has a dual-threat quarterback. Boston College almost covered a 19.5 point spread with eight first downs and nine rushing yards by forcing plenty of second-half punts.

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