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Betting Notre Dame-Clemson: 5 Key Metrics, Mismatches to Handicap College Football Playoff

Dec 29, 2018 9:10 PM EST

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence

  • Clemson and Notre Dame both bring elite metrics to the 2018 College Football Playoff, but there are still some mismatches that bettors can use to their advantage.
  • Here are five metrics and mismatches you need to know.

Even though Clemson and Notre Dame are two of the best teams in the country, there are a few holes in each statistical profile.

You can use any of those flaws or strengths to make a case for backing the Tigers or Irish in the College Football Playoff. It just depends on what statistics matter to you.

Let’s dive into five metrics and mismatches that matter, relying mostly on the wonderful S&P+ statistical profiles from SB Nation.

Clemson’s Elite Rushing Stats, On Both Sides

By Stuckey

Clemson averages an NCAA-best 6.8 yards per rush. Notre Dame is at only 4.5 yards per rush, which is 55th in the country. Amazingly, Clemson also leads the nation in yards per rush allowed at 2.4, while Notre Dame is a respectable 34th (3.7).

But how good is 2.4 yards per rush? Here are the teams that allowed fewer than 2.4 yards in a single season over the past 10 years:

  • 2016 Alabama (2.0)
  • 2009 Texas (2.2)

Yup, that’s it. Clemson’s rush defense ranks in the top three in overall S&P+ Defense (1), Rush Efficiency (3), Rush Explosiveness (1), Opportunity Rate (1) and Stuff Rate (3).

That spells potential disaster against a Notre Dame offense that ranks 116th in Opportunity Rate and 118th in Stuff Rate.

How Good Is Clemson’s Secondary?

By Steve Petrella