Clemson vs. Virginia Odds & Pick: Back the Tigers’ First Half Spread Before Starters are Pulled (Saturday, Oct. 3)


Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Lawrence (16) and Travis Etienne (9).

  • Virginia takes on a heavily favored Clemson team Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
  • The Tigers are four-touchdown favorites, which leaves room for a backdoor cover, while the total come down to how long Clemson's starters play in the second half.
  • Collin Wilson breaks down how to bet Virginia vs. Clemson below.

Clemson vs. Virginia Betting Odds

Clemson Odds -28.5 [BET NOW]
Virginia Odds +28.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -5000/+1500 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 55 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV ACC Network

Odds updated as of Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Virginia scored 38 points against Duke on a combination of six turnovers, 11 tackles for loss and an offensive line that was stuffed on just six of 36 rushing attempts. While the Cavaliers’ first game may have been more about Duke’s collapse, head coach Bronco Mendenhall now faces a majorly early-season test as Virginia takes on the nation’s best team.

The Clemson defense has been taking the line of scrimmage hostage in early play, generating 23 tackles for loss. That does not bode well for Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who ran plenty of RPOs and forced a couple of costly interceptions against the Blue Devils.

The Cavaliers have not changed their offensive scheme after the departure of last season’s starting QB Bryce Perkins. Virginia’s decision to stick with last year’s scheme may favor Clemson, who destroyed Virginia in the ACC Championship last December. Armstrong saw limited action in that game, and he coughed up a fumble and an interception to the Clemson defense.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Trevor Lawrence has not thrown an interception in almost a full calendar year, since facing Louisville on Oct. 19, 2019. The Virginia defense held its own against Duke, producing plenty of pass breakups and tackles for loss. That may not matter against an offensive line that is loaded with NFL-caliber talent and running back Travis Etienne, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry in the ACC Championship.

Because of Virginia’s style of offense, which has not changed schematically year-over-year, it is hard to expect anything different than last year’s demolition.

The projection for this game is Clemson -21.5, which is well below where the current market resides. With Miami on deck in Week 6, the Tigers may elect to get a big lead and sit on it during the second half. (Ask over backers and Clemson ticket-holders about sitting on halftime leads when The Citadel came to town.)

The current number leaves room for a backdoor cover, while the total could simply come down to how long Dabo Swinney plays the starters. Don’t expect anything new from Clemson with Miami on deck: A low stake in the first half is the only way to go on the Tigers.

The Bet: 1H Clemson -16.5 or better.

[Bet 1H Clemson -15.5 now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

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