2018 ACC College Football Championship – #2 Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
When College Football Conference Championship Weekend rolls around, we are very often looking at a bunch of games where you have two evenly matched teams going head to head. There are some exceptions to the rule, though, as you often get a bit of a surprise team winning a division and sneaking their way into the title game. That is where we are at with the ACC Conference Championship Game, as we are looking at a bit of a David and Goliath scenario here.
While strange things can and do happen, we all felt that it would have taken some sort of minor disaster to keep the Clemson Tigers out of this game and the playoffs. They have been the model of consistency over the past few years and have been that way again this season, although there have been a couple of bumps along the way. The Pittsburgh Panthers are certainly the prototypical surprise package here, but that also means that they will come into this game feeling as though they have nothing to lose. Clemson are in as a 28-point favorite, with the point total set at 52½.
2018 ACC College Football Championship - #2 Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
What: 2018 ACC College Football Championship – #2 Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
When: Saturday, December 1, 2018, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Why bet on the Clemson Tigers?
While the Tigers are coming into this game with an unblemished record, this season has not been without some turmoil. Besides a couple of close calls against Syracuse and Texas A&M, the Tigers have also had to deal with a QB controversy, as well as coach Swinney threatening to move on after fans complained about the nature of the 56-35 win over South Carolina last week. All of that seems to disappear when this team hits the field, though, as they just continue to churn out wins at an incredible rate.
While they have been a solid SU bet for as long as anyone can remember, Clemson have not been a great ATS pick when in as a favorite of 21 points or more. They have been in that spot 6 times this season and have covered just once. Taking it back even further, they are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite by more than 21 points.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Panthers?
The Panthers have been a nice story this season and are now in a position where they are playing with house money. They saw a 4-game win streak come to an end in an uninspiring performance against the Miami Hurricanes last week, but you can almost excuse that, as they will almost certainly have been playing that one safe to ensure that all their key personnel go out healthy in preparation for this week. That loss to the Hurricanes also brought to an end a run that had seen the Panthers cover the spread in 6 straight games. As an underdog this year, the Panthers have gone 5-3 ATS and are 7-3 ATS overall in their last 10 games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I am looking for the Clemson Tigers to come out and try to put this one away early. They would love nothing more than to get this game in the bag so that they can rest key player and avoid injury for the playoff game(s) to come. That may just allow Pitt to score some points late to cover.
Predicted Score: Clemson Tigers 40 | Pittsburgh Panthers 20
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