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Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Odds - Prediction

No. 3 Clemson Tigers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. No. 12 Louisville Cardinals (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Saturday September 16th, 2017 (8:00PM EST)
Where: Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium Louisville, K.Y.
TV: ABC
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: CLEM -3/LOU +3
Over/Under Total: TBA

The two premiere teams in the ACC Atlantic Division will square off against each other at Papa Johns Stadium this Saturday night when the 12th ranked Louisville Cardinals host the no. 3 Clemson Tigers. This showdown is not only between the best two teams in the ACC Atlantic but the best teams in the entire conference. The winner of this Saturday’s epic showdown will take a stranglehold lead in the race for an ACC Championship while also catapulting their College Football Playoffs chances. The Tigers faced a big test last week with a 14-6 victory over Auburn but now they will have their first big road trip of the season as 3 point favorites over the Cardinals.

This game is so intriguing on many different levels. On one side of the field you have the defending National Champions that have replenished talent at the skill positions and one of the best defenses in college football. On the other side of the field you have the defending Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson who is coming off the heels of a brilliant performance against North Carolina last week. Jackson racked up 393 yards passing for 3 touchdowns and rushed for another 132 yards with 3 additional touchdowns on the ground to lead the Cardinals in a 47-35 victory over the Tar Heels. With the performance, Jackson once again sits at the head of the table amongst Heisman Trophy candidates. However, his seat could be short lived if Jackson falters against the nation’s top defense and that is just another reason why this game is so intriguing outside of its mere importance for both teams.

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Clemson’s defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season holding the likes of Kent State and Auburn to a combined 9 points. In last week’s win, Auburn even came up with advantageous turnovers deep inside Clemson territory but still failed to find the endzone. The Tigers defensive line disrupted Auburns’ rushing attack and Jarrett Stidham did not have time to breath when he attempted to pass. Defensive end Austin Bryant had 4 sacks on Stidham but perhaps more impressive was the fact Clemson racked up a total of 11 sacks as a team on the afternoon. The Tigers defense has emerged as the best looking group in college football and they are going to need another impressive performance to slow down Lamar Jackson.

Jackson’s week 2 performance over North Carolina displayed exactly the type of talent that took him to the Heisman Trophy stage last year and when he has time to make plays he is truly unstoppable. The question this week becomes will he have time to make the plays? As good as Louisville’s offense is with Jackson behind center, Clemson’s defense has been equally impressive. The key here for Louisville is to hit some quick passes to get Clemson out of the bull rush mentality. If Clemson gets flustered with quick screens and passes, it will open things up for Jackson as the game progresses.

If Jackson is able to make plays against this Clemson defense, do not count the Tigers out. Despite losing so many skill players last year, they have an emerging playmaker in quarterback Kelly Bryant. Bryant is a dual threat quarterback that shares many similarities to Deshaun Watson who led the team to a National Championship last year. If you remember Watson was also a Heisman Trophy Finalists and Bryant is arguably just as good. Bryant may not have the arm capability that Watson had but he has been an even better runner. Last week, Bryant scored Clemson’s only two touchdowns with his legs. The passing was not the greatest but he still hit 18 of 29 passing for 181 yards. Obviously the passing needs to progress but Bryant is still very dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know Clemson’s defense is playing on a different level compared to any group in college football but I still like Louisville in this game. The Cardinals and Lamar Jackson can score points. If they can flip the script to put some pressure on Clemson’s offense, I think you could see the Tigers inexperience show more than it has so far this year. Even if that does not happen, in a close game I cannot bet against Jackson. Take Louisville +3 - Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a generous 100% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they'll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.

NCAA Football Week 13 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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