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Louisville Cardinals vs. Clemson Tigers Odds - Prediction

No. 3 Louisville Cardinals (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) vs. No. 5 Clemson Tigers (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, October 1st, 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
TV: ABC
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: LOU +2/CLEM -2
Over/Under Total: TBA

The biggest game of the weekend and arguably of the season goes down this Saturday when the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals go into Death Valley for a date with the no. 5 Clemson Tigers. I don’t think anyone would have envisioned the importance that this game holds before the year began. Most expected Clemson and Florida State to be the teams battling it out for ACC power. However, thanks to the Cardinals explosive start to 2016 this game has ACC Championship and College Football Playoffs implications written all over it.

Last year, Clemson was college football’s Cinderella team that took the media by storm thanks to quarterback Deshaun Watson and an explosive Tigers offense that took Clemson to the doorsteps of a National Championship. This year it is Louisville who has taken over Cinderella’s slippers with their own quarterback who has emerged as one of the hottest players in the country in quarterback Lamar Jackson. Now we have the ingredients for a classic college football game with two very explosive offenses that have two of the best quarterbacks in the nation at the helm ready to battle it out in a primetime affair this Saturday. What could be any better?

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Currently the line for this game is pretty even with Clemson favored by a mere two points. The Cardinals have been great against the number this year going 3-0-1 ATS while Clemson sports a 2-2 mark ATS. I think this game boils down to just a few basic questions. Which defense can step up and which offense can make the big plays? The Tigers defense took a big step forward in their Thursday night win over Georgia Tech last week 26-7. I thought the Tigers young defense may struggle a bit with Georgia Tech’s triple option but that was not the case. Instead, Clemson’s defensive line consistently knocked Georgia Tech off the ball and disrupted the Yellow Jackets running game.

The performance I seen from Clemson’s defensive line last week lets me know that they can win this game this Saturday despite the media’s love for Louisville at the moment. The Cardinals entire offense surrounds the playmaking ability of quarterback Lamar Jackson. Make no mistakes about it, Jackson is an incredible athlete and his numbers thus far are nothing short of remarkable with 1,330 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 3 picks in the air and 526 yards with 12 touchdowns on the ground. Louisville has a lot of talent on their team but this offense revolves around Jackson. He opens plays up for the rest of the offense.

If Clemson can win the battle up front on the defensive line, they have a chance at containing Jackson. However, it is imperative that they win the battle upfront. If they fail to do so, Louisville will have yet another huge offensive performance and Clemson has not shown the explosive factor on offense so far this year that leads me to believe they can survive a shootout with Louisville. Clemson has all the weapons on offense to put up big numbers but they just have not been quite as effective this year in the big play department.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson has hit 60% of his passes for 996 yards with 9 scores and 4 picks this season which is a good bit down from his blistering 2015 pace. Running back Wayne Gallman has just 256 yards through the first 4 games which is way down from his 1,500 yard campaign from a year ago. Additionally, WR Artavis Scott had just less than 1,000 yards receiving in 2015 but has just 16 grabs for 143 yards so far this season. Therefore, Clemson has to get some things rolling again on the offensive side of the ball. Clemson averaged nearly 40 points per game last year and has averaged just 25 points through their first 3 games against FBS competition. Therefore many want to watch this game to see if Louisville is the “real deal”, I am watching to see if Clemson is still that good or if they are still riding on the coattails of their 2015 success.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am just not convinced in this Clemson team this year. I think Louisville is really good and I would never under estimate Bobby Petrino’s play calling ability in a game of this magnitude. Take Louisville +2

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

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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Intertops - The safest place to bet on the web as they've been around over 20 years! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!

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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