Pittsburgh Panthers (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) vs. Clemson Tigers (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday, November 12th, 3:30pm EST
Where: Memorial Stadium – Clemson, SC
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PITT +20.5 / CLEM -20.5
Over/Under Total: 66.5
This Saturday, the Pitt Panthers will invade Clemson’s version of Death Valley and try to upset one of the nation’s top teams. Clemson enters this game 9-0 and ranked 2nd in the most recent college football playoff poll behind Alabama. The Tigers are primed to make a run back to the national championship game but there is no room for error. Any slip up or any loss could send the whole season down the drain. Pittsburgh is new to the ACC thus them and Clemson do not have much a history of facing off. Actually, this will be just the second meeting all time with the only previous game taking place back in 1977 (the year I was born) with Pitt coming out on top by a score of 34.3. I have a feeling the Panthers will not be seeing another 34-3 victory but they are a rather talented team that in my opinion is much more dangerous than their record indicates
The Clemson Tigers are a 20.5 point home favorite over the Panthers while the total points are set at 66.5 combined. Early action is pretty even on this one. Clemson has 54% of the betting action while 63% think the game will go over the posted total. Pitt has actually played well on the road in games against superior opponents. In their last ten road games against teams with a winning record, the Panthers are 7-2-1 against the spread. On the flip side of that, Clemson also has shown up in big games going 4-0 at home against the spread when a team with a winning record comes to town. This should be an interesting one to watch come Saturday.
Clemson of course has their eyes set on one thing and one thing only, the National Championship. After coming up just short a year ago, many felt this Clemson team was even better and had a shot to return back and win it all. Early in 2016, the Tigers did not look like world beaters. They got an answered prayer at North Carolina State and the referees made sure they did not fall to rival Florida State a couple of weeks ago. Clemson is 9-0 and is looking stronger and stronger each week. Clemson has been very impressive on both offense and defense this season. The Tigers are 8th in all of the FBS allowing just 15.7 points per game to be scored on them while their offense, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson is scoring almost 40 a contest. That is an absolute recipe for wins and we are seeing it with Clemson ranked second in the country. This weekend, the focus will be on the Clemson defense.
The Pitt offense can score and they can score a lot. They average 37 points per game and their passing and rushing offense is pretty balanced as well. The run game however is the key. Led by stud James Connor, Pitt is gaining over 220 yards on the ground per game. This is what could give Clemson trouble. If the Panthers are able to come into Death Valley and dictate the pace and tempo of the game, not only could Pitt cover this nearly three touchdown spread, but they could also win this game and send the Clemson fans home very sick. Pitt though does not want this game to become a shootout. The Panthers defense is only 107th in the nation in points allowed so if this game becomes an offensive war, I do not see them having the fire power to keep up with Clemson, at least not for four whole quarters. Control the clock and keep this game in the 20’s and Pitt may have a shot.
This is a very tricky game because I could certainly see Clemson coming out and blowing this thing away early but on the other side, if Pitt can get Connor going and keep Watson and Clemson’s offense on the sideline, this could be rather interesting. Ugh, what to do what to do? I am going to just go chalk on this one. I predict that the first half will be one heck of a game but after they come out of the locker room in the second half, Clemson puts this thing away and wins by something like 40-17.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Clemson Tigers -20.5!
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2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
2016-2017 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the National Championship as a 4-horse race which includes Bama at +665, Clemson +725, LSU +900 and Ohio State +1075. Teams on teh bubble include Oklahoma at +1200, Michigan +1300 and FSU at +1350. 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 - Clemson QB DeShaun Watson will have the ball in his hands a TON and he plays on a good team so he's the obvious favorite to win the award this year at +575. Leonard Fournette at 8.5/1 looks like he could play in the NFL right now. 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. It's unlikely to happen as offensive players usually win this honor, but Michigan DB Jabrill Peppers (75-1) and Texas AM DT Myles Garret (110-1) could be in the running as well. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!