No. 7 Miami Hurricanes (10-1 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. No. 1 Clemson Tigers (11-1 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date/Time: Saturday December 2nd, 2017. 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIA +9.5/CLEM -9.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
After a week of rivalry upsets, the Clemson Tigers took over the no. 1 ranking in college football following an impressive 34-10 victory over no. 24 South Carolina last week. Now the Tigers will put their no. 1 ranking on the line when they meet the 7th ranked Miami Hurricanes inside Bank of America Stadium in the 2017 ACC Championship Game. The previously undefeated and 2nd ranked Hurricanes were among those teams that were upset last week with a 24-14 loss to Pitt. However, an opportunity at redemption awaits as the Hurricanes seek their first ACC Championship when they meet Clemson this Saturday night in Charlotte.
If the Hurricanes can pull off the upset, I believe they will have a legitimate case for a playoff bid as one of the best one loss teams in college football. Of course beating this Clemson team is not going to be an easy task. The Tigers dominated South Carolina last Saturday to earn their 5th win of the season against top 25 opponents. In many ways, Clemsons victory over South Carolina mirrored the 10 that preceded it this season. They dominated along the defensive line with relentless pressure on quarterback Jake Bentley, forced turnovers, and held South Carolina to just 207 total yards marking their lowest output of the season. Offensively, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant shined by throwing for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns and just 1 pick.
It was actually the first time in several weeks that Clemsons offense looked strong in the passing game. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow sparked the momentum with a 61 yard reception as Clemsons offense appeared rejuvenated. For most of the season, Clemsons rushing attack had be the focal point of their offense. Along with Bryant, running backs Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster have combined for nearly 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. Clemsons rushing attack has been dynamic all year but if they can continue to get production in the passing game, they are going to be really tough to beat.
Clemsons challenge this week is a resurging Miami team that has put together a breakout season at 10-1 SU and 5-6 ATS. Obviously Miami does not have the talent level compared to Clemson when I breakdown this game in terms of matchups. The Hurricanes have suffered a few key injuries this season most notably with running back Mark Walton and most recently last week with tight end Christopher Herndon. Offensively, they are not very explosive and flat out struggle at times with consistency.
Quarterback Malik Rosier has only completed 55% of his passes this year but has turned in 25 passing touchdowns compared to just 9 interceptions. Running back Travis Homer has played well during the 2nd half of the season despite being held to a season low 12 yards on 7 attempts last week in the loss to Pitt. The entire Miami offense struggled last week in that loss to the Panthers gaining just 45 yards on the ground and 232 total yards for the entire game. Therefore, it is extremely important that this offense finds their balance and gains their confidence back this week. Clemsons defensive line is known for generating pressure and rattling quarterbacks so it will be very interesting to see if Coach Mark Richt can design some plays to keep this Clemson defense on their heels. I would expect some type of wrinkle plays and screen pass attempts early in this game to try to get things going. Unfortunately, I am just not confident that it will work.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am not a big fan of Mark Richts game day coaching ability and he is going to need a very creative offensive effort in this game to keep Clemsons defense at bay. Unfortunately, I just do not see it happening. Clemson has the speed on the edges to cover the short passes and the pass rush to be completely disruptive. Expect the Tigers defense to dominate as Clemson earns their 3rd straight ACC Championship. Take Clemson -9.5. -If you went to the store and on the shelf was the exact same product, one for $110 and one for $105 which would you buy? The cheaper one of course! So why would you pay -110 odds on your bets instead of -105? Start betting at discounted odds today at 5Dimes!