CFP Playoffs: Will the Irish Need a 4-Leaf Clover against Clemson?
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Frankly, the perception from here is those factors have even seeped into the odds for each game, and as a result, it appears one of the teams feels really dissed.
For the record, it isn't Oklahoma.
The Sooners were too busy being overjoyed at the fact they were the team selected as what amounts to the CFP's wild-card team.
You know, the sorta we tune out the noise and we've been underestimated all year stuff.
Why you should bet on Notre Dame ...
The Irish got here by beating four ranked teams along the way. They rose to another level when coach Brian Kelly switched slingers, opting for junior Ian Book after their sluggish start to the season. Working behind a solid o-line, dude gave Notre Dame an athletic, dual-threat dimension they've not seen in modern times.
Add RB Dexter Williams returning to action from injury that kept him sidelined for a month, and the Irish were a much more impressive squad the rest of the way.
Include an excellent defense into the mix, and Notre Dame can hang with anyone, even in the playoffs.
Why bet on Clemson ...
The term sustained excellence comes to mind.
The Tigers have become a fixture in the playoffs, with this being their fourth straight appearance. Ironically, Coach Dabo Sweeney is the closest college football's seen to Lou Holtz since Lou Holtz. Dude's always ready with a quip and a game plan to back it up.
Like Notre Dame's Kelly, Sweeney promoted a backup QB early in the season, and Clemson left vapor trails the rest of the way.
Even without standout DT Dexter Lawrence suspended due to a positive drug test that allegedly shocked him, that unit's been plug-&-play quality all season.
Instant analysis ...
On paper, Clemson looks like the better team. However, there are reasons to take the points on Notre Dame.
First, the Irish went 7-4 ATS this season and 3-1-1 against the spread in their final five. Second, Brian Kelly’s a master at getting his team ready.
Again, the Tigers played a soft ACC schedule while Notre Dame butted heads with some tough squads like Michigan, Northwestern, and Syracuse in addition to beating four ACC teams. Clemson might win, but they won’t cover.
ATS pick: Notre Dame +12
Result: Clemson 30 Notre Dame 3 ... Tigers cover
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.