CFP Playoffs: Will the Irish Need a 4-Leaf Clover against Clemson?

Published on 29-Dec-2018 by Sportbet Staff

Football - NCAA    NCAA Football Daily Stake

Share this article

CFP Playoffs: Will the Irish Need a 4-Leaf Clover against Clemson?

With the College Football Playoff system being such a flawed format, perception and inherent human bias are inevitable in determining the Anointed Four to compete for the FBS national championship.

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.

Dudes have an obvious challenge ahead against Alabama, and being real, the computer projection seems to be right on the number:

The team that's really been forced to react to media and fan comments from Day One this season is Notre Dame, and they've been doing it through clenched teeth.

You know, the sorta we tune out the noise and we've been underestimated all year stuff.

Bovada's got the Cotton Bowl line set at Clemson -12 with the total at 57 with the moneyline posted as Notre Dame +335 and Clemson -470.

Like, wow!

Why you should bet on Notre Dame ...

Comparatively speaking, the Fighting Irish have beyond a doubt played a better schedule. Notre Dame only took one game week off by lining up a cupcake.

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.


Freshman Trevor Lawrence turned Kelly Bryant into a memory almost immediately, and combined with sophomore Travis Etienne, this likely won't be the Tigers' last CFP appearance in the near term.

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

Bet at 5dimes

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.