It’s Championship Saturday, and while I bet more underdogs throughout the season, the better teams typically win in the title games. I’m looking at one of those favorites in the ACC Championship game.
Clemson was probably the most overrated team in college football this season. The Tigers’ two best wins were over N.C. State and Florida State. Clemson got exposed at the end of the year, but so did their opponents on Saturday, North Carolina.
North Carolina lost its last two games of the season at home to fledgling Georgia Tech and with N.C. State down to its third-string quarterback. The issue with the Tar Heels all season has been a defense that can’t stop anyone. UNC ranks 117th in total defense and 104th in scoring defense.
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Drake Maye and the North Carolina offense has to be close to perfect in most games to outscore their opponents. I think UNC will score some points Saturday, but Clemson will score more.
Look for the Tigers to take a page out of Notre Dame’s playbook from when the Irish beat UNC 45-32 in late September. In that game, Notre Dame rushed for 287 yards and that helped open up things for quarterback Drew Pyne who threw for 289 yards — his second highest output of the season.
I expect a similar game plan from Clemson. The Tigers haven’t been great as a favorite this year but look for them to score at will and cover the 7.5 here.
The pick: Clemson -7.5.
Betting on College Football?
Fresno State (+3.5) over BOISE STATE
While most title games are played at neutral sites, Boise State gets the luxury of hosting the Mountain West championship on the blue turf.
Boise has been one of the hottest teams in the country since it promoted freshman Taylon Green to starting quarterback. The Broncos are 6-1 with Green under center and that includes a 40-10 win over Fresno State.
However, the Bulldogs were without starting quarterback Jake Haener, so I expect a more competitive game this time around. That was also Fresno State’s last loss of the season. The Bulldogs come in even hotter than Boise State, winners of seven in a row.
The fact is, Fresno State has lost just one game that Haener has started and finished all season (Oregon State by 3). Look for this to be one of the more entertaining championship games that should go down to the wire, so I’ll take the 3.5 points with Fresno.
Last week: 0-2. Notre Dame (L), Indiana (L).