College Football Picks: Anticipate Letdown Game For Clemson, Take Syracuse +27.5

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 2:04 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 2:04 PM UTC

Clemson takes the field as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25. It's a possible trap game for the Tigers, but they are 27.5-point favorites on college football odds.

Glory Days At Clemson
Frankly, the only rankings that matter anymore are from the College Football Playoff committee. Clemson (9-0, 6-0) was No. 1 in those when the first were released last Tuesday, and they certainly should stay there when the new rankings are out this Tuesday night. The Tigers were No. 3 in last week's AP poll but jumped to the top on Sunday following their come-from-behind 23-13 win over nemesis Florida State on Saturday in Death Valley. That clinched Clemson's first trip to the ACC Championship Game since 2011. The only two previous times Clemson was ranked No. 1 in the AP poll was the final two polls of the 1981 season (Nov. 30, 1981 and Jan. 2, 1982 -- so technically this will be only the second time taking the field as the No.1 team). The Tigers won the national championship that season.

Clemson trailed FSU 10-6 at halftime, but Deshaun Watson hit Deon Cain on a 38-yard touchdown at the 10:01 mark of the third quarter for a 13-10 lead. The Seminoles tied it on a field goal with 6:15 remaining in the third. The Tigers took the lead for good on a Greg Huegel 34-yard field goal at 7:23 of the fourth and Wayne Gallman clinched it with a 25-yard TD run with 2:34 left. Clemson's stellar defense allowed a 75-yard TD run to Dalvin Cook on the game's second snap but clamped down after that. The Tigers outgained the Noles 512-361 and had 29 first downs to FSU's 14. Watson finished 28-for-42 for 297 yards and a touchdown while rushing 16 times for 107 yards and a score. It was the first time a Tiger quarterback had 100-plus rushing yards since Tajh Boyd ran for 127 yards vs. Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3, 2014. Watson might still have a chance to win the Heisman after LSU's Leonard Fournette, who had been the heavy favorite, did nothing in a loss to Alabama on Saturday.

The Tigers are 9-0 for just the third time in history. They finished 11-0 in 1948 and 12-0 in 1981. Clemson has won 12 consecutive games, its longest winning streak since the 1980-81 seasons when it won 13 straight. It would be an upset for Clemson not to make the College Football Playoff now as it's a big favorite here, will be on Nov. 21 against Wake Forest, again Nov. 28 at South Carolina and in the ACC title game against whomever comes from the Coastal Division (right now that looks like North Carolina).

Coach Dabo Swinney's club is 5-4 against the spread on college football odds this season and 5-4 'over/under.'


When Does Basketball Season Start At Syracuse?
Syracuse (3-6, 1-4) would have to win out to get bowl eligible. The Orange dropped their sixth straight on Saturday, 41-17 at Louisville. SU led 10-7 entering the second quarter but allowed 34 straight points. Ervin Philips and Steve Ishmael accounted for the Orange's two touchdowns. Philips' was on a 10-yard run in the first quarter, the first rushing touchdown of his career. Ishmael's TD was on a 9-yard reception with 26 seconds left in the game and was his team-leading fifth touchdown catch of the year. Quarterback Eric Dungey led the Orange with 45 yards on the ground. He was 15-for-30 passing for 150 yards and two interceptions.

It's not yet clear if Dungey can play in this game. With 4:21 left in the Louisville game, Cardinals linebacker James Hearns collided with Dungey on a scramble, driving his helmet into Dungey's shoulder/collarbone area. Coach Scott Shafer said after the game that Dungey suffered a head injury. Sophomore walk-on Zack Mahoney likely would start vs. Clemson if Dungey, who is officially doubtful, can't. On the season, Mahoney is 25-for-50 for 217 yards with four touchdowns and a pick. Mahoney, a  junior college transfer who was the fifth-string QB in the preseason, started earlier this year against LSU and threw three touchdowns in the 34-24 loss but was only 16-for-38 passing.

The Orange are 5-4 ATS on college football picks and 8-1 O/U.


Last Meeting
In their first matchup as ACC foes, Clemson beat the visiting Orange 16-6 last season. Syracuse led into the third quarter despite finishing the game with only 170 yards of offense. Watson missed that game due to injury. Backup Cole Stoudt was picked off twice and lost a fumble. Gallman had 101 yards rushing. Clemson iced the game with a final drive that lasted more than eight minutes to run out the clock.

You have to expect a bit of a letdown here for Clemson. Take the points. Syracuse is 4-1 ATS in its past five home games. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their past five vs. teams with a losing record. 

NCAAF Free Pick: Syracuse +27.5 at BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2823566, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Want More Free College Football Picks for Saturday's Games? Make Sure to Check:
Alabama vs. Mississippi St Betting Preview

comment here