College Football Picks: Clemson's Recent ATS Record Suggests That North Carolina Will Cover +5

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 7:35 PM GMT

We study the college football odds for Saturday's ACC Championship Game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Clemson Tigers offer our college football pick and insight.

N. Carolina vs. Clemson (-5) 8:00 ET ABC TV (Charlotte, NC)
N. Carolina and No. 1 Clemson meet for the ACC Championship at 8:00 pm ET, Saturday night as televised by ABC TV.  This is the time of year when pressure mounts for must-win teams.  Last week, there were numerous examples of the “With Need You Bleed” philosophy.  Consider the failures of NIU, Toledo and Notre Dame, all of whom failed to get victories that were needed for post-season positioning.  Then, there were the choking performances of teams like Texas, Kentucky, E. Carolina and Illinois; all who failed to post their 6th victory in competitively priced games.  Finally, there was the performance of this Clemson team, who with the aura of No. 1 hanging over their heads, failed to cover their 4th consecutive contest in a (37-32) win, no cover, vs. arch-rival S. Carolina.  In those 4 consecutive ATS losses, Clemson has now allowed 24 PPG.  They were shaky at best on the defensive side of the ball last week with a (-2) net TO margin and 402 yard defensive allowance vs. the mediocre Gamecock attack unit.  With “need” once again an issue for the Tigers this week, it will be no surprise if there is a No. 1 bubble burst in the future for the Tigers.

 

Clemson Tigers
This is a Clemson team who has overachieved the entire season.  Last year’s Tiger defense was magnificent.  But with only 3 RS to that side of the ball, it was improbable they would match that excellence.  Nonetheless, entering today’s game, even with the disintegrating performances of the last 4 weeks, they still allow just 17/279 on defense.  Behind quickly emerging QB Watson, a Heisman hopeful, the offense has been equally surprising.  Now as a qualified 200 Club member, the Tigers average 38/501 on the attack side of the ball.  Last year, they rang up 50 points against the Tar Heels in a 15-point home victory.    

 

North Carolina Tar Heels
That was when N. Carolina had a program worst 39 PPG defense.  To remedy that, highly-regarded DC Chizik was hired.  The Tar Heel defense has improved to 19/384.  They enter today with a (+9) TO margin and have an explosive offense.  Behind veteran QB Williams, the Tar Heels are averaging 41/491, also qualifying for 200 CLUB status.  Last week, I used N. Carolina as my 6% Rivalry Game of the Year.  The Heels obeyed my command by scoring 35 first-quarter points, then cruising to a victory that pushed our record to 58-11 ATS on 6% selections.  Interesting sidebar to this game will be that it is played at the site of N. Carolina’s only loss this season.  In the first game of the 2015 CFB season, the Tar Heels imploded with 3 red zone INTs that resulted in a (17-13) loss to S. Carolina.  Since that time, N. Carolina has reeled off 11 consecutive victories and a 9-2 ATS mark, in which they have covered the number by 121 points.  No doubt N. Carolina QB Williams will be eager to make amends for his performance on this field.    

Despite that incredible point spread success, this line has barely moved from where it would have been opening week because of the Tigers’ No. 1 status.  There can be little question that the Clemson performance is on a downward trend the previous 4 weeks, as the pressure continues to mount.  This week, the bubble bursts!  I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor with my college football pick on N. Carolina against a Clemson team, who will continue to learn that “With Need You Bleed!”

College Football Picks: North Carolina +5 at WagerWeb

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