Cotton Bowl Total: 'Under' The Right Call For Notre Dame-Clemson

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 8:19 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 8:19 PM UTC

Get the latest college football picks on the Cotton Bowl. The game from Arlington, Texas is Saturday, December 29, at 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. Bet confidently with tips from

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow" title="Live Game Odds">Cotton Bowl: No. 3 Notre Dame (UNDER 6-6) vs. No. 2 Clemson (UNDER 7-6)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Saturday, Dec. 29, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">AT&amp;T Stadium, Arlington, Texas</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: UNDER</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" title="Top-Rated Sportsbook">5Dimes</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3690816, "sportsbooksIds":[19,93,999996,1096,1602], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>One of these teams just doesn’t belong here. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish had an amazing FBS season, running the table at 12-0 and cashing in at a healthy 7-4-1 ATS. But do they really belong in the College Football Playoff? Well, maybe they do. But that doesn’t mean they’re one of the four best teams in college football.<br /><br />They’re definitely not the Clemson Tigers. They’ve got the best defense in the nation, and unlike the Irish, Clemson with Coach Dabo Swinney, are potent on offense, too. Throw in some disappointing special teams, along with the natural tendencies of the betting public, and you get an easy choice for your <a href="" title="Check Our NCAAF Picks">college football picks</a>: Take the UNDER for the Cotton Bowl.</p><h2><strong>Early Man</strong></h2><p>Warning: Not everyone agrees with this pick. The Cotton Bowl total opened at 55.5 points on the <a href="" title="Live College Football Odds">college football odds board</a>, and that’s where it is at press time – some locations even have it up to 56. The consensus is 65-percent on the OVER; switch to the <a href="" title="Classic View Of The Odds">Classic view</a> and you’ll find that 100 percent of first responders took the OVER back on December 2. Early action is sharp action, right?<br /><br />Maybe. But USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin projects the Cotton Bowl to end with a final combined score of 52.81 points. And all the stuff we said about Coach Brian Kelly's Notre Dame still holds true. They have the No. 4 defense and the No. 26 offense in the FBS, according to the S&amp;P+ rankings at Football Outsiders. Clemson have the No. 1 defense and the No. 7 offense. Casual bettors tend to overlook defense, flooding the market with OVER money in high-profile games. This CFP semifinal should be no exception.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Ian Book was solid when kept clean from pressure this season &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— PFF College (@PFF_College) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;December 26, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2><strong>Book Smarts</strong></h2><p>The betting public doesn’t pay much attention to special teams, either. The Irish rank No. 48 in punt return average and No. 51 on kick-off returns. The Tigers rank No. 84 and No. 28 in those categories. Clemson also haven’t gotten great results from PK Greg Huegel (9-of-13 on field goals), although they rarely have to call upon him.</p><p>To be fair, Notre Dame’s offense has been somewhat better since Ian Book took over at quarterback for Brandon Wimbush. The OVER is 5-3 in Book’s eight starts this year. However, if recent results matter, Book’s last two starts went UNDER, and Wimbush was excellent filling in against Florida State in Week 11, leading the Irish to a 42-13 victory (OVER 51). Notre Dame’s defense allowed a total of 33 points during those three games. Bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.</p><blockquote data-lang="en"> </blockquote>
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