Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Clemson +138 over Notre Dame
Clemson Memorial Stadium – Clemson, SC
12:00 PM EST. What we have here is #15 ranked Notre Dame and their 7-2 Against the Spread (ATS) record spotting a short tag to the hosting Tigers, who have been a liability (2-6 against the number) and described by many as “done”; and when we say “done”, we don’t mean for the duration of 2023. This indictment has seemingly been issued for a longer term. As such, there may not be a better time to back the Tigers in recent memory.
One of the biggest talking points this week is whether or not Dabo Swinney’s time is up as Clemson’s head coach and what the trajectory of this program is moving forward after suffering an uncharacteristic fourth loss against N.C. State in Raleigh last week. In the 15 years under Swinney, Clemson ascended to College Football Playoff royalty, won two national championships, and have had a 10-win season every year since 2012. The Tigers have been regarded as the dynasty and class of the ACC on an annual basis but in 2023, Clemson has taken a giant step back and appears mortal. While the Tigers can still finish with nine wins on the year and use that forward momentum to carry over to 2024, the media has been stirring up a circus that the power that is Clemson Football is no more. As such, Dabo was found getting into a war of words with fans on a weekly radio show where Swinney had to defend his résumé as Tigers Head Coach to what may have very well been an adolescent caller. Swinney then went on to sermonize the difference between appreciation and expectation. While good old Dabo may have caused a scene in doing so, it is indicative that he and this team are far from giving up on their season and will come in with a chip on its shoulder here.
We talk about the market’s fascination with results and not ingredients often. Clemson typifies such an idiom. Indeed, Clemson is 4-4 on the year but one could argue that they could be 8-0. When we got behind the Tigers who were priced in a similar range against a top-five ranked Florida State earlier in the season, we cited that Clemson’s first loss of the season at Duke was chalked up to a series of costly mistakes and the inability to score in the red-zone doomed the Tigers to a loss in a game it could have easily won handily. To digress from there, Clemson lost two overtime games to the present #4 Florida State and Miami. College football overtimes are a virtual 50/50 proposition and thus Clemson could have won those games as quickly as they lost them. Against N.C. State, the Tigers outgained the Wolf Pack by 162 yards but three turnovers (one of which was a pick-six) once again decided Clemson’s fate. Clemson shut out the Wolf Pack in the fourth quarter with a chance to send the game to overtime in the final stages before the miscues and in-game variances stalled the Tigers at mid-field and they ran out of time. Clemson’s record is highly deceiving and the oddsmakers are adept to the threat that the Tigers still pose, especially in Death Valley. The Tigers being a dog at home is rare and that, too, puts a bigger chip on their collective shoulders. Keep the points. Clemson outright is the call.
Clemson +138 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.76)