The Tigers debuted at #4 in this week’s inaugural CFP ranking release, meaning in theory they control their own destiny for a playoff berth ahead of the week 10 Clemson at Notre Dame betting matchup. Dabo Swinney’s crew finishes with Louisville, Miami, and South Carolina – all at home – so the Fighting Irish could be the last obstacle Clemson has to hurdle for an undefeated regular season.
Notre Dame has gone to the playoff in two of the last four seasons, but they have experienced the expected growing pains moving from Brian Kelly (LSU) to Marcus Freeman in the offseason. The Irish – despite some shaky losses to Marshall and Stanford this year – are still just +3.5 underdogs against Clemson on Saturday night.
Clemson With One Last Test
Obviously anything can happen over the final three games of the year even at home, but if Clemson can get through their last away game of the regular season in South Bend on Saturday night they look like they’re on the home stretch to a CFP berth.
One big advantage the Tigers have coming into Clemson at Notre Dame betting is that they were on their bye last weekend. They were in some close games prior to being idle, one score wins at Florida State (34-28) and home against Syracuse (27-21) but the down time has them healthy and with an extra week to prepare for what looks like an improving Notre Dame offense.
Nobody needed the bye week refresher more than Clemson QB D.J. Uiagelelei who had his lowest passing output of the season against Syracuse (138 yards, didn’t throw a TD for the first time all year, and had 2 INTs.
Notre Dame Looks For Signature Win
It’s a real shame that Notre Dame suffered their 16-14 home slip-up loss to Stanford as -16.5 favorites in week 7, because this was a team really coming into their own. The Irish had lost the season opener to Ohio State (expected), and inexplicably fell 26-21 to Marshall at home in week two as -20 point favorites. The Irish would have a six game win streak coming into the Clemson meeting if not for that atrocious loss to the Cardinal.
Notre Dame has bounced back from the Stanford loss by beating UNLV 44-21 and then toppling Syracuse 41-24. Those are a couple solid offensive performances in a row fueled by a run game that has topped 220 yards in back to back weeks.
Notre Dame just doesn’t stop beating on opponents in the run game, with Logan Diggs going for 130 vs. the Rebels and Audric Estime piling on 123 vs. the Orange as both he and Diggs had 20 carries. Clemson has the #7 rush defense in the country so we will see what gives here.
Free Clemson at Notre Dame Betting Pick
It’s a Saturday night in South Bend with the #4 team in the country coming to town. This crowd is going to provide an advantage but can the Irish back it up on the field? ND has a nice deep running game and a defense that is just good enough. If oddsmakers are going to give us the hook, we’ll take it.
Free Pick: Notre Dame +3.5