Last Updated: 2018-11-29
We fell to 7-6 with our College System Play of the Week last week, as an anti-public play on USF backfired even after Milton was injured for UCF. This week, we’ll look at the game between the Pitt Panthers and the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is favored by 27.5 and the total is 52.5.
The oddsmakers have caught up with the Tigers, who have won their last two games handily, but failed to cover either one. This is the final hurdle for the Tigers to get back into the playoffs and they have to win, as their strength of schedule would knock them out if they were tied with somebody like Ohio State with one loss. That shouldn’t be a problem, but the big question is if the Tigers can score enough points to cover the lofty number in this one.
The Tigers can run and throw and gain more than 250 yards on the ground and through the air and keeps the opposition from keying on any one aspect. The Tigers didn’t run the ball particularly well against Fresno State or Boston College, but threw for 699 yards in those two games and ended up covering both.
On defense, the Tigers are solid, especially against the run, having held teams to 84.8 yards per game and they held Florida State to -21 yards and Boston College to 9 yards. That could be trouble for a Pittsburgh offense that relies on its running game to move the football. The Panthers run 40 times for 232 yards and throw 22 times for 156 yards per game. The Tigers are better against the run than Miami, who just held the Panthers to 69 rushing yards and 3 points.
On defense the Panthers aren’t bad, holding opponents to 3.1 fewer points than they averaged, but if that’s the case against Clemson, the Tigers will score 42.6 and not so sure that Pitt can score more than two touchdowns against the Tiger defense, which will be out to make amends for allowing 35 points and 600 yards last week.
This late in the season good teams who underperform one week tend to pick it up a little bit, as favorites of 17 or more points who won their last game by at least 17 points, but didn’t cover the spread, have rebounded to go 24-16-1 (60%) against the number and if they are favored by at least 24 points the winning percentage creeps up slightly to 12-7-1 (63.2%), so will lay the heavy number with the Tigers in this one.
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