In terms of travel and crowd noise, Clemson will enjoy a decided home-field advantage at the “neutral” site in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Atlantic Coast Conference title game Saturday against Miami.
The Tigers’ defense against the Hurricanes’ offense is a complete mismatch, and it will be total domination for Clemson, a 9½-point favorite, when those units are on the field.
Miami lost two of its best offensive weapons in last week’s 24-14 loss at Pittsburgh, as tight end Christopher Herndon and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards suffered season-ending injuries.
Clemson has won nine games by at least 14 points. The only outright loss came at Syracuse in a Friday game when starting quarterback Kelly Bryant was limping around on a bad ankle before sustaining a concussion in the second quarter and missing the rest of the game. And that’s when Orange star quarterback Eric Dungey was healthy.
The Tigers’ two wins by less than two touchdowns came in a 14-6 victory over Auburn and a 38-31 win at North Carolina State.
Clemson wins this one by at least 17 points. Make sure to get a taste of Clemson minus-6 in the first half.
Three more plays (home team in CAPS):
Wisconsin (+6) over Ohio State: Ohio State star quarterback J.T. Barrett is going to start, but he had his knee scoped Sunday. Wisconsin is No. 1 in the nation in total defense and rush defense and No. 2 in pass defense and scoring defense (12 ppg). The unbeaten Badgers have held 11 of their 12 opponents to 17 points or fewer. Wisconsin can score, too, ranking 18th in the country in rushing yards and 27th in scoring (34.8 ppg). This is the Badgers’ first game as an underdog this season. It will be close, and I’m all about the underdog with the nation’s premier defense.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC (-11) over North Texas: This is a home game for the Owls in Boca Raton, Florida. Lane Kiffin’s team has won eight straight games while going 6-2 ATS. Seven of those victories have been by at least 14 points and six by at least 18, including a 69-31 home win over North Texas. This number is way too low.
Louisiana-Monroe (+26½) over FLORIDA STATE: The Warhawks have lost by more than 11 points only once this season, a 42-14 loss at Auburn two weeks ago. That game was tied for a decent chunk of the first half, and Louisiana-Monroe trailed 14-7 early in the third quarter before covering as a 38-point underdog. The Warhawks are ranked 17th in the nation in total offense, 19th in passing yards and 22nd in scoring (36.1 ppg). They’ve covered the spread in five straight games as double-digit underdogs. Don’t get too caught up in Florida State’s 38-22 win over Florida last week. The Seminoles, 2-7-2 ATS this season, converted three Gators turnovers into TDs.
Last week: 1-4 against the spread
Brian Edwards of VegasInsider.com and BrianEdwardsSports.com is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Follow @vegasbedwards on Twitter.