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Clemson is all but out of the Championship picture, whether it is in the ACC or nationally. Its loss to Florida State was a killer, but the Tigers can still make a BCS bowl if they finish the season strong. Their win against Maryland last weekend wasn't too impressive. Now they'll get to face one of the weaker conference teams as of late in Virginia. Clemson is currently a -17 point favorite at betonline with a posted total of 55.
In a game many thought Clemson would dominate coming off a loss, the Tigers didn't look all that great against the Terps, scoring their first touchdown with seconds to go in the first half. If that happens again, don't expect the Tigers to cover this one. Virginia may be bottom of the barrel in the ACC, but they at least put up a fight. The only teams they were truly blown out by were from out of conference.
The Cavs don't have much on defense so it'll likely fall on the offense to keep this close. Quarterback David Watford threw for 376 yards and two TDs last week, but they still lost by 10 points. Receivers Tim Smith and Darius Jennings both had 10-plus catches and over 100 yards, but that doesn't really matter when you don't score. Running back Kevin Parks got his fewest amount of carries on the year, so that's the main reason the passing numbers were so high. Unfortunately, it didn't work in the end and Watford's nine interceptions on the season still outweigh his seven TDs.
Clemson got its ground game going last week and will try and continue that here. Considering Virginia gave up 394 rushing yards to Georgia Tech last week, there's no reason why the Tigers can't run all over this team.
Roderick McDowell finally did something in conference play last week going for 161 yards and two touchdowns. It happened to be his first TDs of the year, which isn't a positive coming from your starting running back. It wouldn't be surprising for them to take the same route this week. Tajh Boyd hasn't looked as good lately, so there's a reason behind all of the running. To try and get out of that funk, Boyd looked toward Sammy Watkins as much as possible. Watkins ended up with 14 catches against Maryland, half of Boyd's completions.
The Tigers are 6-2 ATS vs. a team with a losing record and also 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. The Cavaliers are just 2-10-2 ATS in their last 14 home games and 6-19-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The last time these teams played was back in 2009.
While Clemson may appear to be down a notch, the betting public still loves them here. 94% of the action at sportsbook.com has come in on the Tigers as of this writing on Thursday.
Clemson is the better team here obviously, but we're not comfortable laying the big number. Our model likes Clemson by 19 but the Tigers were unable to put away BC, Maryland and NC State this year while Virginia has managed to stay within earshot most times out this year, losing by more than 18 points just twice with one of those coming against Oregon. Virginia +18
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