College Football Pick
If Clemson played the way they did last weekend, there’d be no questions about betting on them each week. But that hasn’t been the case this season with the Tigers just 5-4 ATS. Their opponent this week, Pittsburgh, started the season strong, but has fallen off against better competition and will get another tough test this weekend. The Tigers were -20.5 point home favorites early in the week at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
There was no question about Clemson’s performance last Game, dispatching Syracuse 54-0, dominating on both sides of the ball. However, that hasn’t been the case for most of the season, at times struggling to beat the likes of Troy and NC State, but then beating good teams such as Auburn, Louisville and Florida State. They’ve been a hard team to predict, which in turn makes them a hard team to bet on. If they could repeat last week’s performance, there’s no question everyone would be throwing money at the Tigers. Things aren’t that easy, though.
One thing Pittsburgh has done for most of the year is keep up with teams in the scoring department. While they’ve allowed too many points in every Game this season, the Panthers at least keep up with teams until that loss at Miami last weekend.
The question will be if Pitt can Scorein this Game because it’s almost a certainty that Clemson will Scoreclose to 40 points.
Pitt is allowing 34.4 points per Game, but that number isn’t higher mainly because of non-Conference Games against Villanova and Marshall. They’ve allowed 90 points the last two weeks against good, but not amazing offenses.
Deshaun Watson maybe hasn’t had the greatest season, but he’ll be just fine in this Game. He picked up a shoulder injury against Syracuse, which is a bit worrisome, but he should be fine for this one. Considering Pitt hasn’t stopped anyone, there’s no reason to believe they can stop Watson or even his backup, Nick SChuessler.
That said, the Tigers are still having trouble running the ball with Wayne Gallman this season, failing to top 100 yards yet again against the Orange even in a 54-point win. If this team wants to win it all, they’ll need to figure out the ground Game. Maybe that will come against the Panthers.
Pitt runs its offense through the ground Game and James Conner. The problem is that every defense knows that and he only managed 40 yards in the loss to Miami. If Conner can’t sustain at least Four yards per carry, this offense will have trouble keeping up and that’s what happened last Game. Nathan Peterman has been fine at quarterback, but he can’t win Games himself. He completed just 48.6% of his passes against the Hurricanes, and they have a beatable defense.
Now against Clemson, things will be even harder for Pittsburgh to move the ball and if Conner can’t find room, the Panthers will be in trouble.
The Panthers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Games overall, but 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road Games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home Games and 5-1 ATS in their last six following an ATS win.
Our Pick – Pitt +21