Clemson Tigers at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview

The Clemson Tigers have dominated the ACC for the last five years, but they might be facing their biggest threat yet this week. They will have to travel to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Clemson won’t have superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence available due to COVID-19. The favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft contracted the virus last week, dinging Clemson’s chances of winning this game. This game will take place on Saturday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast on NBC.

College Football Betting Odds

Clemson -5.5

Notre Dame +5.5

Total 50

If Lawrence were healthy, Clemson would be a double-digit favorite in this game. The Tigers have the most talented offense in the nation when Lawrence is on the field, but they are still favored with superstar freshman D.J. Uiagalelei under center.

Notre Dame Offense vs. Clemson Defense

Ian Book has played well for the Irish this season. He has been an efficient passer, completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 8.2 YPA with seven touchdowns and an interception, and he has been able to stretch the field. Book has shown us that he can run with 40 carries for 262 yards and five scores once you take out sack yardage, so Clemson must respect his ability to run.

That dynamic has helped make Notre Dame one of the top rushing offenses in the country this season. Four players have more than 200 rushing yards through six games, and the Irish have run for over 1,300 yards and 5.1 YPC as a team. Kyren Williams is averaging 100 YPC thanks to back-to-back standout performances against Florida State and Louisville.

There aren’t any standout receivers with Chase Claypool and Cole Kmet playing on Sundays. However, it will be hard for Notre Dame to run the ball on Clemson’s front seven since the Tigers are allowing 3.0 YPC. The secondary has had a few more issues, so Brian Kelly might have Book take to the air more on Saturday night.

Clemson Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense

All eyes will be on Uiagalelei for one more week. The freshman was great last week in his debut, completing 30 of 41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns against Boston College. He is more of a running threat than Lawrence too, giving this offense a little something extra to play around against the Irish.

Travis Etienne is likely to see a lot of touches with a young quarterback under center. Etienne is a Heisman Trophy contender, and he has run for 606 yards and accumulated 434 receiving yards in seven games. Amari Rodgers will give Uiagalelei an elite receiver to throw the ball to as well, and he has 40 receptions for 586 yards and six touchdowns on the season.

Notre Dame’s defense is ranked 8th in defensive SP+, so Clemson will be facing its toughest defense so far in 2020. The Irish are fifth in scoring defense (10.3 PPG) and seventh in total defense (267.2 YPG), as Clark Lea has turned out to be the right man for the job.

Prediction

Although Notre Dame is a popular pick with Lawrence out, Clemson has too much talent and will win this game by more than a touchdown.Follow our Twitter account for the latest sports news and wagering odds, and come to ou

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