Notre Dame vs. Clemson Spread Pick

Notre Dame vs. Clemson, 12/29/18 Semi-Final Playoffs Predictions & Odds

The Clemson Tigers are laying double-digit points to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 4:00 p.m. ET Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. They will also be without standout defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence due to suspension. Without Lawrence, will the Irish hang within the spread?

Game Snapshot

255 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. 256 Clemson Tigers

4:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, December 29, 2018

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Public Betting Trends

According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Tigers are 12-point favorites to beat the Fighting Irish. The total, meanwhile, sits at 57.5 points. As of this writing, 63% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Irish.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly was named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year. Kelly, 57, has been cleaning up on the awards circuit this winter, having previously won the AP Coach of the Year and Home Depot Coach of the Year honors. He becomes the first Notre Dame head coach to win the Dodd Trophy since the award began back in 1976. As for Kelly's bonafides, Notre Dame went 12-0 during the regular season and will be tangoing with Clemson in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, with the winner of that contest heading to the National Championship Game.

Clemson Tigers

Clemson announced Thursday that the NCAA has upheld the suspensions of junior DT Dexter Lawrence, OL Zach Giella and TE Braden Galloway. Small amounts of the banned substance ostarine were found in the systems of the three players, thus triggering the disciplinary action. Thursday's announcement likely means that the "B" samples for the players tested positive for the banned substance as well. Lawrence has been a key cog in the Clemson defensive line this season, so his absence will have an impact as the Tigers look to defeat No. 3 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal.

Betting Trends

Notre Dame

The under is 4-1 in the Fighting Irish’s last five neutral site games.

Clemson

The under is 11-5 in the Tigers’ last 16 bowl games.

Prediction

Losing Lawrence certainly hurts but Clemson still possesses a clear edge offensively. Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t seen this type of speed all season. Trevor Lawrence has 24 total touchdown passes to just four interceptions and will stretch the Irish through the air with a plethora of talented receivers, as well as Travis Etienne, who finished the year with 1,463 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Ian Book has also ignited a sluggish Notre Dame offense when he took over for Brandon Wimbush and he will take shots deep. That said, the Irish struggled to move the ball against USC in their regular season finale and Clemson owns the No. 2 scoring defense in the nation (13.7 points per game). Notre Dame had a great season but I expect Clemson to overwhelm the Irish once this game settles in.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction: Clemson Tigers -12

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