By Jordan Horrobin | | 5 mins
Clemson vs. Pittsburgh Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview
If you predicted an underdog Clemson team would be matching up with a ranked Pitt team in Week 8, it’s probably time to buy a lottery ticket. The matchup no one anticipated is here, and it’ll unfold Saturday at Heinz Field at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is known to categorize his group as underdogs, and now it’s really happening: The current college football odds have the Tigers getting 3.5 points in a game with just a 47.5-point over/under. Wow.
No. 23 Pitt knows what’s at stake on its side. The Panthers control their destiny in the ACC’s Coastal division, and they could hit double-digit wins for just the second time since the early-1980s. Check out our college football picks for this matchup.
Odds are current as of publication. Betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.
5 Keys to Clemson vs Pitt
Pickett gaining Heisman steam: Fifth-year quarterback Kenny Pickett obviously made the right call to come back to college, and he might get some hardware out of it. Pickett is in the midst of the Heisman Trophy betting conversation thanks to a six-game start in which he has 21 touchdown passes (versus just one interception) and 322.3 passing yards per game (eighth in NCAA). It’s hard to believe he threw four picks against Clemson last year.
How good is Clemson’s defense, really?: Looking back on Clemson’s 10-3 loss to No. 1 Georgia in the season opener, you might think the Tigers are as strong as ever on defense. The season-long numbers are favorable, as the unit is 24th in yards allowed and second in scoring. Facing Pitt, an offense that averages 530.5 yards per game, will put Clemson to the test.
First-time underdog since when?: Thanks in part to their run of dominance – and in part to the ACC’s incompetence – Saturday marks Clemson’s first regular season game as an underdog since Oct. 1, 2016. Deshaun Watson and the No. 5 Tigers hosted Lamar Jackson and the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals, and Watson threw five touchdowns en route to a 42-36 victory.
Low scoring, low performing: Clemson’s anemic offense is averaging just 14.8 points per game against FBS opponents (maxing out at 21 points in a loss to N.C. State), which has led to them hitting the under in all six of their games. The Tigers are also 1-5 against the spread this season.
Booth Jr. expected back: Some good news (finally) for the Tigers is that cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. is back atop their depth chart. Booth has missed the past two games with hamstring tightness, but he’s their best corner and has 20 total tackles over his past three games.
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Clemson vs. Pitt Weather Forecast
Pittsburgh will have a mix of sun and clouds on Saturday afternoon, along with low-to-mid-50s temperatures and a 20% chance of rain.
Clemson vs Pitt Moneyline
Taking Clemson on the moneyline has been a college football betting staple for years, but the Tigers just aren’t a reliable pick right now. Pittsburgh’s -168 moneyline odds are enticing at home, where they return after two blowout victories on the road.
The Panthers did slip up against unranked Western Michigan the last time they played at Heinz Field (losing 44-41), but we don’t expect a repeat of that against the Tigers. Take Pitt at BetMGM.
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Clemson vs Pitt Point Spread
Sportsbooks are giving bettors a chance to more than double their money if they take Pitt as 3.5-point favorites (+104), and we’re ready to take the plunge at Caesars. As six-point favorites last week, Pitt won by 21. The game before that, Pitt won by 31 as three-point chalk.
Clemson, meanwhile, hasn’t covered a spread since last December. The Tigers haven’t been underdogs in that time, mind you, but we don’t believe betting apps are giving them as much cushion as they’ve shown they need.
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Clemson vs Pitt Totals
The tricky thing about this 47.5-point total is that, based on our faith in Pitt’s high-powered offense, you’d think we like the Over. But we’re still a little wary of this Clemson defense, even though they’ve mostly dominated suspect opponents.
Pickett and the Panthers should still do enough to win, but we have no faith in Clemson’s offense right now, so we’ll roll with the Under at DraftKings.
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