Clemson +5.5 5.5% NCAAF POD
These two almost met up in the semifinal, and oddsmakers would have opened up Clemson as a 1 point favorite, and then LSU dominated Oklahoma as I figured they would, and Clemson to many got lucky against Ohio State. Now we have a 6 or 6.5 line adjustment, that I just can't pass on. We waited to see another 6, and it doesn't appear we will despite 70% of the tickets and $ on LSU.
LSU typically has the edge with their assistants, but not in this game. The one thing Clemson does is they pay their assistants so they stay around. It is Brett Venables 9th years the DC at Clemson, and OC Tony Elliot's 5th year, and they have played 3 Championship games and won 2. In previous match-ups LSU had advantages with their coordinators. This is the opposite problem Alabama has as their coaches jump to other jobs and Nick Saban is left trying to find guys to replace them. Clemson has kept their coordinators and it has paid dividends.
Statistically I don't see an advantage between LSU and Clemson. The ACC actually played well during bowl season. The main difference is Clemson's defense has faced far weaker offenses, but their defensive rankings are far better. I think Clemson can come up with a turnover in this game they rank 6th in TO margin, and they rank 8th in pressuring the QB while LSU ranks 71st in protecting Burrow, and that match up comes with Clemson facing the tougher schedule of pass blocking teams. Clemson's secondary ranks 1st in the nation in opposing QB rating, while LSU comes in at 7, but in this matchup Clemson actually faced the better group of QB's.
Clemson 15-1 their last 16 vs. the SEC, and they are getting disrespected here yet again as a dog in the Championship game. Talent is no difference, and you could argue Clemson has more. Coaching staff edges to Clemson, and the experience on Clemson sidelines should outweight the home field advantage that LSU has playing in New Orleans. LSU also has an edge on special teams, but I expect Clemson to be cleaned up in that area tonight as well. The biggest part of my handicap this year is the line value we are getting here with an over reaction to the last game, along with Clemson's experience and coaching staff, and the fact that these two teams are very much similar in their statistical profile. Clemson's #'s are actually better they just happen to play in the ACC, and didn't blow out their semifinal opponent, Ohio State who should have held onto the #1 spot in the playoff.
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