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Cotton Bowl spread betting & tips – Notre Dame vs. Clemson analysis

Cotton BowlNotre Dame vs. Clemson – 4:00 PM EST, Saturday, December 29, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX

Betting Line: Clemson -13.5
Over/Under: 55 points at 888 Sportsbook

Notre Dame is making their debut in the BCS national semifinals and they are big-time betting underdogs against the might of Clemson in this big Cotton Bowl clash.

Notre Dame has a good defense, but issues against the run this season, which is not good facing a Clemson team that ranks 10th in the nation, averaging 259.8 rushing yards per game.

The Fighting Irish beat four ranked teams on the season and they throttled a Syracuse team that almost beat Clemson. Notre Dame is 2-4 in all time bowl games facing teams from the ACC.

Clemson is in the national semifinals for the fourth straight season and last season they lost to Alabama in the semis. The Tigers are loaded and have a balanced team ranking fifth in the nation in overall offense and fourth in overall defense. While Clemson went undefeated like the Irish they played a weaker schedule beating two ranked teams with the highest ranked one 16th ranked North Carolina State.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Oklahoma vs. Alabama game for the national title.

These teams last met in the 2015 season.

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This season Notre Dame is 12-0 SU with an ATS record of 7-4-1`and an O/U record of 6-6 and Clemson is 13-0 SU with an ATS record of 7-6 and an O/U record of 6-7.

Quarterback Ian Bush leads the Fighting Irish and he took over the starting job after the 3rd game of the season. He passed for at least 260 yards in every start this season and completed 70.4% of his passes. He passed for 19 TD on the season with six interceptions with all coming in the last six games.

Three players for Notre Dame had at least 547 receiving yards led by Miles Boykin with 803 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Dexter Williams is the main running back and on the season, he rushed for 941 yards averaging 6.6 yards per carry. He only played in eight games this season and while he rushed for at least 142 yards in four games he did not crack the 100-yard rushing barrier in his last two games.

Clemson ranks 18th in the nation defending the pass and 3rd defending the run. The Notre Dame offensive line has a tall task in this game facing a Tigers’ front-line defense that has three likely first round picks in the next NFL draft.

Like Notre Dame, Clemson made a quarterback change mid-season with Trevor Lawrence taking over for Kelly Bryant, who then transferred. The true freshman passed for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions and was not picked off in his last three games. He only took eight sacks on the season and Tee Higgins (802 yards 10 TD) led four players for the Tigers that had at least 472 receiving yards. Travis Etienne rushed for 1,463 yards with 21 TD and averaged a whopping 8.3 yards per carry. In his last two games, he totaled 306 rushing yards.

Notre Dame ranks 36th in the nation in pass defense and 33rd in run defense. The Irish beat USC 24-17 in their season finale where they held the Trojans to only 94 rushing yards.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish betting trends

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Clemson Tigers betting trends

Notre Dame vs. Clemson Prediction

While giving 13.5 points, Clemson is still the pick in this game.

They are loaded on both sides of the ball and they will score a lot of points and not give up many.

Add that up and you get a Tigers win and they will cover the spread and advance to the BCS title game.

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