Clemson looks to claim its fourth straight ACC title when it faces Pittsburgh on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in the 2018 ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. Clemson (12-0) can cement another trip to the College Football Playoff with a win, while Pitt (7-5) is hoping to pull one of the biggest upsets in ACC Championship history. The Tigers are 27.5-point sportsbook favorites and the over-under for total points scored is 52.5 in the latest Clemson vs. Pittsburgh odds. Before you make any Clemson vs. Pittsburgh picks for the ACC Championship 2018, be sure to see what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say.
A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in handicapping college football. He has had another strong year, hitting 60 percent of his spread selections for SportsLine members. Moreover, he has had a keen eye for the tendencies of ACC programs and boasts an amazing 12-1 record in his last 13 against the spread picks involving Pittsburgh or Clemson.
Just last week, Nagel advised SportsLine members that Pitt (+5.5), with its ACC Championship Game berth already clinched, was due for a letdown spot against a Miami club seeking revenge for an upset loss last year. The result: the Hurricanes rolled to a three-touchdown victory, and anyone who followed Nagel’s advice booked another easy winner.
Now, he has analyzed Clemson vs. Pittsburgh from every angle and released a confident ACC Championship Game pick that is available only at SportsLine.
Nagel knows the Tigers are eager to build on an impressive run that includes three consecutive College Football Playoff berths and a national championship under head coach Dabo Swinney. After naming standout freshman Trevor Lawrence the permanent starter at quarterback, the Tigers have demolished seven straight opponents by an average of 39 points. Their 27-7 win at Boston College was the closest game in that span.
Lawrence and explosive running back Travis Etienne have ignited an offense that is putting up massive numbers, while a defense loaded with NFL-ready talent is holding opponents to 14 points per game, No. 4 nationally. In last week’s win over South Carolina, Lawrence threw for a career-high 393 yards as the Tigers compiled 744 yards of total offense. They broke open a one-score game at halftime with touchdown drives spanning 75 and 80 yards in the third quarter.
Clemson will need another dominant showing in order to cover against a Pittsburgh team that has historically thrived in the role of underdog.
In fact, Clemson’s last home ACC loss came to Pittsburgh when the Panthers pulled off a 42-41 win as three-touchdown underdogs in 2016. They have similarly caught the rest of the ACC off-guard this season. Pittsburgh was viewed as something of an afterthought following a 2-3 start that included blowout losses to Penn State and UCF.
But Pittsburgh rebounded with a five-game win streak in ACC play, including four by double figures. Sophomore Kenny Pickett has evolved into a solid dual-threat quarterback and the Panthers have relied on a strong running game that is averaging 232.7 yards per contest, No. 17 nationally.
We can tell you Nagel is leaning toward the Over, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He has dissected Clemson vs. Pittsburgh from every angle and unearthed the critical x-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who covers Pittsburgh vs. Clemson? And what critical factor makes one side a must-back? Join SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over in the ACC Championship, from a senior analyst who’s hitting 92 percent of his picks involving these teams, and find out.