NCAA Football Betting Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
It’s been a long time since we’ve had three intriguing ranked match-ups on a single Saturday. The Big Ten will feature No. 13 Indiana against No. 22 Michigan. The SEC will showcase No. 8 Florida against No. 5 Georgia. But in the ACC, we’ll get to watch the No. 1 Clemson face off against No. 4 Notre Dame.
There are many storylines to look at when looking at this Notre Dame and Clemson game. Trevor Lawrence, the projected first overall pick and 2020 Heisman winner, has COVID and will be unable to play in the most anticipated regular-season Clemson game in quite some time.
Lawrence didn’t play against Boston College, and that led to Clemson digging out of a deep hole to stay undefeated. It wasn’t quarterback play that was the issue. It was the running game and the defense that became a problem without Lawrence available. Was Lawrence out against Boston College a real impact or not?
We’ll find out soon. Clemson will start DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback for the second straight week after an outstanding first game for the freshman rookie against Boston College.
The storylines are all about Clemson missing Lawrence. They’re about Lawrence potentially losing his chance of a Heisman. They’re about Clemson potentially losing this game without Lawrence, making it unfair to the team.
But nobody wants to talk about Notre Dame playing in the ACC this year. Notre Dame is usually independent in football. However, due to COVID, they went to the ACC and was added to the conference schedule.
For Notre Dame and the ACC, it was so much more convenient for the Fighting Irish to be added to the ACC schedule. But nobody expects this “marriage” to last. Clemson has destroyed the ACC for many years. The rise of Miami is exciting, but there’s really no competition for Clemson in the ACC.
Sometimes many feel like Notre Dame is overrated year after year because they don’t play in a conference and get that same conference game effect. For example, Clemson seems to always struggle against Syracuse no matter the circumstance. Notre Dame runs from those types of games.
Notre Dame is a perfect fit for the ACC in all sports. The competition becomes supreme with Notre Dame, and the ACC simply becomes a better conference, especially in college football.
If Notre Dame defeats Clemson in a season where they’re part of the ACC, how does Notre Dame run from the ACC ever again? For Notre Dame, knowing you get Clemson year after year on your schedule helps recruit knowing you’re playing Clemson every year on prime time, national television, and if you win, you’re likely going to the playoffs.
But there’s so much money involved. I get it. It’s a business. It would just be better for the ACC and Notre Dame to figure things out.
Clemson vs Notre Dame (+5.5, 51.5): Notre Dame welcomes Clemson to Notre Dame Stadium in the most highly anticipated ACC regular-season game in quite some time. I talked about this game plenty and what it would mean for the ACC, Clemson, and Notre Dame if this game was held every year. Clemson will be without Lawrence, but the Tigers will still have Uiagalelei as he threw for 342 yards with 73.2 percent completion percentage and two touchdowns. The passing game was not the problem. Clemson struggled to run the ball, made some mistakes, and had trouble getting stops on defense. Notre Dame has been fantastic with their run defense this season as well, allowing just 10.3 points per game this season. Both defenses have been tremendous. I wouldn’t say Clemson misses too much of a beat without Lawrence, but Notre Dame gets most of their yards on the ground. Clemson has been terrific defending the run game. Pick: Clemson
Michigan vs Indiana (+3.5, 53.5): Indiana is one of the few teams in the Big Ten to be 2-0 on the season. They’ll take on Michigan, who lost to Michigan State, who lost to Rutgers. Indiana defeated Rutgers pretty handedly. Indiana has struggled rushing the football in their first two games, while Michigan has done well against the run. Meanwhile, Indiana has allowed their fair share of rushing yards, with 185.5 yards per game after two games. We don’t have much of a sample size between these two teams, but the area that will propel Michigan will be their run defense. Pick: Michigan.
Florida vs Georgia (-3.5, 53.5): The final multi-ranked game is between SEC teams here. Georgia’s offense was nonexistent against Kentucky last week. Florida’s offense has been one of the best in all of college football and scored their fair share against Missouri last week. Georgia’s defense will shut down Florida at times, and Florida’s defense has looked bad at times as well. Can Georgia’s offense keep up with Florida? Georgia is still averaging more than 400 yards of offense and scoring nearly 30 points per game. However, Florida is scoring 42 points per game. It’ll come down to Florida’s offense against Georgia’s defense. Which side will be more consistent? I’d choose Georgia at home. Pick: Georgia.
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