Notre Dame-Clemson CFP Semifinal Betting Odds, Tips & Picks

Notre Dame-Clemson CFP Semifinal Betting Odds, Tips & Picks

Quick Tips

  • Bet Clemson -12 over Notre Dame with 888Sport.
  • Bet Clemson-Notre Dame under 55 with SugarHouse.

It hardly rises to the level of a rivalry, given that Clemson and Notre Dame have played just three times previously.

But the three games have been decided by a total of 12 points, and the most recent was a classic: the Tigers holding off the Irish 24-22 in Death Valley, in a game played in the soaking remnants of a hurricane, and decided when Clemson stuffed an Irish two-point try with seven seconds left.

It was that night in 2015 which spurred the “Bring Your Own Guts” mantra that has since become a slogan for Clemson under coach Dabo Swinney. In a College Football Playoff Semifinal in the Cotton Bowl, it’s the Fighting Irish who will need a heaping helping of intestinal fortitude.

Because, while this Notre Dame team is better than that 10-3 squad from three seasons ago, these Tigers might rival the 2016 outfit as the best in school history.

2018 Cotton Bowl Betting Odds

888Sport and SugarHouse both rate Clemson as a 12-point favorite in the Dec. 29 game, one of the biggest spreads in all of college bowl betting. The over/under is 55.

2018 CFP Semifinal Cotton Bowl Betting Tips

Clemson Betting Trends

  • Clemson is 7-6 against the spread this season, but has covered six of its last eight. The 12-point line against the Irish is the smallest line for the Tigers this college football betting season, barely outpacing the 12.5-point line for Clemson’s September game at Texas A&M — which the Tigers won by two.
  • Since a healthy Trevor Lawrence took over as starting quarterback in early October, the Tigers are hammering opponents by an average of 38 points per game. No opponent has come within 20 points of the Tigers since Syracuse in late September, a game the Tigers played with a backup after Lawrence exited with a blow to the head.
  • Clemson has gone under the total in three of its last four games, in several of those cases coasting to the finish after building a big lead. The Tigers have gone over a total of 55 or higher four times this season, with 61 (against Wake Forest and Louisville) being the highest they’ve exceeded this year.

Notre Dame Betting Trends

  • Notre Dame has also been somewhat mediocre against the spread, going 7-5. The Irish had covered three in a row and six of eight before failing to cover a 14-point spread in their regular-season finale at Southern California.
  • Notre Dame has been an underdog one other time this season, beating Michigan in its opener as a 3-point underdog.
  • Notre Dame’s season was also sparked by a quarterback change, with Brian Kelly switching Brandon Wimbush for Ian Book in the fourth week of the season, and the results were immediate: Book went on to complete 70 percent of his passes, and the Irish scoring offense jumped 10 points per game.
  • The Irish have gone under and over the total six times each, going under in each of their last two. Notre Dame has twice exceeded a total greater than 55, the over/under for the Cotton Bowl: 59.5 against Wake Forest, and 57 against Navy.

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    2018 Cotton Bowl Best Bets

    Clemson (-12) over Notre Dame

    It’s just hard to ignore how dominant the Tigers are statistically, on both sides of the ball. They’re second nationally in scoring defense, fifth in scoring offense, third in sacks, and on and on and on.

    And outside of a few late South Carolina touchdowns that turned a blowout into a 21-point final margin, the Tigers are steamrolling people, looking better and better as the year has gone on.

    Notre Dame? Book has made a huge difference, to be sure, but that sleepwalk against the Trojans was concerning. The Irish also had to rally past the same Pitt team Clemson recently beat 42-10.

    And consider this: In two previous College Football Playoff semifinals in which the Tigers were the higher seed, their average margin of victory has been 25 points. Bet Clemson -12 with 888Sport.

    Over/Under (55)

    As explosive as both teams can be, it’s still a matchup of top-10 defenses. During the regular season, neither team went over the total with regularity. The most likely scenario: the Tigers build a lead early, and coast to the finish with Alabama in mind.

    For that reason, bet the under with SugarHouse.

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