Clemson Covering Spread Would Be Good for Tigers’ Morale

The No. 25 Clemson Tigers head into Saturday’s home opener at Memorial Stadium looking for than a win.

Dabo Swinney’s squad could use some good vibes coming out of the 2:15 p.m. game against Charleston Southern, and the Bucs just might provide the cure the Tigers are looking for on Saturday.

Clemson, coming off a disappointing 28-7 loss at Duke on Monday night, is a 48.5-point favorite entering the Week 2 contest. The total is set at 54.

Breaking down the Tigers

Turnovers, two blocked field goals, and a boast of fundamental errors doomed the Tigers in Durham. The short turnaround offers less time to think about it, but it also adds more pressure to perform at a high level in front of the home crowd.

Garrett Riley and Clemson need to work out some things…many things…with its passing game. Cade Klubnik threw the ball 44 times and only averaged 4.9 yards per throw against the Blue Devils, adding one touchdown and one interception to his stat sheet.

The receiving corps struggled to make explosive plays – freshman Tyler Brown’s 21-yard catch was the longest of the night – and lack of getting separation looked awfully familiar to a year ago.

The running game was strong but two fumbles inside the Duke 10 doomed Clemson. Against the Bucs, the Tigers could easily rely on Will Shipley and Phil Mafah to win the game by themselves, but covering this large a number isn’t guaranteed if the passing game can’t provide big plays.

The Clemson defense had its ups and downs against Duke, but it won’t be super tested this week. It should dominate up front against a CSU offense that lacks a high-powered passing game.

Breaking down the Bucs

This FCS squad comes into the game coming off a 13-10 victory over Division II’s North Greenville last week. The Bucs trailed 10-0 early in the game and needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to take the lead for good.

The offense produced just 252 total yards, including 104 passing. JD Moore rushed for 105 yards to lead the Bucs attack. The defense gave up 236 yards through the air to North Greenville, which was held to 55 rushing yards.

Spread history

These two teams are meeting for the first time, so there’s not historical data to mine.

However, the Bucs are 3-7 against the spread in their last 10 games against FBS competition. They last covered as a 51.5-point underdog in 2021 at Georgia, which went on to win the national title.

Clemson obviously didn’t cover as a 12.5-point favorite last week and is 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games, going back to 2022.

The Tigers, who play an in-state FCS team every season, haven’t covered the spread against a squad from the lower level since 2017, a run of five consecutive non-covers. They were unable to cover as a 45-point favorite last year against Furman.

Best bet (1-0)

Last week, we told you the under was the best play and it easily hit, and we advised backing Duke, another easy win.

This week, the weather forecast is a little iffy and storms could role in later in the day.

Clemson has some frustrations to take out on Charleston Southern, but the short week could negate some of that as prep and fixing issues hasn’t been regularly scheduled. It’s hard to back the Tigers to win by nearly 50 points.

Still, the best play is under 54, especially if bad weather moves in late in the game.

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