Clemson Tigers Enter FSU Week as Rare Home Underdog

The Clemson Tigers head into the most pivotal game of the regular season as a 2.5-point underdog when they meet No. 4 Florida State on Saturday inside Memorial Stadium at noon. 

Dabo Swinney’s squad hasn’t been a home underdog since the Louisville game in 2016 when Deshaun Watson and the Tigers edged Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals. 

Clemson (2-1 overall, 0-1 ACC) is 1-2 against the sports betting spread in 2023 and is coming off a 48-14, the first cover, over Florida Atlantic in Week 2. 

FSU (3-0, 1-0) is 2-1 vs. the number this season after it failed to cover as a 27.5-point favorite in a tight, 31-29 victory at Boston College last Saturday.

Series history

Clemson has won seven consecutive games against FSU, which has been the underdog in all of those contests. The Tigers last lost to the Seminoles in 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla. 

The two teams did not play in 2020 as FSU canceled the game hours before kickoff during the COVID-19 season. 

The Tigers have covered five consecutive showdowns with the Seminoles and have won by an average of 22.6 points per game during that span. 

Clemson has covered in seven of the last 10 meetings as well. 


The total points for Saturday is set at 55. Clemson is 2-1 to the over this season while all three of FSU’s games have gone over the total. 

Three of the last four in the series have also gone over, as have six of the last 10 meetings with one push. 

Market analysis

As uncommon as it is to see Clemson as a home underdog, it’s not really a surprise. The Tigers lost at Duke by 21 points in Week 1 because of turnovers in the red zone, and it’s been a recurring theme until they won the turnover margin +3 against FAU last Saturday. 

FSU impressed the whole country with a 45-24 victory as an underdog against LSU in the season opener. The Seminoles then hung 66 points on Southern Miss before having their own turnover issues against BC. They nearly blew a 31-10 lead, even with the Eagles committing a school-record 18 penalties. 

It’s unlikely that despite Clemson coming off its most complete effort of the season the Tigers become a favorite. The line is tricky and might not see much movement, if any, until later in the week when the limits rise and the public gets involved in placing more wagers. 

It probably won’t go over a field goal in FSU’s direction, and this won’t be like last year’s line that jumped all over the place before kickoff, but it’s still worth monitoring and getting a feel for how the betting market feels about these two teams.  

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