DraftKings has Clemson favored vs. UNC in ACCCG

Clemson has won seven games in a row at the ACC Championship Game, but it wasn't invited last year when Wake Forest crashed the party in Charlotte.

UPDATE on Saturday, 11/26/22: With UNC dropping back-to-back games at home to Ga. Tech and NC St., FanDuel now has Clemson as a 10-point favorite vs. UNC with a total of 62.5. The Tar Heels are +290 on the money line.

DraftKings opened Clemson (9-1 straight up, 5-5 against the spread) as a six-point favorite against North Carolina earlier this week for next month’s ACC Championship Game. These conference rivals will collide on Dec. 3 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, where kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Dabo Swinney’s team saw its six-year reign over the ACC end last year when Wake Forest won the Atlantic Division and went to the ACCG to face Pittsburgh. The Panthers, who had been 60/1 longshots to win the league before the start of the 2021 campaign, thumped the Demon Deacons 45-21 in last year’s game.

Nevertheless, the Tigers are back in Charlotte this season looking for their seventh conference title in the past eight years. They’ll face the Tar Heels, who are going to their second ACCCG since its inception in 2005. UNC lost to Clemson 45-37 in 2015 as a 6.5-point underdog.

North Carolina (9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) clinched the Coastal Division with this past Saturday’s 36-34 win at Wake Forest as a 4.5-point road underdog. Mack Brown’s team jumped out to an early 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter and didn’t trail until the Demon Deacons took a 28-27 lead midway through the third quarter.

Drake Maye’s five-yard touchdown run put UNC back in front, but only for 61 seconds. Sam Hartman’s 60-yard TD pass to Donavon Green gave Wake a second lead at 34-33 after both team’s two-point conversion attempts failed.

UNC responded with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up five minutes of clock. However, on a fourth-and-goal play at Wake’s one yard line, Maye’s pass to Josh Downs was incomplete.

Then the Deacs went 91 yards on 11 plays to eat up 5:21 of clock, only for their fourth-and-three play from UNC’s 10 to end in a Hartman fumble. After Wake forced a North Carolina punt, it advanced to UNC’s 41 before Hartman was intercepted.

With 4:20 remaining on the next play, Maye found Downs for a 43-yard reception to set up a first-and-goal situation. But Maye was sacked on the next play and then the Tar Heels were flagged for a false start. After two Maye passes were incomplete, Noah Burnette buried a 33-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining to put UNC back in front, 36-34.

The Tar Heels stopped Wake on downs four plays later to conserve the victory. UNC has won six games in a row while going 4-2 ATS.

Maye completed 31-of-49 passes for 448 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He also had a team-best 71 rushing yards and one TD on 19 attempts. Downs hauled in 11 receptions for 154 yards and three TDs.

FanDuel now has Maye with +600 odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Ohio St.’s CJ Stroud is the even-money ‘chalk,’ while Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has +400 odds.

According to Pro Football Focus, Maye is the highest-graded Power-Five QB in the nation (92.5). Hooker has a 91.2 grade. PFF has Maye with 32 big-time throws, which is four more than any other QB in the country. He also has 417 of his rushing yards after contact, which is second among FBS signal callers.

For the season, Maye has completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 3,412 yards with a remarkable 34/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has 584 rushing yards, five TDs and a 4.4 yards-per-carry average.

In comparison, Ohio St.’s Stroud has 2,750 passing yards and a 34/4 TD-INT ratio with 83 rushing yards and zero TDs. Hooker has 2,888 passing yards with a 24/2 TD-INT ratio, in addition to 405 rushing yards and five TDs.

Maye can pad those numbers to bolster his Heisman resume in back-to-back home games vs. Ga. Tech and NC St. (next Friday, 11/25). The Tar Heels will face the Yellow Jackets without their two best QBs. Jeff Sims and Zach Pyron are out for the season, leaving third-stringer Zach Gibson to start vs. UNC. As of Wednesday morning, the Tar Heels were listed as 21-point home ‘chalk.’

Brown’s squad has been an underdog twice this year, winning outright at Miami (27-24) and at Wake Forest.

The Tar Heels will be facing Clemson for the first time since losing a 21-20 decision in Chapel Hill in 2019. They easily covered the spread as 27.5-point home underdogs, but their two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter came up short.

Clemson has been a single-digit favorite five times this year, compiling a 3-2 spread record with four outright victories. The Tigers tasted their lone defeat in South Bend, where Notre Dame took them behind the woodshed in a 35-14 win as a four-point home underdog in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Clemson has won four games in a row over UNC and seven of the last eight in the head-to-head rivalry. The only win for the Tar Heels in the last 19 seasons came in a 21-16 win in 2010 as 2.5-point home favorites.

Since losing 39-34 to Ga. Tech in the 2009 ACCCG, Clemson has won seven ACCCGs in a row with five of those victories coming by margins of at least 24 points.

BetOnline has Clemson as a -250 money-line ‘chalk’ vs. UNC, with the Tar Heels at +190 odds to win outright.

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