Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame are used to having big point spreads, but the lines for the trio’s Saturday games are some of the biggest they’ve seen all season. The Week 14 betting lines for the three are only increasing as the week wears on.
Alabama, the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 poll, has seen the biggest jump. The Crimson Tide opened as a 25-point pick on the road against defending national champion LSU, but has seen the line go up to 28.5 as of Tuesday.
If people don’t think Nick Saban and the Alabama football team have circled Saturday’s contest with the Tigers, they haven’t been paying attention. The Crimson Tide was beaten last year by LSU, 46-41, and the Tigers made sure everyone in Tuscaloosa knew it. They openly taunted Alabama and its fans, but Saban told reporters he isn’t into revenge games.
“But do I think it is a motivating factor with individuals and players?” Saban said. “I absolutely think it is. I think that awareness of what happened in last year’s game and all that is always something that players remember, think about how they felt after the game last year or whatever.”
Clemson’s Against the Spread Record Dismal
Clemson faces ACC foe Virginia Tech and opened as a 21-point pick. That line has gone as high as 23.5 at DraftKings, but the consensus is 22.
The Tigers are a sketchy team against the spread, especially when sporting a big number. Clemson has seen seven spreads of 20 or more points, and have only covered twice.
A big part of the failure to cover has been all of the injuries that have besieged Clemson. The defensive unit has been hard-hit, especially the secondary.
Head coach Dabo Swinney, however, said his team, including the younger players who are filling in for injured startes, has impressed him.
“I’ll tell you one of the silver linings is, we’ve been able to get a lot of guys some experience,” Swinney said. A lot of guys have grown their confidence. We’ve been forced to have to be creative and guys have stepped up, I mean done a nice job. They really have.”
Notre Dame Pushing Toward Playoffs
With the hard part of Notre Dame’s schedule behind them, the Fighting Irish only have Syracuse and Wake Forest to get past to make the College Football Playoffs.
Notre Dame is a 33.5-point favorite at home against Syracuse on Saturday. The biggest concern for head coach Brian Kelly is complacency.
“I think the most important thing for us is to carry on the play that we exhibited in the second half of our game against North Carolina,” Kelly said. “I think that’s the focus. That’s what we’ve talked about. We’re much more interested in bringing that style of football to Syracuse.”
The Irish haven’t seen a point spread this high throughout the entire season. The closest was 23 points against South Florida in their second game of the season. They covered easily, winning 52-0.