Clemson vs. Louisville Spread: What Are The Odds The Tigers Cover?

    Clemson vs. Louisville spread for Thursday night's game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. What are the odds the Tigers cover the points?

    September 16, 2015

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    Put your road favorite fears aside when you dive into the Clemson vs. Louisville spread this week, because Da “Bo Knows” how to cover games in the ACC. Since 2009, Dabo Swinney’s first full year as the Tigers coach, Clemson is a solid 60-22 versus conference foes, and an even more impressive 31-19 Against the Spread (ATS). Only three Power 5 teams have covered the spread more consistently than Clemson has since 2009 versus conference opponents (Kansas State, Stanford & Oregon), and at a 62% hit rate, it should always be a bet first, ask later mentality when Dabo and company let it rip against an ACC opponent.

    But what about Louisville?

    As confident as the gambler should be putting money on Clemson, he should be even more confident laying money against Louisville. Take a look at these two stats & let them sink in for a minute.

    • Louisville is 6-10 ATS since joining the ACC
    • Louisville is 1-6 ATS as home underdogs since 2009

    Detractors of the home dog figure might say something like, “2009 seems a bit arbitrary,” but so is joining a new conference every year. To keep everything apples to apples, orange bowls to orange bowls, it’s more statistically significant for this bet that Dabo Swinney took over Clemson in 2009 than anything that’s taken place in Northern Kentucky during that stretch.

    But what about Bobby Petrino? What about his ridiculous record at home as the Louisville leader (28-2)? Doesn’t that matter?

    In his first four years and two conferences with the Cardinals, Petrino went an impressive 41-9 and 29-20 ATS, but those were different times and totally different opponents. If you remember 2006, Louisville was favored in all 13 games it played in, and the Cardinals took home a whopping nine wins ATS! Simply put, Louisville was a lock during Petrino’s first go around, but to use an appropriate horse racing analogy, Petrino was mopping up in a bunch of claimers and he doesn’t quite have the horses yet for Grade 1 racing.

    Alas, one more stat for the road (or should I say the “home”).

    • Bobby Petrino’s Louisville Cardinals are 0-1 SU / 0-1 ATS as home dogs (Florida State 2014)

    It’s hard to believe that Petrino has only been a home dog once at Louisville in 30 games, but as aforementioned, there isn’t a lot of class in claiming races. Petrino’s Cardinals failed in their last run against a Grade 1 horse at home, and you can expect a similar result when the Cards take the track against Clemson on Thursday night.

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 2


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