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How and what to watch for No. 7 Miami at No. 1 Clemson

Saturday’s best game pits Clemson and Trevor Lawrence against Miami and dynamic duel-threat D’Eriq King.

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King sets up to pass during practice on Monday, March 2, 2020 at the University of Miami’s Greentree Field in Coral Gables, Fla. Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

It’s only Week 4 of the 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference football season, but the matchup of the year may come this weekend as the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes square off with the No. 1 Clemson Tigers. Both teams have played their first three games as scheduled and neither have lost. These two teams and Notre Dame appear to be the class of the conference, and Saturday could be a preview of a potential ACC Championship game that determines a spot in the College Football Playoff. To say it is high-stakes would be an understatement.

The Tigers have dominant wins against Wake Forest, the Citadel and Virginia to start the year and have made it pretty clear why they are the nation’s top team against lesser competition. This matchup will be consensus No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence’s first true test against a Manny Diaz-led Hurricanes defense that came into its own against the Florida State Seminoles last weekend. Lawrence didn’t play much against the Citadel, but he has not thrown for less than 300 yards and three touchdowns in conference play. Travis Etienne, his backfield counterpart, has rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries, adding 172 receiving yards and a touchdown on nine catches. The Clemson offense is one of if not the top unit in the nation, while the defense held Wake Forest to 37 yards rushing in Week 1 and forced two turnovers against Virginia.

Miami is also led by an electric playmaker in D’Eriq King. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound quarterback transferred from Houston last season and is visually the best duel-threat signal-caller that the ACC has seen since Lamar Jackson. He is averaging 245 yards passing per game (he was held under 200 yards through the air in Week 1 after the shortened offseason) and adds an average of just over 50 yards on the ground. While King has proven he can find ways to win at a Power Five program, it is Miami’s defense that has made the difference. The turnover chain-donned Hurricanes front is led by two transfer ends in Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips and anchored by big defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera. Head coach Manny Diaz is a defensive-minded leader, and having a strong line allows him to get creative in the second level. Miami allowed less than 300 total yards of offense against UAB and less than 350 yards against Florida State last week.

This primetime matchup is going to be a chess match between two big-play offenses and points should be prominent.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch this game Saturday, October 10th at 7:30 ET on ABC, or you can stream it via a cable provider or over-the-top TV sign-in here.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: No. 7 Miami (+14) vs. No. 1 Clemson
Point Total: O/U 62.5 (-110)
Money line: No. 7 Miami (+400), Clemson (-560)

  • Clemson is 0-3 against the spread and hit only one of three overs.
  • Miami is 3-0 against the spread and hit two of three overs.
  • The Tigers are 28-2 overall in their last 30 home conference games, but just 14-15-1 against the spread.

The Best Bet

Miami enters Saturday averaging 43 points per game and Clemson is not far behind with 42.33 points per game. The Tigers are two touchdown favorites, but this game should go down to the wire and the Hurricanes have the talent to stick close into the fourth quarter. No matter the result, points will find their way onto the board. And lots of them.

Pick: Over 62.5 total points scored

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