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No. 23 North Carolina vs No. 9 Clemson picks, best bets for ACC championship game

The North Carolina Tar Heels and Clemson Tigers meet this week in the ACC Championship. We break down all you need to know, including best bets, for the matchup.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 NC State at North Carolina Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 ACC Championship Game will take place on Saturday as the No. 23 North Carolina Tar Heels will take on the No. 9 Clemson Tigers at 8 p.m. ET. The game will take place at Bank of America Stadium in in Charlotte and will air on ABC.

North Carolina (9-3, 6-2 ACC) had a strong enough season to clinch the Coastal division title, but lost some momentum in the final weeks of the season. The Tar Heels were all gas, no brakes as its explosive offense compensated for one of the bottom 30 defenses in the country. With the division wrapped up late in the season, UNC had a chance to potentially sneak into the College Football Playoff conversation before flat losses to Georgia Tech and NC State extinguished those hopes. Freshman quarterback Drake Maye emerged on the scene this season and will be a preseason Heisman Trophy contender next year. He threw for just under 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns through the air and led the team in rushing with 629 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Clemson (10-2, 6-2 ACC) secured its 12th straight double-digit win season and returns to the ACC title game after a year hiatus. The Tigers didn’t have any hiccups in league play but the wins were no where near as dominant as they were during the program’s national title contending heyday. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei improved upon a disappointing 2021 campaign, but still struggled to step up at certain points of the year. That was evident in both of Clemson’s loss, a 35-14 beatdown at the hands of Notre Dame in early November and a 31-30 loss to South Carolina last Saturday. Running back Will Shipley got above 1,000 rushing yards for the year, punching in 14 touchdowns.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

North Carolina: 46 overall, 11 offense, 104 defense
Clemson: 13 overall, 33 offense, 26 defense

Injury update

North Carolina

RB Caleb Hood - Questionable (Undisclosed)


WR Beaux Collins - Out for season (Shoulder)
WR Will Taylor - Questionable (Knee)


Against The Spread

North Carolina: 5-6-1 ATS
Clemson: 6-6 ATS


North Carolina: Over 6-6
Clemson: Over 7-5

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Clemson -7.5
Total: 63.5
Moneyline: Clemson -305, North Carolina +255

Opening line: Clemson -7.5
Opening total: 61.5


50 degrees, partly cloudy, 6 MPH WSW

The Pick

North Carolina +7.5

Both of these teams are heading into this matchup relatively flat after suffering respective rivalry week losses last weekend. Clemson had its seven-game win streak against South Carolina snapped and there could be a hangover effect this Saturday. It’s hard to imagine Drake Maye delivering a third straight ho-hum performance, so give me the Tar Heels to at least cover in Charlotte.