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Odds and Ends: Clemson Opens as Rare ACC Underdog at Pitt

The Clemson Tigers are a 3.5-point underdog in Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at the high-scoring Pittsburgh Panthers.

Oddsmakers have finally caught up to this version of the Clemson Tigers. 

After starting the 2021 season 0-6 against the spread (4-2 straight up) and being double-digit favorites in all four of their ACC games, the Tigers finally land the underdog role. Pittsburgh opened up as a 3.5-point favorite on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. when the Panthers host Clemson at Heinz Field. 

It's the first time the Tigers haven't been favored against an ACC opponent since Sept. 20, 2014, when they traveled to Florida State as a 9.5-point underdog and lost by six in overtime. 

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This week marks a rare moment in sports betting, and it speaks volumes about a Clemson offense that's averaging an ACC-low 20.5 points per game. Clemson's defense has kept it in every game and is the reason why the season hasn't gone completely off the rails, but the Panthers will be its toughest test to date.

No. 23 Pitt leads the league in scoring with 48.3 points per contest behind high-flying quarterback Kenny Pickett, who's thrown 21 touchdowns to one interception. The Panthers are 5-1 ATS and straight up, with their lone loss coming to Western Michigan, 44-41.

The Tigers have been getting too much benefit of the doubt from oddsmakers and the betting market. Last Friday, they were favored by 13.5 points at kickoff, but it took a missed field goal by Syracuse late in the game for Clemson to hold onto a 17-14 victory on the road. 

This week's line will be one to watch. It's quite possible the shine of past Clemson seasons has worn off for bettors, and they'll be looking to back the home Panthers. 

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