One of the most storied programs in college football history and a recent juggernaut will clash in the College Football Playoff on Dec. 29. The undefeated, No. 2 Clemson Tigers will take on the undefeated, No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish to determine who gets to play for a national championship, and oddsmakers are giving Clemson the advantage.
The Tigers are 11.5-point favorites to beat Notre Dame and face off against either Oklahoma or Alabama in the title game, per OddsShark. Clemson is coming off a 42-10 trouncing of Pittsburgh in the ACC title game, while Notre Dame did not play in a conference championship game over the weekend, as it does not belong to a conference.
Both teams endured early-season quarterback changes, as Clemson turned to freshman Trevor Lawrence and Notre Dame switched to junior Ian Book. Both teams were rewarded with undefeated regular seasons and playoff berths.
Clemson is likely favored because of experience and recent success. The Tigers have earned four consecutive playoff berths, winning the national championship in 2016. Even though their quarterback is a freshman, this team has plenty of veteran talent. Notre Dame is two years removed from a 4-8 season and has not made the College Football Playoff before.
Recent odds had Alabama as heavy favorites to win it all, with Clemson as Las Vegas’ runner-up. Oddsmakers were less confident in Notre Dame and Oklahoma.