The 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA features New Year’s Eve (7:30pm ET) action with a pair of top 25 teams in the 8th ranked LSU Tigers (10-2) of the SEC and the 14h ranked Clemson Tigers (10-2) of the ACC. LSU has a 5-7 record ATS this season, and the Tigers have been streaky against the line this season, failing to cover their last two games (20-13 win over Arkansas as a 11.5 point favorite and a 41-35 win over Ole Miss as a 19 point favorite) after covering their previous 3 games. Clemson is 8-4 ATS this season, and the Tigers also failed to cover their last two games, a 27-17 loss to in-state rival South Carolina as a 6.5 point favorite in their regular season finale, and a 62-48 win over NC State as a 15 point favorite. Those games were preceded by a streak of covering in 6 straight games.
The LSU offense ranks 56th among FBS teams in points scored with an average of 30.2 per game and 79th in the nation in total offense with 387.2 yards per game. Defensively the Tigers are among the nation’s best, ranking 11th in scoring defense with 16.9 PPG allowed and 8th in total defense with 297.1 YPG allowed. Their rushing defense is also among the top 10 in the nation, ranking 9th with 102.8 YPG allowed.
The Clemson offense is a high-powered unit that features junior quarterback Tajh Boyd (3,550 yards passing, 34 TDs, 15 INTs), running back Andre Ellington (1,034 yards rushing) and receiver DeAndre Hopkins (1,214 receiving yards, 16 TDs). The Tigers rank 6th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 42.3 points per game and 9th in total offense with 518.3 yards per contest. The Clemson defense ranks 47th nationally in scoring with 24.9 PPG allowed and 76th nationally in total defense with 411.2 YPG allowed.
LSU vs. Clemson Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
LSU Tigers -5
@ Clemson Tigers +5
Over 59 (-110)
Under 59 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
LSU vs. Clemson Pick:
LSU is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 bowl games, 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against winning teams and 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 December games. Clemson is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 bowl games. The under is 5-2 in LSU’s last 7 games against winning teams an 13-6 in their last 19 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. The under is 7-1 in Clemson’s last 8 games on field turf, 6-2 in their last 8 bowl games and 6-1 in their last 7 games against SEC teams.
Clemson has a very prolific offense that has only been held under 35 points twice all season long, but one of those games was their season-ending loss to South Carolina against a Gamecock defense that ranks in the top 15 nationally in scoring dense (13th, 17.4 PPG) and total defense (11th, 312.2 YPG).LSU has a considerably better defense across the board than the Gamecocks do, and LSU has also struggled mightily on offense this season against their better opponents. Even in the controlled conditions of the Georgia Dome expect this to be a relatively low-scoring game, take the under in this game.
PICK = Under 59