Cotton Bowl 2018
- Spread: Clemson by 12.5
- Over/Under: 55
- Money line: Clemson -454.55; Notre Dame +350.00
The Cotton Bowl Classic, also known simply as the Cotton Bowl, was established back in 1937. This year’s game is the 83rd edition of the Cotton Bowl and marks the second time that it has served as the hosts of one of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games.
Last time the Cotton Bowl hosted one of the CFP Semifinal games, the winner (Alabama) went on to win the national championship game (over Clemson, 45-40). This year’s edition will no doubt hope to have the same kind of luck. But who will it be? Will Clemson earn the right to play for the national championship a third time?
Or will Notre Dame get a shot?
Clemson has the tools that it takes to contend for a shot. They have one of the best offences in the nation (fourth in total yards and scoring). They can run the ball well (ninth; 258.9 yards/game) and have a pretty decent passing game as well (28th; 270.1 yards/game).
They clearly have enough offence to win the game. But do they have enough defence to lead them to a championship? With one of the best defensive fronts in the game, they have limited teams to less than 100 yards rushing a game (92.9 yards/game allowed; third). They are stingy against the pass (183.8 yards/game allowed; 18th) and do not let opponents score often (13.7 points/game allowed; second).
But will they have enough offence and defence to take down the Tigers?
Notre Dame does have the 20th ranked defence in the country (in total yards; 331.5) and is stingy with the points as well (17.3 points/game allowed). It is not hard to imagine them making it difficult on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They will need to try to take advantage of his inexperience and not give him time to make plays.
If they can, and if Ian Black can get Notre Dame’s offence moving against a very good Clemson defence, we may have a game here.
So—who’ going to win?
Notre Dame will make a game of it, but Clemson is going to win. Take Clemson to win straight up but Notre Dame against the spread. As for the over/under—take the over.
*Odds via Bet365