Clemson demolished Georgia Tech last week in a 73-7 rout as they continue to exist on a plane so far above anyone else in the ACC that it’s become difficult to even watch Clemson games on a regular basis because they get out of hand so incredibly quickly.
This week, they are breaking new ground in terms of dominance as they face off with a dismal Syracuse team that just lost at home to Liberty. As of this moment, the Tigers are a 46-point favorite over the Orange, which is the biggest point spread for a Clemson in-conference game ever — I’m fairly confident saying this since it’s definitely the biggest in a decade and before this decade they were never head and shoulders above the rest of the ACC.
Per Odds Shark, Clemson has been a 46+ point favorite five times previously, but all have been against FCS opponents — Citadel, Wofford, Furman, and SCSU (twice). This will be the first time they reach that number against an ACC opponent, and, adding to the hilarity, they are -100000 favorites on the money line to win the game outright, which is to say, a $1,000 bet on Clemson simply to win on Saturday would net you a robust $1 return. On the other side, Syracuse is +4000 on the money line, meaning a $100 bet would win you $4,000 if they somehow win outright on the field.
I wanted to know exactly how rare it is for a Power 5 team to be a 46-point favorite in conference play and, to the best of my ability, could only find four previous instances of this in the past decade and six overall.
The most recent was Rutgers a year ago, who covered as a 52-point underdog against Ohio State. Kansas has twice faced a 46-point spread in the Big 12, both in 2015, going 1-1 ATS, nearly beating TCU and getting thumped by Baylor. Back in 2012, Colorado failed to cover a 47-point spread against Oregon in its second season in the Pac-12. In the ACC, Florida State was twice a 47-point favorite in 2000, going 1-1 ATS with a cover against Duke and failing to cover at Wake Forest. Also in the Big 12, Oklahoma was a 54.5-point favorite in 2003 over Baylor and failed to cover in a 41-3 win.
Syracuse will look to make the dogs 5-3 ATS and simply hold on to lose by fewer than seven touchdowns against Trevor Lawrence and Clemson on Saturday.