College Football Free Pick – Notre Dame vs Clemson

Clemson -1.5 over Notre Dame 
Clemson (3-0), ranked No. 12 in the latest Associated Press poll, and sixth-ranked Notre Dame (4-0) both survived September unscathed despite a rash of injuries to key personnel and meet Saturday night in Death Valley in a game which could ultimately play a hand in determining one of four spots in this season’s college football playoff. It is the first meeting between the tradition-rich schools on the gridiron since 1977.
Clemson are Slight Favorites vs Notre Dame in "Death Valley"

Clemson are Slight Favorites vs Notre Dame in “Death Valley”

The Tigers and Irish have been hit hard by injuries in the offseason and early season, with both missing a handful of players expected to be starters. Among the most prominent missing players for Clemson include All-America receiver Mike Williams and defensive tackle D.J. Reader. Notre Dame’s injured contingent includes quarterback Malik Zaire, who was hurt in a week two road victory at Virginia, and tailback Tarean Folston. Still, Saturday’s combatants have persevered and can count themselves among 15 or so teams with legitimate playoff aspirations.
The Irish are 2-5 under head coach Brian Kelly on the road against ranked teams, with both those wins (Michigan State and Oklahoma) coming during the magical 2012 season when they reached the national title game before being dismantled by Alabama, 42-14.
Sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer has filled in admirably for the fallen Zaire, but Saturday’s contest marks his first-ever road start as a collegian. Debuting against a Venables-coached Clemson defense in Death Valley in the rain does not provide a large margin for error.
Clemson (41-6 straight up at home in Swinney’s seven seasons) has won 11 straight games on home soil and look to make it an even dozen against the Irish. Take Clemson minus 1.5 points to defeat Notre Dame.
Veteran Handicapper Paul Stone will be offering up selections and write-ups for fans of the The Vegas Parlay throughout this College Football season.  Paul is currently a Vegas Sports Authority handicapper, winner of the 2013 Las Vegas Sportsline/Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown, and winner of 2011 Leroy’s College Football Challenge. You can catch him on twitter via @paulstonesports

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