Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 23, 2021
Eytan Shander
VI Betting Expert

Far from the season of lofty expectations, the Clemson Tigers are miraculously still winning football games. Pitt comes in with an offense to carry a suspect pass defense, but anything’s possible against this Clemson offense. The two will kick off Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN at Heinz Field.

Score Prediction

Pittsburgh 27, Clemson 20

Best Bet

Pittsburgh -3.5


Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Predictions

The offense isn’t working for Clemson, but they still manage to win games. That would be their defense stepping up and still being a problem for teams. Expect that to continue against Pitt. There’s also a weird dynamic of how bad Clemson has been throwing the football and how open Pitt’s defense is to being thrown on.

The Panthers will be begging Clemson to throw, but the Tigers can’t lose sight of what’s got them here, defense. They are one of the conference’s best red zone defense and the unit hasn’t given up more than 14 points outside of one game – 27 to NC State. Put up points on the Tigers and you have a shot, if you don’t, you better be Georgia good.

Pitt is not “Georgia” good, but the Panthers earned their top-25 ranking at 5-1. The Panthers defense isn’t bad by any means – 64th overall in the country. Where the matchup gets fascinating is looking at the Clemson defense vs. Pitt’s 10th ranked offense. Kenny Pickett is playing at a Heisman level and rarely makes any mistakes throwing the football.

Pitt opened as a 3-point home dog but were heavily bet into the favorite. Pickett is on another level but also needs to keep up with the defense. If Clemson can figure anything out in the air, we may see the fireworks come out early.

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Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Odds

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Pitt is a 3.5-point home favorite against Clemson. The line opened at Clemson -3 but has moved through 0, with Pitt now laying the points.

The total for this game is 48 points. The combined O/U for both teams is 5-8.

Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: ACC
  • Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021
  • Venue: Heinz Field
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • TV-Time: ESPN - 3:30 p.m. ET

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Clemson Tigers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 4-2
  • ATS: 0-6
  • O/U: 1-5
  • ATS - Home: 0-4
  • ATS - Away: 0-2

Clemson’s defense is the known commodity despite not having great overall numbers. The biggest thing is how well they defend when the field shortens, transferring into not giving up many points.

DJ Uiagalelei will have his chances against this Pitt secondary – all he needs is a little time. The Tigers QB hasn’t blown any doors off, only 4 TDs and 3 INTs on the season throwing for under 1000 yards.

He’s added 2 TDs on the ground, helped also by Kobe Pace and Will Shipley - the latter with a team-leading 5 rushing TDs. The issue is the WR core. Their top threat is out - Joseph Ngata out with COVID.

Two other receivers could also be out. It’s not the best scenario for an already struggling offense. There’s also a wasted opportunity looming for Clemson not having their deep threat against this Panthers defense.

Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 5-1
  • ATS: 5-1
  • O/U: 5-1
  • ATS - Home: 2-1
  • ATS - Away: 3-0

The good news for Pitt is they haven’t needed to carry much over the past few weeks. The Panthers only gave up 28 combined points in their previous two victories – just 7 last week against Virginia Tech. Pitt has a machine at QB in Pickett. He’s put up ridiculous numbers – 21 TDs to just 1 INT.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to slow Pickett down, but he faces an aggressive defense in the Tigers. If Pitt can get up early, the Tigers will have a truly difficult time throwing to a depleted WR core.

The Panthers have a couple of sharp weapons on the outside with Jordan Addison leading the pack. Addison is responsible for a team-leading 586 receiving yards and 9 TDs. Israel Abanikanda and Vincent Davis split the rushing duties this season, Abanikanda good for 4 TDs on the ground – Davis for 3.

The Pittsburgh Panthers have covered the spread in five of their last six games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Clemson Tigers

  • Record: 4-2
  • VI Ranking: 27
  • Points Scored: 123
  • Points Allowed: 75
  • PS/G: 20.5 (113th)
  • PA/G: 12.5 (2nd)

Inside the Stats - Pittsburgh Panthers

  • Record: 5-1
  • VI Ranking: 22
  • Points Scored: 290
  • Points Allowed: 120
  • PS/G: 48.2 (2nd)
  • PA/G: 20 (34th)

Key Players to Watch

  • CLEM: D.J. Uiagalelei - QB (97/174, 974 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT)
  • CLEM: Justyn Ross - WR (28 catches, 282 yards, 3 TD)
  • PITT: Kenny Pickett - QB (143/205, 1,934 yards, 21 TD, INT)
  • PITT: Jordan Addison - WR (34 catches, 586 yards, 9 TD)


  • PITT: A.J. Davis - RB (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • PITT: Gavin Thompson - WT (Undisclosed-Questionable)
  • PITT: Rodney Hammond, Jr. - RB (Undisclosed-Questionable)

Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Conclusion

Clemson has yet to cover a spread – 0-6 ATS on the season. They are also seriously depleted at the WR position. Even if the line moved a little more, the circumstances for this game set up for a Pitt victory. It’s much easier to see Pitt’s offense get up first and hold a lead, making it difficult for Clemson to stay in the game.

Even if Clemson’s defense holds more times than not – which will happen – the Tigers will fail on offense even more. It’s a terrible spot for Clemson to be dealing with these injuries, but a fantastic position for Pitt - with some lingering value on the play.,/p>

Clemson Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Trends

  • Clemson has failed to cover the spread in six straight games.
  • Clemson has gone UNDER the point total in five of its last six games.
  • Pittsburgh has covered the spread in five of its last six games.
  • Pittsburgh has gone OVER the point total in five straight home games.