Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Odds
Clemson, by its standards, had a very disappointing 2021 season, as it finished 9-3 in the regular season, did not make the ACC Championship game and was nowhere near the College Football Playoff discussions.
Expectations are always high for Dabo Swinney’s program, and this season is no different. There’s also a lot of turnover, as Clemson lost both of its coordinators to other coaching jobs.
The Tigers will travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech in what should be a routine win, but Clemson has a lot to prove offensively after all the struggles it had last year.
The Yellow Jackets nearly won this matchup last year when the Tigers’ offense could barely move the ball. However, it will be an even bigger challenge for Georgia Tech this season as the Yellow Jackets have lost a lot of talent to graduation and the transfer portal.
The Tigers’ strength will remain their defense, and Georgia Tech will likely struggle to score on Monday night.
For the first time in the College Football Playoff era, the Tigers weren’t even in the conversation last season.
Much of that had to do with the underperformance of quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. He averaged six yards per attempt, the offensive line struggled to consistently defend from the line of scrimmage and Uiagalelei finished with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
He could make a jump in year two as a starter, but I’m skeptical of that right away. Uiagalelei has thinned out and Swinney says he wants to play faster, but there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this offense.
The Tigers finished last season outside the top 50 in Rushing Success Rate, outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and outside the top 90 in Big Plays Created. Gone are the explosive plays of past years from players like Justyn Ross (before injuries), Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers.
While questions about the offense remain, there is little doubt about how dominant Clemson’s defense should be. The defensive line was compared to the 2018 defensive line – which dominated everyone, including Alabama.
The Tigers finished top-10 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Defensive Line Yards last season. And they return almost all the production of that unit.
Georgia Tech has lost as much to the transfer portal as any program in the country, and the Yellow Jackets already had plenty of trouble last year.
Georgia Tech was in the bottom 20 in the country at turning drives into points based on its Finishing Drives ranking. Now, the Yellow Jackets face a defense that has been among the nation’s elite at defending its own red zone.
The Yellow Jackets return less than half of their offensive line, which means there will be plenty of players playing their first college game against arguably the nation’s best defensive line.
Georgia Tech ran the ball at an above-average rate last season, but leading rusher and star running back Jahmyr Gibbs transferred to Alabama. The Yellow Jackets second-leading rusher from last season is now in professional football.
From a receiving standpoint, two of the Yellow Jackets’ three leading receivers are gone. They lost a ton of production and are in a total rebuild offensively. There is not much path to offensive success in this game.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Pick
When these two teams played a competitive 14-8 game last September, the Yellow Jackets managed just 298 yards, 98 of which came on the ground. Georgia Tech couldn’t generate any push along the offensive line, and that was before it lost more than half the line (and its running back).
Considering all the turnover for the Georgia Tech offense and the uncertainty surrounding Clemson, this total is a bit too high.
The total in this game has increased throughout the week, but we’ve reached the point where it’s too high and I’m jumping on the bottom. It’s too hard to find a path to offensive success for Georgia Tech and while Clemson should be improved offensively, the Tigers have to prove it before I buy.
51 is a key number in college football and because of that, I wouldn’t bet the sub on anything lower than the current market offer.