Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Odds
Clemson, by its standards, had a very disappointing 2021 season, as it finished 9-3 in the regular season, failed to make the ACC Championship game and was nowhere near the College Football Playoff discussions.
The expectations are always sky high for Dabo Swinney’s program, and this season is no different. There’s also plenty of turnover, as Clemson lost both of its coordinators to other coaching jobs.
The Tigers will travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech in what should be a routine win, but Clemson has a lot to prove offensively after all of 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’ll be an even bigger challenge for Georgia Tech this season because the Yellow Jackets lost a ton of talent through graduation and the transfer portal.
The Tigers’ strength will remain their defense, and Georgia Tech is likely to 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.
A lot of that had to do with the underperformance of quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. He averaged six yards per attempt, the offensive line struggled to consistently move defenses off the line of scrimmage and Uiagalelei finished with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
He could take a leap in year two as a starter, but I’m skeptical of that happening right away. Uiagalelei has slimmed down and Swinney says he wants to play more up tempo, but there’s 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. The explosive plays from years past from players like Justyn Ross (pre-injuries), Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers are gone.
While questions about the offense remain, there is little doubt about how dominating Clemson’s defense should be. The defensive line has been 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 of the production from that unit.
Georgia Tech lost as much to the transfer portal as any program in the country, and the Yellow Jackets already had plenty of issues last year.
Georgia Tech was in the bottom 20 of the country at turning drives into points based on its Finishing Drives rank. Now, the Yellow Jackets faced a defense that was among the nation’s elite at defending its own red zone.
The Yellow Jackets return less than half of their offensive line snaps, meaning there’s going to be a lot 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 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 have departed. They lost a ton of production and are in a total rebuild offensively. There’s not much of a 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 of the line (and its running back).
Given all of 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 spiked up throughout the week, but we’ve reached the point where it’s too high and I’m hopping on the under. It’s too difficult to find a path to offensive success for Georgia Tech and although Clemson should be improved offensively, the Tigers need to prove it before I buy in.
51 is a key number in college football and because of that, I wouldn’t bet the under at anything lower than the current market offering.