Clemson ran the table in the ACC last season on the way to the College Football Playoff, and the No. 5 Tigers play their ACC opener on Thursday night at dangerous Georgia Tech and that triple-option offense. The Jackets are home underdogs on NCAA Football lines.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Clemson at Georgia Tech Free Pick, Betting Lines & TV Info
Why Bet on Team Clemson?
The Tigers (3-0) come off a 59-0 win over FCS school South Carolina State. That team’s coach, Buddy Pough, after falling behind 45-0 at halftime, had enough, agreeing with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to shorten the second half of the game by six minutes. Instead of 15-minute quarters, the teams agreed to reduce the second half to two 12-minute quarters. An NCAA rule allows for games to be shortened by time if the coaches agree.
The Tigers rested the bulk of their starters in the second half. Heisman Trophy candidate Deshaun Watson finished 12-of- 15 passing for 152 yards and three touchdowns, and Clemson’s 45 first-half points were just four shy of its total from the first two games. Clemson’s 45 first-half points were the most scored in a first half since the Tigers’ matchup with Ball State in 2012, when Clemson also scored 45 points.
Ray-Ray McCloud totaled 60 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. Clemson finished with 555 yards offensively, and 92 Tigers saw playing time. Clemson, with three wins to open the season for the fifth time in the last six years — is 31-0 against FCS teams.
Clemson is now 86-1- 1 when totaling at least 500 yards of offense. The 555 yards of offense the Tigers put up Saturday is the most since totaling 552 against Wake Forest in 2015. Clemson is now 28-2 in the last 30 games when it has at least 300 passing yards. Clemson is 34-1 under Swinney when rushing for at least 200 yards and has now won 30 in a row dating to 2010.
The Tigers have won 18 consecutive regular-season games. Clemson’s last loss in regular-season play was at Georgia Tech in 2014. Clemson hasn’t won at Georgia Tech since 2003, but Watson says that’s not been a big topic of conversation in the locker room.
Why Bet on Georgia Tech?
The Yellow Jackets (3-0) already have matched last season’s wins total. They come off a 38-7 rout of Vanderbilt. Justin Thomas threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Marshall on the first play of the game, Georgia Tech held Vanderbilt scoreless in the final three quarters. Thomas threw for 136 yards and ran for 84 yards before sitting out the final quarter. Safety Corey Griffin was credited with six tackles and played an instrumental role in Tech’s run defense, which held Vanderbilt to 85 rushing yards on 30 attempts.
“Good win, we had some big plays, we didn’t stop ourselves,” Coach Paul Johnson said. “We were pretty efficient offensively, and we wanted to gear up to stop the run and, I was just looking at it, we held them under 100 yards rushing, so that’s pretty good. Happy with the win, now we’ve got a quick turnaround, get ready for a really talented team coming in here on Thursday night.”
Tech has played a very easy schedule thus far: Boston College, the ACC’s worst team by some distance; Mercer, which was facing its first opponent from a Power Five conference since 1942, when the Power Five wasn’t actually a thing, and Vanderbilt, which would be the SEC’s worst team by some distance if Kentucky wasn’t around.
Clemson whipped Georgia Tech 43-24 last year. It was the nadir of a bad season for the Jackets. It was also an exception to the rule, as the two teams usually play tough, competitive games. Georgia Tech won 28-6 in 2014 and has won five straight at Bobby Dodd. Georgia Tech is preparing for the fast-paced Clemson offense by running two huddles on the scout team.
My Free Pick
Home team is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Under is 4-1- 1 in the last 6 meetings in Georgia Tech.
Favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
As long as this stays under double digits on NCAA Football lines, I lean Clemson.