The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets gave the Clemson Tigers all they could handle in Death Valley last season. Despite this, Clemson is the clear-cut choice amongst the betting public ahead of Monday night’s season-opener. Read on for more in our Clemson-Georgia Tech picks.
The first full week of the 2022 college football season will conclude on Labor Day evening in Atlanta. A pair of ACC foes with drastically different outlooks coming into the season are set to collide as Clemson faces Georgia Tech.
Clemson may have won 10 games last season, but it was still considered to be a down year for the program. The Tigers and their fanbase have grown accustomed to contending for a national championship on an annual basis. Coach Dabo Swinney has plenty of experience returning and will aim to get his team back to the College Football Playoff in 2022.
As for Georgia Tech, this will be Geoff Collins’ fourth year leading the program. So far, the Yellow Jackets have failed to surpass the three-win mark in any season since Collins replaced the option with his spread offense. Tech played Clemson tough last year but ended the ‘21 campaign on a six-game losing skid.
Date/Time: Monday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
As expected, Clemson opened up as an enormous favorite for this Week 1 clash. Despite oddsmakers installing the Tigers as a 22-point favorite, the point spread has actually grown even larger. Clemson is now laying a consensus line of 23.5.
At the time of writing, over 80% of all ATS bets at DraftKings have been laid with the massive number with Clemson. In addition, the Tigers have also attracted more than 80% of the handle.
While the spread has grown larger, the opposite has transpired with regard to the game total. An opening line of 53.5 has shrunk by two points or more depending on the sportsbook.
What makes the line move on the total that much more interesting is that it runs contrary to the ticket counts at DraftKings. Despite 85% of all bets being on the Over, the line is currently resting 2.5 points below where it first opened.
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Georgia Tech +23.5 (-110) ★★★
The fact that the point spread has continued to grow larger is a key factor in electing to make the case for taking Georgia Tech. If the line was hovering around 21 points, it would be much easier to argue in favor of Clemson than at the current line of 23.5.
Provided the key components of Tech’s offense stay healthy, this will easily be the best the unit has been since Collins took over the program. Quarterback Jeff Sims is back after missing six games last year. He was unavailable for Georgia Tech’s six-point road loss to Clemson.
While the Yellow Jackets actually have just two returning starters along the offensive line, there’s a case to be made that the unit is much more talented than a year ago. The additions of Clemson transfer Paul Tchio and Alabama transfer Pierce Quick are noteworthy.
Of course, moving the ball against what will certainly be a formidable Clemson defense is easier said than done. However, the Tigers did lose coordinator Brent Venables and five starters. If Tech can make any sort of progress running the ball against Clemson’s nasty defensive front, it will become much easier to shorten the game and cover this massive point spread.
Under 51 (-110) ★★
Clemson has nine returning starters on offense, but questions remain with regard to what quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is capable of. The pressure will be on Uiagalelei to deliver in 2022.
With only three starters back on defense, Georgia Tech’s ability to keep things respectable on Monday night will come down to their transfers. The secondary was not a position of strength last season, and only one starter is back. However, the Yellow Jackets added a pair of Notre Dame transfers and one from Auburn. It will be up to these newcomers to stand their ground in coverage and make life difficult on the Clemson passing attack.
Tech’s defensive front did a tremendous job in last year’s matchup against Clemson. Collins had high praise for his front seven throughout the offseason. If the Yellow Jackets can once again work over the Tigers’ offensive line, moving the chains will become that much more difficult for Uiagalelei.
As for Tech’s offense, Monday night likely won’t be when the improvements shine through. The Tigers have a defensive line capable of dominating games once again this season. It will be tough sledding for the Yellow Jackets, especially given their inexperience at wide receiver.
At the time of writing, Georgia Tech’s team total is sitting around 13.5. If we assume Tech is good for 14, Clemson would need to score 38+ to surpass the current total of 51. The Tigers’ offense only accomplished this twice all of last season.
Jeff Sims Over 28.5 Rushing Yards (-114) ★★★
Jeff Sims surpassed this rushing prop total of 28.5 yards in six of seven games played last year. Not only that, but he scampered for 50-plus rushing yards on four different occasions. Sims’ dual-threat abilities were on full display in Tech’s upset of North Carolina when he put up 128 yards on the ground.
If the Tigers are able to apply pressure, Sims could wind up having to turn blown-up plays into something using his legs. The matchup may be daunting, but the sophomore is more than capable of clearing this yardage total.
Where to Bet on Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
Clemson-Georgia Tech picks made 9/4/2022 at 5:08 p.m. ET