In 1904 John Heisman left his post as Clemson coach to take the same role with Georgia Tech. One of the oldest rivalries in the South was born, and the teams plan annually as official cross-over rivals. With Clemson on a six-game winning streak in the matchup and the programs on different ends, the college football landscape, a 29 point spread presents no surprise. Still, rivalries can take surprising twists when it comes to totals.
Let’s take a look at this weekend’s matchup to find some betting value.
- Opening Line: Clemson -28.5, O/U 51.5
- Current Line: Clemson -29, O/U 51.5
- Last meeting: October 17, 2020, Clemson 73, Georgia Tech 7
Few could expect the barrage about to hit when WR Jalen Camp scored on a 59 yard TD pass from Jeff Sims to even the 2020 matchup at 7-7. Clemson scored 45 unanswered points to take a 52-7 halftime lead. The 52 points were the third-highest single half total in college football in 2020, representing the distance between these programs. Clemson is desperately hoping to claw back into the playoff picture following the opening season loss to Georgia.
Defensively Clemson is one of the most experienced teams in the nation, led by sixth-year LB James Skalski and S Nolan Turner. The defensive line features future NFL talent in Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis, while Andrew Booth Jr should be one of the top corners in the draft. Georgia Tech QB is currently undecided after Jeff Sims’s injury against Northern Illinois. Still, he and Jordan Yates are very inexperienced, and traveling into Clemson is a stiff test.
Offensively all eyes were on D.J. Uiagelelei as top pick Trevor Lawrence’s replacement. His first game against Georgia disappointed, and his 14/24 interception against South Carolina St still leaves space for improvement. The team is still looking for an answer at running back, though exciting freshman Will Shipley seemed to take a more significant portion this past week with an 8-80 performance. Still, Clemson features a deep group of WRs, headlined by Justyn Ross and Joseph Ngata. That should be able to score against a weak Georgia Tech defense.
Defensively Georgia Tech has struggled to create pressure with just two sacks in the first two weeks. Clemson is still learning after losing Lawrence, but Georgia Tech has one of the most significant transitions in college football. Paul Johnson ran the option for ten years before announcing his retirement. Since then, Geoff Collins’s task to recruit entirely different players necessary to operate in a spread scheme has proven to be one of the most challenging college football. This lack of offensive talent will continue to be a problem against the deep Clemson defense.
- Clemson is 4-1-1 ATS in their last six against Georgia Tech
- Clemson is 1-4 ATS in their previous five games
- Georgia Tech is 0-5 ATS in their last five games
Georgia Tech has come to represent a “get right” game for Clemson annually, and the timing is perfect for the Tigers. Last week South Carolina St. provided a confidence boost, but D.J. UIagalelei has to continue to progress. Geoff Collins struggles to transition from an option-based team shown in a season-opening loss to Northern Illinois. Clemson’s experience on defense is too much to overcome for a team that has struggled for several seasons.
Pick: Clemson -29
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