Georgia Tech Yellowjackets (0-0) vs. Clemson Tigers (0-0), 8/29/19
Time: 8 pm ET Thursday, Aug. 29
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
TV: ACC Network
Point spread: Tigers -36
The Clemson Tigers begin defense of their national championship of a season ago when they host the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets in the season and ACC opener for both teams Thursday night at Death Valley. The Tigers ride a 15-game winning streak into this one, while the Ramblin’ Wreck comes in under a new head coach. How are we playing this game with our free college football pick?
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College Football Betting Odds
Week 1’s college football betting odds opened Clemson at around -34 over Georgia Tech, with an over/under of 59. Early betting action then bumped the Tigers to -36.
Yellowjackets vs. Tigers Set-Up
Georgia Tech returns just nine starters this season from a team that finished 7-6 last year, with a bad bowl loss to Minnesota. The ‘Jackets started 1-3 last year, won six of their next seven but lost to rival Georgia in the season finale and 34-10 to the Gophers in something called the Quick Lane Bowl.
Then, Coach Johnson retired. So G-Tech now moves forward under new Coach Collins, formerly the head man at Temple the last two seasons.
Only five starters are back for the Yellowjackets on an offense that averaged 409 yards per game last season, and they’ll have to replace their starting quarterback and three along the offensive line. And just four starters return on a defense that allowed 370 YPG last year, none along the defensive line.
Clemson, meanwhile, returns 12 starters from the team that won all 15 games last season. The Tigers finished 8-0 in ACC play, then beat Pittsburgh 42-10 in the ACC championship game. They then moved on to the College Football Playoff, where they pounded Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl, then beat the hell out of Alabama in the national championship game 44-16.
Eight starters are back for Clemson on an offense that averaged 527 yards per game last season, including QB Trevor Lawrence (11-0 SU, 8-2-1 ATS as a starter), RB Travis Etienne (1,658 rushing yards last year), last season’s top three receivers and three across the offensive line. But only four starters return on a defense that held opponents to just 286 YPG last year, none along the D line.
Yellowjackets-Tigers Recent History
Clemson is 4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS over the last four meetings with Georgia Tech, winning those games by an average score of 36-16. Last year the Tigers beat the Yellowjackets 49-21 in Atlanta, covering as 16-point favorites. That game also played over a total of 55 before the fourth quarter had even started.
College Football Betting Trends
Clemson finished 9-5-1 ATS last season, even though it was favored by three touchdowns or more nine times. The Tigers are also 4-3 ATS when favored by 34 or more points over the last three seasons.
Coach Collins guided Temple to a 15-10 SU, 14-10-1 ATS record over the last two seasons.
Georgia Tech is 1-5-1 ATS its last seven times out as a double-digit underdog.
Overs played 7-5 in Georgia Tech games last season, which averaged 63 total points.
Unders played 8-7 in Tigers games last season, which averaged 57 points.
Free College Football Pick
Clemson is a national championship contender while G-Tech is going through the learning curve with the new coach and new coordinators and new systems. So there’s little doubt as to who’s going to win this game. However, the spread on this game is obviously inflated, what with the national champs playing at home. Also, Clemson has an interesting non-conference game against Texas A&M next week, so Coach Swinney may be tempted to rest starters once this one is in hand. We’re taking the points here with the Ramblin’ Wreck.