Last week's 50.5-point spread was too much for No 6 Clemson to cover, even against FCS foe S.C. State.
One reason was because of Dabo Swinney's massive respect for Bulldogs coach and in-state legend Buddy Pough. Another was the desire to clear the bench early in the season, and there's the fact that Clemson's offense isn't exactly clicking on all cylinders quite yet.
But this week's game against Georgia Tech feels different. Maybe it's the rivalry, although this series has been very Tigers sided in recent years. It could be the Yellow Jackets' pregame weightlifting in 2019 that left some in the program feeling disrespected and upset. It could be recruiting-related since Atlanta is such a hotbed for talent that Swinney wants to send a message every year.
Whatever it is, Clemson has owned Georgia Tech since 2015, and the Tigers aren't afraid to put up some points and let their guys get after it. Last year, Clemson set a record in the series and ACC with a 73-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets. Swinney played a punter at quarterback, and walk-on Hunter Helms threw two touchdown passes.
But that was last year. Clemson's replacements at quarterback, running back and receiver haven't been nearly as prolific through two games, and the Tigers are 1-1 overall and 0-2 against the spread.
So why should bettors back the Tigers, who are a 28-point favorite, Saturday against Georgia Tech at 3:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium? Well, trends.
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Uiagalelei hit Shipley in stride. Shipley dropped the ball. And to those watching the game, it appeared that was the moment. That was the, "Oh well. Here we go again" moment.
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Yes, trends can be tricky in the sports betting world. They're easy to fall in love with but many times mean very little. That is not the case with Clemson-Georgia Tech. The Tigers have are 5-0-1 ATS. And as mentioned earlier, there seem to be reasons why Clemson likes to handily put the Yellow Jackets away, and there are some signs the same will happen again this weekend.
This is a game where Clemson could finally show what it truly is on offense, showcasing balance and letting a more comfortable D.J. Uiagalelei attack a Ramblin' Wreck defense that hasn't faced Power-5 competition yet this season. Only Duke has allowed more rushing yards per game than the Yellow Jackets.
The Tiger defense, meanwhile, still hasn't given up an offensive touchdown, and GT is playing coy with its quarterback position. Neither should overly scare the Tigers and while Jahmyr Gibbs is a dangerous all-purpose threat, it's hard to see this team being THAT much better than last year's squad that got drubbed. Plus, this Jacket team lost to Northern Illinois in Week 1.
The total points in this game are set at 52, so if the oddsmakers are expecting a blowout, there are likely very few scoring chances.
Best bet (1-1): The hook got us last week as we went with the first-half over of 38.5. S.C. State dropped a wide-open TD in the end zone that would've easily covered, but instead they settled for a field goal, and the Tigers missed a long one at the end of the half. It was a bad beat. It happens. Looking at this week, there's no reason to go against the run of covered spreads. Go confidently with Clemson -28 on Saturday.
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