Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. No. 7 Clemson Tigers (8-1 SU, 4-4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date and Time: Thursday November 14th, 2013. 7:30PM Eastern
Where: Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GT +10/Clemson -10
Over/Under Total: 59.5
Outside of a big loss to Florida State, the no. 7 Clemson Tigers
have been nearly flawless with an impressive 8-1 record. Clemson had their
ACC Championship hopes erased with the loss to unbeaten Florida State but
the Tigers still have the opportunity to secure an at-large BCS Bowl berth
with a strong finish to the regular season. This week the Tigers are likely
to get one of their better challenges of the year when Paul Johnson’s Georgia
Tech Yellow Jackets march into Death Valley for a big ACC match-up
this Thursday night.
For Clemson, it will be their 2nd appearance on Thursday night. Earlier this year, the Tigers pulled out a 26-14 victory over North Carolina State and will get their chance to capture another Thursday night victory against the Yellow Jackets. However, Georgia Tech has had Clemson’s number over the past several seasons winning 5 of the last 7 games against the Tigers. In 2011, an unranked Yellow Jackets team dominated a top 5 ranked Clemson team in a 31-17 upset while rushing for nearly 400 yards on the ground. Coach Johnson’s Yellow Jackets have been superb running the football again this year averaging 311 yards per game (5th in FBS) and they will try to post an encore performance to that 2011 upset over the Tigers when they meet again this Thursday.
Luckily for Clemson fans, the Tigers appear to match-up better against Georgia Tech this Thursday compared to previous meetings. The reason is simple as the Tigers are vastly approved along the defensive front. Not only do the Tigers rank 30th against the run allowing just 140 yards per game, but they are also tied for 4th in the FBS averaging 3.33 sacks per game. Clemson has historically struggled against the run under Coach Dabo Swinney but new defensive coordinator Brent Venables seems to be changing that trend along the defensive line.
Still Georgia Tech’s triple options rushing attack is bound to have some success. The key for Clemson is to prevent long drives that eat up the clock and get the ball back in the hands of the offense. The Tigers own one of the most prolific offenses in college football averaging 40 points per game. QB Tahj Boyd has averaged over 300 yards per game and has thrown 20 touchdowns compared to just 6 picks on the season. Additionally WR Sammy Watkins is one of the best receivers in the ACC with tremendous speed and playmaking ability. Watkins is just 18 yards shy of the 1,000 yard plateau and has 7 touchdowns this season as well. Therefore as long as the Clemson defense can stay off the field, the Tigers should have the upper hand with their extremely talented offense.
From the betting side of the action, Georgia Tech has dropped 5 of their last 6 games against the spread including their last two games by the point hook despite winning 3 straight SU. The Tigers on the other hand have not put together any significant trends going 4-4-1 ATS this season. However both teams have trended towards higher scoring as Clemson has gone ‘over’ the posted total in 6 of 9 games this season while Georgia Tech has found the ‘over’ in 4 of their last 5 games.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I have been somewhat waiting for Clemson to have one of their big letdown type games this season but it just has not happened. I believe that is because this is a much better all-around football team especially on the defensive side of the ball. If Clemson gets another solid performance from the defense, I do not believe Georgia Tech has the firepower to keep this one very close and that is exactly what I believe will happen. Clemson has been tremendous as home favorites between 7 to 10 points winning 9 of their last 11 games against the spread and I believe that is one trend that will continue. Take Clemson -10.
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