GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (6-3) at CLEMSON TIGERS (8-1)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Clemson -11.5 & 60
Opening Line & Total: Tigers -10 & 60
Georgia Tech will look to stay hot and win its fourth in a row as it travels to No. 8 Clemson in a crucial ACC road game.
The Tigers have lost just once this year, getting demolished by powerhouse Florida State 51-14 three games ago. They have recovered since then with back-to-back wins, and own other quality victories on their schedule such as against Georgia. They are 4-4-1 ATS this season, including only 2-3 ATS at home. The Yellow Jackets hit a rough patch in the middle of their schedule, losing three consecutive games to Virginia Tech, Miami and BYU, but have also recovered well and have now won three consecutive games against Syracuse, Virginia and Pittsburgh. They covered in only one of those three wins, however, bringing them to 1-5 ATS in their past six games and 4-5 ATS overall. They are 1-3 ATS on the road and 0-2 ATS as an underdog. When these two teams played last year on Clemson’s turf, the Tigers rolled and covered with a 47-31 victory against an 11-point spread. They are 7-4 SU and ATS at home against Clemson since 1992. But over the past 10 years, underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (like Georgia Tech) coming off back-to-back conference wins, facing an opponent coming off a double-digit road win, are just 11-40 ATS (22%).
The Yellow Jackets rank fifth nationally in rushing yards as their triple-option offense carries them to 311.2 YPG on the ground. David Sims (610 rush yards, 5.4 YPC, 9 TD) is the team’s top rusher, while Robert Godhigh (473 yards, 11.3 YPC, 3 TD) and Zach Laskey (427 yards, 6.2 YPC, 6 TD) are also having strong seasons. Crafty QB Vad Lee takes the snaps for Georgia Tech, though he has yet to live up to his potential as both a passer and rusher. On the ground, he’s averaging just 2.9 YPC for 394 yards, though he has a solid six touchdowns. Through the air he is completing just 45.6% of his passes, yielding 1,005 yards, 8 TD and 6 INT. With the Jackets’ ability to run off clock on the ground, their defense has given up a mere 18.8 PPG this season, 14th-fewest in FBS. Their rush defense is their strength, allowing only 3.4 YPC.
The Clemson offense’s strength is through the air, where it ranks 10th nationally with 332.7 passing YPG. Overall, the team’s 39.8 PPG puts it 16th in the country. Star QB Tajh Boyd leads that charge with 2,620 passing yards, completing 66% of his attempts for 20 TD and only 6 INT. Future NFL first-round pick Sammy Watkins is his go-to receiver, as the 6-foot-1 junior has 66 receptions for 982 yards and seven touchdowns. Roderick McDowell complements the passing game well on the ground with 677 yards (5.2 YPC) and three touchdowns. Boyd isn’t the most dynamic runner, averaging only 1.9 YPC on 100 attempts, but he has scored with his legs seven times. Clemson’s defense has given up 3.7 YPC to opposing rushers this year while opposing quarterbacks have completed just 52.4% of their passing attempts against their secondary.