The Clemson Tigers will begin the defense of their national championship on Thursday, playing host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as massive 37-point home favorites on the college football betting odds.
Clemson has a tough act to follow after marching to a national championship victory while going undefeated last season, and will be gunning for a 16th straight outright win on home turf when they hit the gridiron for Thursday night’s matchup at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers have also dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference in recent years, posting straight-up wins in 34 of 36 meetings with conference rivals since the start of the 2015 college football season. Clemson claimed victory by double-digit margins in seven of their eight wins in conference play last year, including a 49-21 rout of the Yellow Jackets as 16-point road chalk. That success has fueled a steady run for the squad on the NCAA football odds, with Clemson going 9-2 against the spread in its past 11 conference clashes.
Not surprisingly, the Tigers were one of the top offensive teams in the nation in 2018, ranking fourth with 44.3 points per game, and surrendering single-point totals on seven occasions during their perfect 15-0 campaign.
That production also made Clemson a reliable bet against the spread on the college football odds, with the squad going 9-3 over their final 12 games of 2018, but just 3-2 ATS in five home games during that stretch.
Trevor Lawrence returns to lead the Clemson offense after enjoying a breakthrough in his freshman campaign a year ago. The 19-year-old quarterback threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns and claimed College Football Playoff National Championship Offensive MVP honors in the Tigers’ 44-16 rout of Alabama last January.
Lawrence now returns to action amid high expectations, joining Crimson Tide passer Tua Tagovailoa as a +260 co-favorite on the NCAA odds to take home this year’s Heisman Trophy, and will be key to the Tigers’ hopes of paying out as +225 favorites on the odds to win the national championship for a third time in four years.
Yellow Jackets Underdogs on Thursday NCAA Odds
The Yellow Jackets will be aiming to build on a respectable 7-6 campaign in 2018 when they open their schedule in Clemson on Thursday night. The team won six of their final eight regular-season contests last year including their final four conference matchups to finish 7-6 SU overall. Georgia Tech also proved steady on the road, winning outright in three of its final four regular-season outings while going 3-3 ATS in NCAA football betting.
The team also enjoys a solid history of success in season-opening contests, going 15-4 SU since 2000, including a 2-2 SU mark on the road. However, the Yellow Jackets have enjoyed little success in recent clashes with Clemson, losing outright in four straight, and going winless SU and ATS in five visits to Memorial Stadium since 2009.
That makes it a tough start for a Georgia Tech squad that is expected to revamp their offense under newly hired coach Geoff Collins and offensive co-ordinator Dave Patenaude. The Yellow Jackets produced 33.6 points per game last season, good for 33rd in the nation. But lots of question marks surround this team, including under center, where sophomores Lucas Johnson and Tobias Oliver will battle for the starting role.
Issues also exist on defense, which allowed 28.9 points per game last season, and will get a lot younger this season following the departure of seven starters.
The changes at Georgia Tech are reflected on the college football season props, where the Yellow Jackets are pegged as a +115 wager to win UNDER 3.5 games this season.
*Odds as of August 29, 2019