Clemson Tigers Betting: 2021 Win Totals
After missing the inaugural College Football Playoff, the Clemson Tigers have been a mainstay, having made six straight appearances on the big stage, including two national championships within that time. In that span, Dabo Swinney’s teams have amassed a record of 79-7 overall and 47-3 against ACC opponents (one of those losses being Notre Dame, who was considered an ACC member in 2020). Read on the: Clemson Tigers Betting: 2021 Win Totals
The Tigers have had the luxury of having first-round picks Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence at the helm for most of those victories, but the Clemson brand has become synonymous with success in this age of college football.
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Georgia 9/4 Charlotte, NC: Clemson comes right out of the gate with their toughest challenge of the season against the Georgia Bulldogs. The matchup of preseason top five teams will be the marquee matchup of college football’s opening weekend.
The neutral site game in Charlotte, NC, offers a possible preview of a future CFP matchup as the Dawgs and Tigers carry the second and third-best odds to lift the trophy by year’s end (Clemson +400, UGA +500 per Bovada).
Georgia returns quarterback J.T. Daniels, who ended the season as the starter and provided the Bulldogs with a spark on offense that was desperately needed early on. Running backs Zamir White and James Cook lead a stable of running backs that will line up behind a talented but rebuilt offensive line.
Wide receiver George Pickens suffered an ACL injury in the spring, so Georgia will look towards dynamic LSU transfer Arik Gilbert and massive sophomore tight end Darnell Washington to prove themselves as playmakers on offense.
The Dawgs return the second least production on defense, but Kirby Smart has tied together elite recruiting classes that should help supplement the talent departures.
All Other ACC Games: In the previous six seasons, Clemson has lost a total of three games against ACC opponents. Pittsburgh in 2016, Syracuse in 2017, and Notre Dame in their lone ACC season this previous year.
Clemson’s schedule features road games at Pittsburgh and Syracuse this season, but the Tiger’s 26.4 ppg average margin of victory over conference foes over the past five seasons doesn’t really cause these games to move the needle.
Clemson also avoids the three favorites odds to win the ACC Coastal division North Carolina (+115), Miami (FL) (+135), and Virginia Tech (+750). The combination of their recent success and favorable conference schedule makes it difficult to highlight any games that could cause concern in the regular season.
Clemson replaces the flowing hair and dominant right arm of Trevor Lawrence, who never lost a regular season in his time with the Tigers. His running mates Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers will also be playing on Sundays this fall rather than dawning the orange and purple. The good news, as one of the nation’s top powers, Clemson gets to reload rather than rebuild.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei steps into the starting role after he flashed in his two starts last season as Trevor Lawrence was held out due to COVID-19.
The rising sophomore threw for 772 yards and four touchdowns in those games, giving offensive coordinator Tony Elliott plenty to work with. Wide receiver Justyn Ross returns after missing all of 2020 with a back injury and projects as one of the top receivers in the nation.
The strength of the Tigers early on should come on the defensive side of the ball. Clemson fought through some growing pains last year in the trenches as young but talented freshmen Bryan Bresee, and Myles Murphy saw extended snaps, which should have the pair ready to wreak havoc on opposing offenses in 2021.
Veterans James Skalski and Nolan Turner took advantage of the NCAA allowance of an additional year and should provide pivotal cornerstones for Brent Venables’ chaotic defense.
Under 11.5 wins. The week one matchup against Georgia will determine whether or not this bet cashes in ultimately. A loss to the Dawgs instantly ends the chances of hitting the over.
Even a win over Georgia still leaves the Tigers with an 11 game schedule that will require week after week focus against teams that Clemson will likely be two-plus touchdown favorites against.
Clemson National Champions (+400): The Tigers have made the playoffs six straight seasons with no reason to believe this year won’t end in the same result. The first step in winning the championship is making the bracket, and Clemson has arguably the easiest path to doing that in college football.
Add in the coaching staffs’ experience in the postseason this team should have a very good opportunity to be the last team standing.
DJ Uiagalelei Heisman Winner (+800): Two starts last season ended with the young passer averaging 385 yards per game and two scores. One of those games was under the lights at Notre Dame in the Tigers’ lone loss last season, but Uiagelelei proved he’s capable of performing on the big stage.
The Heisman favorite to start the year is Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+400), but only Baker Mayfield in 2017 opened as the favorite and also won the trophy at the end of the season. A big week one performance by Uiagalelei could launch his Heisman campaign into front-runner status.
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