NCAA Football: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Clemson Tigers Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 18, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET, Sept. 18, 2021
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Where to watch: ABC

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Clemson -28.5; O/U 51; Clemson -4500, Georgia Tech +1800
BetMGM: Clemson -28.5; O/U 52.5; Clemson -10000, Georgia Tech +1600
Caesars: Clemson -28.5; O/U 52; Clemson -10000, Georgia Tech +2000

Season record
Georgia Tech: 1-1
No. 6 Clemson: 1-1

The opening of the 2021 football season marked Larry Ness’ 38th year as a professional handicapper. He's off to a solid start, going 15-9 with all CFB and NFL regular season releases. "The winning continues" on Saturday with Larry's 10* Group of 5 Game of the Month. Catch Larry’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Georgia Tech - Clemson preview and analysis


Recent form
Georgia Tech: won 45-17 vs. Kennesaw State on Sept. 11
Clemson: won 49-3 vs. South Carolina State on Sept. 11

The Clemson Tigers took out some much-needed frustration on poor FCS opponent South Carolina State.

Now they’ll get a chance to take some anger out on another Georgia school after what happened in Week 1.

The Tigers, closing in on getting back to the top-5 of the AP Top 25, will open ACC play Saturday at home against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as four-touchdown favorites.

Clemson’s start in the post-Trevor Lawrence era has been rocky at best. After losing 10-3 to the Georgia Bulldogs, the Tigers responded with a 28-point first quarter en route to a 49-3 win against a more inferior Bulldogs team. Clemson outgained them 504-235 thanks to a balanced offense that saw an average day from quarterback D.J.Uiagalelei (14-of-24, 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but the ground game had 242 yards combined and five touchdowns.

Much better than the two yards on 23 attempts against Georgia.

History will be on the line Saturday, as Clemson goes for its 30th consecutive home win at Death Valley. A win would tie Tennessee (1928-33), Auburn (1952-61), and Florida (1994-99) for the 21st longest home winning streak in FBS history, and the 24th time a 30-game home winning streak has been had in the upper echelons of college football.

And it might be safe to say that Clemson will hit 30 after this week. The last time Georgia Tech faced Clemson, the Tigers steamrolled to a 73-7 win at GT. It was the largest margin of victory in ACC history.

Yeah, the Tigers had the No. 1 overall pick at quarterback for that game, but it’s still Clemson, and it’s in Death Valley. The Yellow Jackets had over 400 yards of total offense including an efficient 254-yard, 4-touchdown game from redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Yates. Long gone are the days of the triple option at GT. Calvin Johnson was a rare breed.

Prediction


This shouldn’t be a problem for Clemson. While the personnel on offense is slightly different, it’s still a strong defense that can stifle even the most dominant of offenses. This game should be over by halftime with plenty of room to cover. Clemson by 42

Betting trends


Georgia Tech is 7-11 against the spread as an underdog in its last 18 games.

Clemson has won 14 consecutive games straight up as a home favorite, but 7-7 against the spread.

Players to watch


Georgia Tech: Malachi Carter has been the big-play receiver for Jordan Yates, but hasn’t reached the end zone yet. Carter leads all receivers with 132 yards on 16.5 yards per catch.

Clemson: Look for Clemson to give more touches to star freshman running back Will Shipley. The tailback had 80 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns Saturday; a sharp rebound after only seven yards on four carries against Georgia.

Statistical leaders


Georgia Tech:
Passing: Jordan Yates -- 389 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Jahmyr Gibbs -- 155 yards
Receiving: Malachi Carter -- 132 yards; Kyric McGowan -- 123 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Ayinde Eley -- 21 tackles

Clemson:
Passing: D.J. Uiagalelei -- 349 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Will Shipley -- 87 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Joseph Ngata -- 161 yards
Defense: James Skalski -- 17 tackles

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - Clemson Tigers prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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