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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Clemson Tigers Point Spread - Pick

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-2 SU, 6-0 ATS) vs. Clemson Tigers (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 8PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina
TV: X

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: GT +14.5/CLEM -14.5
Over/Under Total: 50

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Memorial Stadium to take on the Clemson Tigers on Saturday in ACC action in week nine. Clemson is coming off a break, having last played two weeks ago in what as monumental an upset as we've seen in a season that has seen a lot of them. Riding high at 6-0, they were shocked as 24-point favorites, losing to Syracuse, 27-24. They look to make amends for that this week and beyond, starting with a Georgia Tech team that had a nice win on Saturday in beating Wake Forest, 38-24. They are now 4-2 and have covered every spread this season, really delivering for bettors this season thus far.

Clemson has recently had good luck against Georgia Tech, a team that can be a thorn in the side of some teams, especially with their unique approach to the run-game. Over the past handful of seasons, Clemson has scored fairly-routine wins over the Yellow Jackets, including a 27-7 win last season. Still, they are now in reparations-mode after the loss to Syracuse. The bye week was untimely, as no team wants to ruminate longer than they have to on a damaging loss, but with QB Kelly Bryant (probable) going down with a concussion, the extra time might come in handy. It's also an opportunity for Dabo Swinney to have some time to get everybody's head screwed on right, with some big things still on the table for the Tigers if they resume their winning form.

The Clemson offense obviously wasn't at their best in their last game. The loss of Bryant didn't help, with backup Zerrick Cooper an obvious step down in quality. Still, looking forward, one shouldn't expect a lot more of the same, especially at home this week. They have a robust ground game, with Bryant very adept at springing plays with his legs. Travis Etienne (questionable) is not a great pass-blocker, but is an explosive back. Throw in Tavean Feaster and Adam Choice, there is room for a lot of different rushing talent to thrive in this offense. The four have a combined 20 touchdowns on the ground. Aerially, Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain, and Ray-Ray McCloud can do a lot of damage.

The Clemson defense is really one of the best in the nation, even if they were off their best form against Syracuse. They gave up 27 points to them and before that game, their season-high was 21 points to Louisville. Other than that, opponents have been held to very little. Clemson would like a repeat of last season's game when Georgia Tech was held to one fourth-quarter touchdown on the day. We'll also see how the Yellow Jackets offensive line handles the menace generated up-front by the Tigers' defense, namely guys like Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell. They get pass-rush from the middle too, with LB Dorian O'Daniel applying the heat. They led the nation in sacks after 7 weeks, though they haven't been quite as adept at securing turnovers as they've been in the past few seasons. Still, it's a stout defense with a handful of guys who will be playing on Sundays one day.

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Georgia Tech was able to put the Miami loss the previous week behind them on Saturday with the win over Wake Forest. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall ran for two touchdowns, including a 74-yarder late to seal it. In the second half, they outscored the Demon Deacons 25-3. Marshall wasn't that good early, but was big late to help his team pull ahead. He's very fast and gives this offense real explosive potential when he turns on the jets. They had a lot of big plays and the defense responded well late. However, they will have their work cut out for them this week. Since losing on a freak play in their opener to Tennessee, they have won 4 out of 5, with a one-point loss to Miami their only setback in that stretch.

A lot of teams struggle with the different look of the Georgia Tech option offense. Their quick backs, along with a game-changing runner in Marshall, are a lot for some defenses, even as Clemson has recently been able to cope with the GT approach. Marshall has been efficient aerially with five TD throws and no picks, but his 57 attempts show what they're really all about, which is the ground-game. That aspect of the offense is led by Marshall, who has over 700 yards with 11 touchdowns. Running back KirVonte Benson is a major weapon, with a half-dozen other guys who can get things done. And when Marshall does throw the ball, they have a nice weapon in a big WR in Ricky Jeune, who has represented the bulk of their aerial production over the past several seasons.

The Yellow Jackets' defense has been fairly-solid, giving up just a touch over 20 points a game on average. They are good against the run and with opponents sometimes unable to contain their run, this allows them to control the tempo in some spots. They gave up 25 to the Hurricanes and 24 to Wake last week, but gave up 42 to Tennessee earlier in the season. This is by far their sternest test of the season and we'll see how they fare.

Georgia Tech has their hands full in this game against what figures to be an irritated Clemson team that had extra time off to redouble their efforts for the final stretch-run of the season. It might have been better for the Yellow Jackets if Clemson were just coming off a win over Syracuse. But this version of Clemson is likely to approach this game with abundant energy and venom, which is bad news for the Yellow Jackets. I see a conclusive Clemson win this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Clemson Tigers minus 14.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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