Clemson Win Total Prediction
After a dominant performance on its way to a national championship last season, will the Clemson Tigers be able to put up an unbeaten regular season in 2019?
Dabo Swinney comes into his 12th season as head coach of the Tigers and is coming off a 15-0 season last year with a national title. It was his second national championship with Clemson. The Tigers have won at least 14 games in three of the last four years. According to oddsmakers, Clemson is listed with an over/under of 11.5 wins during the regular season in 2019. The over is listed at +110, while the under is listed at -130.
The Tigers were one of the most productive offenses in the nation last year, putting up 44.3 points and 527.2 yards per game. The offense has seven starters back this year, led by QB Trevor Lawrence. He threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Lawrence is already considered the top NFL Draft prospect for 2021. Lawrence has four of his starting linemen back this year and also his top two receivers back in Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins, who combined for just under 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. Also back is impressive running back Travis Etienne, who rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Clemson allowed the fewest points in the nation last year, giving up just 13.1 per game while holding opponents to 292 yards per game. The defense has just four starters back this year. They lose nearly all of their front seven, including their top four sack leaders. One that is back is linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who led the team in tackles last year with 89. Three starters are back in the secondary, including A.J. Terrell, who had a team-high three interceptions in 2018.
Clemson starts the year off with a battle at home against Georgia Tech and then will host Texas A&M in Week 2. Other non-conference games are with Charlotte and Wofford at home and at South Carolina. Other ACC home games include Florida State, Boston College and Wake Forest. The Tigers will make road trips to Syracuse, UNC, Louisville and N.C. State.
Running the table isn’t easy and it takes a little luck. The Tigers will have to avoid any major injuries, especially to Lawrence. Despite that, it’s hard to not like Clemson a lot on paper. While the defense loses a lot of big pieces, Dabo has proved he can reload that unit year-to-year through his recruiting and player development. The Clemson offense is going to be nearly impossible to stop, so even if the defense struggles a little, I think the Tigers will be fine. They should be able to route a lot of opponents this year and make the key plays in any close games to run the table. It’s a slightly risky bet, but I will go with Clemson to go unbeaten.
College Football Prediction: Clemson Over 11.5 Wins +110