I took a double take when I saw the Clemson Tigers ranked fourth in both the AP Top 25 and Coach’s poll. Is the college football landscape simply just that bad? Clemson has multiple “needs to happen” scenarios needed to make another run at the title yet is still listed as the fourth-best squad in the country.
I get it; the Tigers have been nothing if not money in the bank for college football bettors with the program churning out 10+ win seasons with regularity basically since Dabo Swinney took over in the other “Death Valley.”
Expectations were grossly unachieved a season ago, with the team logging nine wins while failing to punch a ticket to the ACC title game for the first time since 2014. Horrific offensive play and injuries to the defense were largely to blame, but are we to believe the offense will now simply just find itself under a supposedly rejuvenated D.J. Uiagalelei? I know the defensive front-seven is stacked, but will the future NFL-bound members in the trenches all of a sudden stop suffering catastrophic injuries? And how will a pair of inexperienced coordinators pan out on both sides of the ball?
This program has been -400 or higher to win the ACC each of the last three seasons. PointsBet Sportsbook currently only has it installed a -120 favorite to win it in 2022. That’s pretty telling if you ask me. That, paired with a number of other reasons listed down below, has me fading the Fightin’ Dabo’s against their season wins total.
Bet the Clemson Tigers Season Wins Total at PointsBet Sportsbook
Clemson Tigers Season Wins Total: 10.5 Under -125
In winning the ACC title the prior six seasons up until last year, it comes with little surprise to see the Tigers taking care of their season win total supporters during that stretch. Up until last season, Clemson had cashed in on the high side of its impost six straight times.
That streak came to an end last year when it failed to surpass its bloated 11.5-game impost in the first season played without Trevor Lawrence under center. It won nine regular season games and then a 10th when it ousted Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl as short favorites.
Linemakers look to be of the belief that this will once again be a lesser version of what the program has churned out recently, with its season wins total set at 10.5 with heavier juice aligned with the under. CU’s win total closed at 11 or higher each of the previous three seasons!
Clemson Tigers Season Win Total Analysis
Call me crazy, but the schedule looks rough. I get that each of their final three games comes in the comforts of Memorial Stadium against Louisville, Miami, and South Carolina – three opponents with a pulse – but the middle portion is likely enough to keep Dabo up at night.
They go to Wake Forest, to Boston College and Florida State in back-to-back weeks, and to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish in their final road game. And let’s not forget about that enormous grudge match at home against NC State to kick off the month of October.
If this team is once again forced to rely upon its defense to win games a majority of the season, I don’t foresee it holding up to the pressure; regardless of DT Bryan Bresee, DE’s Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas, and Tyler Davis all likely to play in the NFL whenever they decide to go pro.
The LB core looks solid with both Trenton Simpson and Jeremiah Trotter ready to take over. The secondary is the biggest question mark with it needing to replace a number of excellent contributors from the past few seasons. All in all, the defense is what will ultimately butter this team’s bread. Will it be enough to get back to the team’s ACC title-winning ways?
I’m betting against it. I don’t know what happened to Uiagalelei last season. He was nothing if not a shell of his former self that shined in a pair of starts with Lawrence sidelined back in 2020.
He completed just over 55 percent of his passes with a 9:10 TD/INT ratio. The offense owned the worst passing efficiency in the ACC and ranked No. 100 in the nation in total offense. While there’s offensive talent littered up and down the roster and the front wall is occupied by a number of veterans, Uiagalelei must show me he’s improved before I believe this team can dominate its opposition-like teams from years past. If he doesn’t, you can be sure Dabo throws true frosh Cade Klubnik into the fire.
My under-ticket at PointsBet Sportsbook would love nothing more than to see an inexperienced freshman take over the reins once things spin out of control!
Clemson Tigers Season Win Total Prediction: Under 10.5