Clemson Tigers College Football Betting Season Preview

Posted by Aaron . on June 30, 2016 in

Last year, the Clemson Tigers won 14 games as a program — all 12 in the regular season, the ACC championship game, and then the national semifinal over Oklahoma. Then they pushed Alabama to the brink in the national championship game (and if they had been able to cover routes down the sideline and cover onside kicks, they would likely have won that game as well). What this means is that they enter 2016 with higher expectations and a sense that there is a job to finish. Dabo Swinney’s team has the pieces in place to make another deep run, thanks to quarterback Deshaun Watson returning to lead an offense with terrific wide receivers and a stout offensive line. The question marks are on the defensive side of the ball, as there were so many players who left that there are some big shoes to fill. Let’s take a look at this year’s college football odds preview for Clemson.

Check Out Our Expert Clemson NCAA Football Betting Season Preview

The Tigers Will Be Explosive in Offense Again

When Chad Morris left his position as the Clemson offensive coordinator to become the latest coach to try and resurrect the fortunes of Southern Methodist, some thought that the Tiger offense might drop a bit. However, co-coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott kept the offense humming, as the unit averaged 38.5 points per game — and they might be stronger in 2016. Eight offensive starters return for the Tigers, led by Watson, who came in #3 in the Heisman Trophy ballots and was the first FBS quarterback who ever passed for 4,000+ yards and ran for 1,000+ yards in the same season. If the Tigers are to return to national title game, it will be thanks to his performance. Tailback Wayne Gallman decided to return for his junior season as well, which was a huge win for the program. He ran for 1,527 yards in 2015, scoring 13 times. Watson’s receivers will be even better thanks to the return of Mike Williams, coming back from a redshirt season in 2015, to complement the work of Artavis Scott.

Clemson’s Defense Will Have To Rebuild To Be On Point

Four big-line defensive players left the Clemson Tigers through the NFL draft. Christian Wilkins and Carlos Watkins will have to hold down the middle of the defensive line, bolstered by the second-ranked recruit of the year, Dexter Lawrence. Richard Yeargin and Austin Bryant are on the top of the depth chart at the defensive end slots, but they are largely unproven. Ben Boulware led all returning defenders in tackles with 82 last season, and middle linebacker Kendall Joseph is high on a lot of scouts’ lists. The secondary still has some questions beyond senior cornerback Cordrea Tankersley. Ryan Carter and Mark Fields will fight for the other starting slot. However, both starting safeties left for the NFL. If Clemson has a big weakness, it is back here, much like in 2015.

Final Clemson Season Predictions

The biggest hurdle on the Tigers’ schedule is a game at Florida State on October 29. If Clemson can get past the Seminoles and be consistent all year long, they should be back in the ACC title game — and back in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.