2019 Clemson Tigers Team Preview - Odds and Predictions

2018 Season in Review

Dabo Swinney’s squad ran the table in 2018, cruising through the majority of their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule before blowing out Alabama 44-16 in the National Championship game.

The Tigers lit up the scoreboard with their balanced offensive attack, led by true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was able to lean on a plethora of weapons, namely running back Travis Etienne, who tallied 1,736 yards from scrimmage along with 26 total touchdowns as a sophomore.

On the other side of the ball, Clemson was buoyed by a formidable defensive unit, anchored by a fearsome line that featured NFL draft picks Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, and Austin Bryant. This intimidating defensive front, along with a tough secondary led by Trayvon Mullen, limited their ACC opponents to 243.7 total yards of offense.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • QB Trevor Lawrence (Sophomore) – 3,280 Pass Yards | 30 Pass TD | 4 INT
  • RB Travis Etienne (Junior) – 1,658 Rush Yards | 24 Rush TD | 8.1 Yards per Carry
  • WR Justyn Ross (Sophomore) – 46 Receptions | 1,000 Rec Yards | 9 Rec TD
  • LB Isaiah Simmons (Redshirt Junior) – 88 Total Tackles | 9.0 Sacks | 3 Forced Fumbles

The dynamic duo of Lawrence and Etienne are back in Death Valley for another national title run. Lawrence’s top two receiving targets, Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins will also be back on campus, giving the underclassman quarterback two receiving options who are taller than 6-3. Clemson’s offensive line will be far from green, with three seniors expected to start in John Simpson, Sean Pollard, and Tremayne Anchrum.

As far as the defense is concerned, defensive coordinator Brent Venables will have several experienced bodies at his disposal. Seniors Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace will likely man the safety positions, while Chad Smith and James Skalski are expected to join Isaiah Simmons in the linebacker corps.

Key Departures

  • DE Clelin Ferrell (NFL Draft)
  • DT Dexter Lawrence (NFL Draft)
  • CB Trayvon Mullen (NFL Draft)
  • WR Hunter Renfrow (NFL Draft)

By far the biggest hit for the Tigers is the loss of their entire starting defensive line to the NFL draft and graduation. Although coach Swinney’s ability to recruit and develop NFL quality talent has allowed Clemson to reload on the go this past decade, replacing that talent will be a tough task.

On offense, former third down weapon Hunter Renfrow will be missed, although the likes of Higgins and Ross should alleviate that loss. Four year starter and two-time All American left tackle Mitch Hyatt will also no longer be protecting Lawrence’s blind side.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • DB Andrew Booth – 5 Star | 6-1, 180lb | Archer HS | Lawrenceville, GA
  • WR Joe Ngata – 5 Star | 6-4, 210lb | Folsom HS | Folsom, CA
  • OL Will Putnam – 4 Star | 6-4, 280lb | Plant HS | Tampa, FL
  • DB Sheridan Jones – 4 Star | 6-1, 175lb | Maury HS | Norfolk, VA

Coach Swinney and Co. put in work on the recruiting trail, assembling the ninth ranked class in the nation with 28 commitments. Headlining the class is defensive back Andrew Booth, the second ranked player at his position and 14th overall. The Tigers also locked up a pair of big receivers in Joe Ngata and Frank Ladson, along with third ranked tight end Jaelyn Lay.

2019 Clemson Tigers Schedule

Date Opponent
August 29th Georgia Tech
September 7th Texas A&M
September 14th @ Syracuse
September 21st UNC-Charlotte
September 28th @ North Carolina
October 12th Florida State
October 19th @ Louisville
October 26th Boston College
November 2nd Wofford
November 9th @ NC State
November 16th Wake Forest
November 30th @ South Carolina

The first game that jumps off the schedule is the Texas A&M game, which is the second leg of a home-and-home series. The Tigers narrowly beat the Aggies 28-26 last season in College Station in one of the best games of that season.

Another game to circle on the calendar is Clemson’s road meeting with the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Last season, the Orange nearly put a big dent in Clemson’s playoff hopes, with the Tigers prevailing 27-23 behind backup quarterback, Chase Brice who relieved an injured Trevor Lawrence.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Playoff Odds in New Jersey

New Jersey residents can wager on Clemson’s regular season win total (conference championship and bowl games do not count), as well as their odds to win the ACC and make the College Football Playoff. As of this writing, the over/under for wins on 888Sport is set at 11, which means those wagering on the over will need Clemson to go undefeated in the regular season.

Conference Winner

Sportsbook Clemson Tigers Link
888Sport NJ -400

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Clemson Tigers to Make the Playoffs

Sportsbook Yes No Link
888Sport NJ -286 -215

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won – Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 11 Under 11 Link
888Sport NJ -148 +122

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER