Josh Nagel – an analyst for the betting picks website SportsLine – confessed he didn’t have a strong feel for Thursday night’s Georgia Tech-Clemson game. The Tigers are favored by 9.5 points.
“On this one, I’m really stuck,” Nagel said. “It’s really a pass. I’d put it this way – if you put a gun to my head, I’d take Clemson. I don’t have enough to trust Georgia Tech.”
While games often end up near the spread, Nagel doesn’t see the game hanging around that line.
“Either Clemson wins running away or Georgia Tech wins it outright,” he said. “I don’t see it landing anywhere near the spread.”
His quandary is not knowing what to make of Tech and also its history of winning games like this.
“I find it tough, because for some reason in this situation, where it’s a national game, all the eyes on them, Georgia Tech tends to play really well,” he said. “It really seems like, in this position, you’d be tempted to back them as an underdog given their history.”
However, he’s not sure what to make of the Yellow Jackets coming off their 3-9 season. Nagel said that it appears that Tech has improved, “but here’s what I struggle with – so far on defense, they haven’t faced anybody to this point. Boston College is a team that just got shut out by Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt’s a team that’s usually one of the worst offenses in the country.”
He also thinks that Clemson, which struggled offensively in its first two FBS games, is ready for a breakout game. Nagel said that about 60 percent of the bets are being placed on Clemson’s side, although that might be misleading. For a prominent national television game like this, amateur gamblers typically side with the favorite. And the percentage represents the number of bets, not the total cash.
“The more seasoned bettors are probably on Georgia Tech’s side,” he said.