To say Clemson’s 10-win season last year was a disappointment might be hyperbole to some, it’s not an exaggeration to those on the Tigers’ team. Clemson’s odds returned to their National Championship-contender status down both coordinators (who took head coaching jobs) and with a question mark at quarterback. DJ Uiagalelei threw 10 interceptions last year to just nine touchdowns and Clemson scored nearly 20 points below their their per-game average for the last three seasons.
This page will serve as a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Clemson Tigers for the 2022 season. Where do they stand on college football odds tables and will they return to national-contender status?
Week 1 Odds: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
The last half-decade of this matchup has been less than climactic. Clemson has won by an average of 27.3 points per game since 2015, including a 73-7 evisceration of the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta in 2020. This matchup is college football’s lone Monday showdown, typical of Labor Day weekend before the NFL takes the spot.
This is excellent get-right game for Uiagalelei against a Georgia Tech pass defense that’s expected to be terrible. In 2021, Georgia Tech was dead last in explosive passing defense (0.471 EPA/play) and third-worst in passing efficiency allowed (49.6% success rate). They don’t return any starters in the secondary– perhaps a positive on their awful unit last year– but replace them with below league-average players. Despite that, they got Clemson into a gross 14-8 early-season scrap fest that ended in controversy.
That game is certainly on the mind of oddsmakers, as they have Clemson a favorite on the road in this game. FPI, SP+, and our own metrics suggest this game (which is played at “neutral” Mercedes-Benz Stadium rather than Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta) should be around Clemson -23.
The Tigers return 72% of production versus Georgia Tech’s 49% and that– if nothing else– is the difference between another slap fight and Clemson domination.
Clemson odds, 2022 team preview
First, the good: Clemson returns four of five OL starters that didn’t have the best year in 2021, a unit that should be much improved. The bad: DJ U’s struggles in 2021 wasn’t only on the offensive line; he was inaccurate and was a poor decision-maker after flashing in limited action as a freshman. A new coordinator (Brandon Streeter, a Clemson-esque inside hire) could be what the offense needs to turn over a new leaf. However, they have freshman phenom-in-waiting Cade Klubnik, who could get action early if Uiagalelei struggles.
Expect Clemson to feature RB Will Shipley more heavily this year. He leads a talented backfield that features three starter-level backs, including Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah, the Tigers’ power back. Continuity on the OL could give Streeter more confidence in the run game and give DJ U time to acclimate.
Defensively, this team will be as strong as ever. Multiple Clemson sources say it could be one of their best units, particularly on the defensive line. They roster multiple All American candidates– highlighted by DL Brian Bresee and pass rushers Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas. Behind the DL is Trent Simpson, cited by Phil Steele as the team’s best athlete; he’s also drawn comparisons by the coaching staff to former Clemson star Isaiah Simmons.
Dabo Swinney is never quite out of it, but 2022 offers the highest turnover Clemson’s had in the last decade. Their defense alone is enough for them to be a national contender. Their schedule lacks any real threats outside of the ACC and two of their three biggest games (NC State, Miami) are handled at home.
Despite offseason chatter of uncertainty, we know what to expect from Clemson this year.
Players to watch
- DL Bryan Bresee: Bresee is a preseason first team All-American for both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele and is likely the AP choice, as well. He missed most of 2021 with an injury, but proves to be the next great Clemson defensive lineman after posting six tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks as a true freshman. Multiple forecasts– including The Athletic– say this Clemson DL could be its best ever.
- EDGE Myles Murphy: Murphy lands on Phil Steele’s preseason first team All American list and is a strong AP candidate, as well. He led the Tigers in tackles for loss (14) and sacks (seven) last season. Murphy’s numbers could be even gaudier this season as teams can’t just game plan for him and still have to dedicate blockers to Bresee, LB Trent Simpson, and opposite pass rusher Xavier Thomas– all potential first-round NFL talent.
- RB Will Shipley: Clemson’s offense was just bad last year. The lone bright spot was do-it-all back Will Shipley, who set multiple true freshman records for the Tigers. Shipley ran in 11 touchdowns at five yards per carry and is equipped with an extremely rare combination of size, speed, and strength. He’ll be effective in the return game, as well.
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Clemson schedule and betting odds
|9/5/22||vs. Georgia Tech||8:00 p.m.||-19|
|9/10/22||vs. Furman (FCS)||3:30 p.m.||OTB|
|9/17/22||vs. Louisiana Tech||8:30 p.m.||OTB|
|9/24/22||at Wake Forest||TBA||-10|
|10/1/22||vs. NC State||TBA||-10|
|10/8/22||at Boston College||TBA||OTB|
|10/15/22||at Florida State||TBA||+3.5|
|11/5/22||at Notre Dame||7:30 p.m.||-2|
|11/19/22||vs. Miami FL||TBA||-9|
|11/26/22||vs. South Carolina||TBA||-14|
Clemson Tigers futures odds
College football futures odds will continue to shift as the season progresses. Because of the length of college football schedules, futures odds may shift dramatically week-to-week.
Clemson win total
As long as Swinney heads Clemson, expectations are going to be consistent. This year’s no different and, partially thanks to a favorable schedule, Clemson is lined for over wins. Home dates with NC State and Miami and a road trip to Notre Dame prove to be their most difficult games, but Clemson will likely be favored in all of those. (Note: Clemson opened a -2 favorite at Notre Dame this summer.)
Odds to win 2023 National Championship
Clemson is to win the National Championship. They’re a bridge between the top three (Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State) and the rest of the contenders, as there’s a notable drop after Clemson. The Tigers are the only team with odds between 5-1 and 20-1.
Odds to win ACC Championship
Six straight ACC titles were won by Clemson until that streak was broken last year. Despite other contenders Wake Forest and NC State returning plenty of players, Clemson is the favorite to win the whole ACC (). Anything short of that would be another certified disappointment for Clemson.
Bet on the Clemson Tigers
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