The first weekend of the 2021 college football season opens with the biggest game of the entire season, and our Clemson-Georgia prediction is as difficult to break down as the game itself. In what could be a National Championship matchup, the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs face off against the No.3 Clemson Tigers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The Tigers are favorites to win and cover, but the sports bettors don’t necessarily agree. The public is currently on the Georgia moneyline with 87% of the ML handle and 59% of the ML bets. The public is also on Georgia to cover with 68% of the spread handle and 63% of the spread bets.
Longtime college sports writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 and The Field of 12 Network is here to break down the matchup and provide his Clemson-Georgia prediction for Week 1 of the college football season.
No. 3 CLEMSON TIGERS vs. No. 5 GEORGIA BULLDOGS
GAME: 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
MONEYLINE: Clemson -165 ML, Georgia +135 ML
LINE: Clemson (-3.5)
TOTAL: 51.5 points
It’s not often that we get a matchup between a pair of actual national title contenders on the first Saturday of the season, but here we are.
Everyone should know the situation for both of these teams coming in. Clemson lost one of the best quarterbacks in college football history when Trevor Lawrence left for the pros. Georgia, on the other hand, seems primed to have one of the best quarterbacks in college football this season based off of the four-game sample we saw from JT Daniels at the end of the 2020 season. At the same time, DJ Uiagalelei was fantastic in his two starts filling in for Lawrence last year.
Story lines abound!
Gotta love it.
As far as the actual matchup is concerned, I do think that in situations like this I tend ot favor the over regardless of what matchups say. These are two high-powered offenses with two Heisman candidates quarterbacks that have proven they A) can play at this level, and B) get the ball downfield. Life’s to short to bet the under.
But I think my favorite bet for this game is the Clemson side. One of the major concerns that I have is what happens when Daniels faces pressure. He had two 300-yard games and another 299-yard performance in four games last season, but he did that against some very not good defenses. Clemson has a front seven that is terrifying. They can get pressure on a quarterback unlike anyone else, and if there is an achilles heel for Daniels, it is his ability to operate with defenders in his face.
So I will be on Clemson here. I think they win by a touchdown, maybe more, in a game that is not only a shootout, but that includes a defensive score for the Tigers.