The Georgia Bulldogs will take on the Clemson Tigers in the most anticipated matchup of week one in college football. It’s time to continue our college football odds series and make a Georgia-Clemson prediction and pick.
Both of these teams enter week one with championship aspirations. Georgia had hopes of taking the SEC championship last season, but losses to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators ended any chance of that happening. This game could be a huge tone-setter for a Bulldogs squad that wants to compete for more than just the SEC this year. Clemson is again the heavy favorite to dominate the ACC. Still, this game against Georgia is a great way to test if the Tigers are championship-ready after the departure of so many important pieces in the offseason. This should be a great game, so let’s get into the pick.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the odds for Saturday’s premier matchup.
College Football Odds: Georgia-Clemson Odds
Georgia Bulldogs +3 (-110)
Clemson Tigers -3 (-110)
Over 50 1/2 points (-115)
Under 50 1/2 points (-105)
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Why Georgia Can Cover The Spread
The Bulldogs have long been known as a hard-nosed defensive team and they lived up that reputation last season when they allowed only 20 points per game. Despite a huge exodus of defenders, this unit figures to be one of the nation’s best again. The secondary is led by Clemson transfer cornerback Derion Kendrick and safety Lewis Cine, who should be great players. The front seven lost a couple of key players in Azeez Ojulari and Monty Rice, but the rest of the starters remain intact. Star linebacker Nakobe Dean leads this unit that should be great in all facets of the game once again. Clemson is somewhat inexperienced on offense, making this a solid matchup for this tough and intelligent defense.
Surprisingly, this Georgia offense may actually be better than the defense. Star quarterback JT Daniels took over late last season and proceeded to play fantastic football. Another crucial factor in this Bulldogs’ offense is the offensive line, which returns four starters from last season. They paved the way for a fantastic run game last year, and there’s no reason to think that this year will be any different. Head coach Kirby Smart should have his most efficient offense since his days coaching Jake Fromm in the national championship game with this unit.
Why Clemson Can Cover The Spread
Head coach Dabo Swinney had plenty of starters leave for the NFL in the offseason, but that’s nothing new to the Tigers head coach. Swinney has done a terrific job recruiting talent and it shows. Clemson enters week one with one of the most stacked rosters in the nation, led by quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. The sophomore filled in for Trevor Lawrence in a couple of games last season and performed amazingly well in both appearances. There is no doubt that Uiagalelei is ready to take full control of this offense for a full season.
Helping Uiagalelei is the fact that he has a fantastic supporting cast. Wide receiver Justyn Ross should be available for this game despite some rumors of an injury, giving the young signal-caller one of the best targets in the nation. Frank Ladson and Joseph Ngata round out one of the stronger receiving corps in college football. The offensive line is a strength as well, as they return three elite starters from last season. Despite the relative inexperience throughout this unit, it should once again be one of the best in the nation.
The defense also suffered some losses in the offseason, but there isn’t much to worry about on that end. The secondary can be one of the best in college football, as that unit has quality starters at every position. The defensive line has several future NFL starters on it, including superstar recruit Bryan Bresee. Nothing will come easy against this defense, even when they play a great offense like Georgia.
Final Georgia-Clemson Prediction & Pick
This game is going to close, but the Tigers should pull it out in the end. Clemson shouldn’t stumble on offense and the defense should cause some problems for a Georgia offense that comes into this game as slightly overrated by most. The Tigers also have a coaching advantage, as Dabo Swinney is one of the best at what he does. Take Clemson with confidence.
FINAL Georgia-Clemson PICK: Clemson Tigers -3 (-110)