College Football Week 1 Predictions: Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Saturday, 8/30/14, 5:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Georgia -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Georgia -7.5
Opening Total:  58
Current Total:  57.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Georgia Bulldogs are 10-3 SU in season openers under Mark Richt
The Georgia Bulldogs are 10-3 SU in season openers under Mark Richt

Clemson has dropped 20 of 22 all-time meetings against Georgia when playing at Sanford Stadium, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 college football predictions, but it did come away with a 38-35 win as 1.5-point home underdogs in last year’s matchup.  The Tigers have played 118 seasons and have opened a year on the opponent’s home field just 22 times.  It’s important to point out that the squad has captured 23 of its last 29 season openers, including a 10-3 mark the last 13 years.

The Tigers are 5-7 SU all-time when facing a top 25 opponent in the season opener, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football betting lines, with the only win on the road in that situation coming in 1959.  Clemson All-American defensive end Vic Beasley is one of the key players to watch in this affair, as he had 23 tackles for loss, including 13 sacks and four caused fumbles a year ago.  On the other side of the football, Cole Stoudt will take over under center, but he some experience in playing in 22 games for 287 snaps of action.

Georgia has won 14 of its last 17 season openers, including a 10-3 mark under longtime head coach Mark Richt.  The Bulldogs have split four meetings against the Tigers when both teams were ranked in the top 20.  Under Richt’s watch, the program has compiled a dominating 52-10 record against teams from outside of the Southeastern Conference, including a 36-1 mark at home since 2001.

The Bulldogs have six returning starters on offense that helped set a school record by averaging 484 yards per game in 2013, ranking fifth in the SEC in scoring 36.7 points a contest.  Georgia senior quarterback Hutson Mason takes over for Aaron Murray, as he gained his first taste of starting in last year’s regular season finale against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets—completing 22 of 36 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.  He has the luxury of handing the ball off to a pair of talented backs, with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to their 22-9 ATS mark against ACC opponents.

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