The long offseason is over and as the NCAA football Week 1 schedule kicks off, online sports betting sites are being flooded with fans ready to ring in the new season.
In primetime on Thursday night, the top-ranked Clemson Tigers will begin their national championship defense against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Memorial Stadium. Clemson is hosting a longtime Atlantic Coast Conference rival as it embarks on a journey it hopes will end with a fifth consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff.
Here are the betting odds to take a look at before making your Clemson-Georgia Tech pick, according to NCAA football betting lines from DraftKings NJ:
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Betting Prediction Week 1
Most could have figured Clemson would be pegged for an emphatic win, but this betting line doesn't make things so simple. The Tigers are a 36-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook as they begin the 2019 college football season.
Clemson Preview Week 1
Clemson enters the season with Heisman Trophy-favorite Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, who threw for 3,200 yards and 30 touchdowns (despite not starting the season) en route to the 2019 national championship. Lawrence led an offense that dismantled Alabama's vaunted defense as the Tigers scored 44 points in three-quarters of the title game last season.
Not only is the quarterback still around, but Clemson also has an incredible of weapons spread around the offense. They're the huge favorite at all of the sports betting sites in NJ for good reason, and could conceivably score 50+ points on their own. But will they win by a margin that covers more than five touchdowns?
Georgia Tech Preview Week 1
After more than a decade of utilizing a run-heavy, option-based offense, Georgia Tech has graduated to a pro-stele scheme under new head coach Geoff Collins. Adapting to a new scheme on both sides of the ball with players who were recruited to play the triple-option may prove to be difficult, especially against one of the best defenses in the country.
On the flip side, Georgia Tech is still an ACC-level program. The Yellow Jackets may be running a new offense, but Clemson has no idea what to expect from this team on either side. If there's a week where the Tigers won't be on their A-game or perhaps it a bit rusty, it can be Week 1.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Prediction
When a powerhouse takes on a weaker opponent, judging the NCAA football betting lines can be especially tough. The talent gap between the best programs and more average programs is a huge one, and oddsmakers want to make sure they account for the possibility of a huge blowout. But even if the Tigers are miles ahead of Georgia Tech, is a 36-point spread too much to give to an in-conference opponent nobody has seen play yet?
The most popular teams in the country are always popular targets for gamblers in states where legal sports betting is allowed. The line opened around 33.5, then ballooned to 37 points and could even get larger. Once the five-TD mark is crossed, that's enough for us to take the value and the points with the underdog. Throw in the fact that there is a massive Clemson-Texas A&M matchup in Week 2, and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see some guys get rest if the lead gets to three or four touchdowns.
Pick: Georgia Tech +37 (-110) - Place Your Bet At DraftKings Sportsbook!
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Totals Prediction
We take our total for this game from FanDuel Sportsbook in Pennsylvania, where it is set at 60.5 points. In addition to abandoning the triple-option, Georgia Tech also has a new defense, which can't really be prepared for since the scheme has just been introduced. One must imagine they're still going to give up points to Clemson's potent offense, but we expect the new Georgia Tech pro-style offense to put up some points too. In the end, we think it goes over 60.5 while Tech keeps it around five touchdowns or less for our NCAA football betting picks.