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Georgia vs. Clemson best bets

Saturday will feature a fantastic slate of college football action during Week 1 including a game in Charlotte that has College Football Playoff implications from the jump.

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei of the Clemson Tigers warms up before the ACC Championship game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Bank of America Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

One of the biggest games of the entire college football regular season will take place during Week 1 when the Georgia Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers meet at a neutral field on Saturday, September 4th. This game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Georgia and Clemson have their sights on a national championship in 2021, and the first weekend of the season will have plenty of College Football Playoff implications. D.J. Uiagalelei will take over for Trevor Lawrence, but you shouldn’t expect much of a downgrade to the Clemson quarterback position. The Bulldogs had a mess at their quarterback spot in 2020, but they should be significantly better with a full season of J.T. Daniels.

Updated SP+ per team

Georgia: 5 (16 Offense, 5 Defense)
Clemson: 2 (5 Offense, 4 Defense)

Injury update for both teams

Georgia

WR Dominick Blaylock is out (knee)
OL Warren Ericson is questionable (hand)
WR Arik Gilbert is questionable (personal)
RB Kenny McIntosh is questionable (arm)
WR George Pickens is out indefinitely (knee)
DB Tykee Smith is doubtful (foot)
TE Darnell Washington is doubtful (foot)

Clemson

CB Fred Davis II is questionable (possible suspension)
WR Joseph Ngata is questionable (hamstring)
QB Taisun Phommachanh is probable (Achilles)
WR Justyn Ross is probable (neck)
OL John Williams is out for the season (undisclosed)

ATS/Total

Clemson -3 (-110)
Total 50 (Over -115)

Bet Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook

Clemson: 52% of handle, 61% of bets
Over: 83% of handle, 92% of bets

Opening & current line

Opening line: Clemson -3.5
Current line: Clemson -3

Recruiting talent

Georgia
Offense 3, Defense 2, Team 3
Clemson
Offense 12, Defense 5, Team 6

Recruiting production

Georgia
Team 65% (110th of 130), Offense 80% (55), Defense 50% (126)
Clemson
Team 68% (104th of 130), Offense 50% (122), Defense 85% (40)

Weather

63 degrees, 3% chance of rain in Charlotte

The pick: Clemson -3

Georgia has all the talent to win a national championship, but the Bulldogs have consistently fallen short under Kirby Smart. Dabo Swinney has been much better in big games at Clemson, and we’re going with the Tigers to cover this short spread. Clemson has much more to lose in this game because there’s a decent chance this will be the Tigers’ final regular season game against at top-25 opponent. Meanwhile, Georgia has a tougher slate, so the Bulldogs have a much better chance at making up for a loss with big wins.

In a strange way, Clemson is in desperation mode at the start, and nobody is better at convincing his team it is an underdog than Swinney.

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