Clemson Tigers vs Georgia Bulldogs Betting Preview
The marquee matchup of the College Football weekend. The Tigers and Bulldogs will match up in Charlotte, with both teams ranked in the top five of the AP Poll.
Both programs recruit among the elite in college football, and both will have aspirations of making the College Football Playoff at the end of the year, and the betting odds reflect that. Kirby Smart and Georgia finished a few plays away from being national champions in 2017, but it still feels like the Dawgs are trying to breakthrough.
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Clemson Tigers Team Preview:
Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have been a stalwart in the College Football Playoff, having made the bracket six years running. Along with Alabama, the Tigers have come out on top more than once since the induction of the CFP seven years ago. Trevor Lawrence has moved on to the NFL after being the first overall pick this spring and leaves behind enormous shoes to fill as Clemson’s quarterback and the face of college football.
Thanks to Swinney’s recruiting efforts, the Tigers are well-positioned to avoid a steep drop-off with Lawrence’s departure. Sophomore DJ Uiagalelei, another former five-star recruit, steps in as the full-time starter after starting two games a season ago while Lawrence was out with COVID.
Wide receiver Justyn Ross is back after missing all of 2020 with a back injury that almost cost him his playing career. Keep an eye out for true freshman Will Shipley, and the five-star could line up out wide or in the backfield as an electrifying option to stretch the field.
Defensively the Tigers feature sophomores Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy on the defensive line. The two former five stars broke through as freshmen a season ago and are poised to be one of the most disruptive pairs in the country. Linebacker James Skalski and safety Nolan Turner come back as super seniors to provide leadership to Brent Venables’ unit that prides itself on creating chaos.
Georgia Bulldogs Team Preview:
Each year Georgia fans feel that this could be the season the team finally breaks through and finishes on top. Last year felt like it was set up perfectly, but transfer quarterbacks Jamie Newman opted out, and JT Daniels wasn’t fully healed from an ACL surgery until later in the season.
Daniels was able to start the final four games of the season and led the Dawgs to an undefeated record. So is this the year?
Daniels is back and has weapons galore to spread the football around to. The Dawgs go about five deep at the running back position led by Zamir White and James Cook but should always have a set of fresh legs ready to line up in the backfield. Unfortunately for Georgia, top pass catcher George Pickens suffered an ACL injury in the spring, and tight ends Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert don’t appear to be available for this game.
On the opposite side of the ball, Georgia is replacing a host of starters, especially in the secondary. Clemson transfer Derion Kendrick comes in to start at one cornerback, but running mate Tykee Smith is another Bulldog that will be missing the opener. Big man Jordan Davis anchors the middle of the defensive line for Kirby Smart after bypassing the NFL Draft, and Smart and company hope that former top-five recruit Nolan Smith can have a breakthrough season on the edge.
BetOnline, BetUS, and Bovada all have the current betting line favoring the Clemson Tigers at -3. This line has fluctuated from the opening as news has come out about injuries and other departures, but currently, the Tigers are projected to come out ahead by a field goal.
Both offensive lines could struggle against the opposing defensive line, but this game comes down to which quarterback can make more plays. DJ Uiagalelei makes his name known, and the Tigers sneak by with a win while covering.