Two college football heavyweights will kickoff the 2012 season against each other inside the Georgia Dome, with one of the programs looking to regain its dominance in the series. Let’s take a closer look at a battle between Tigers from a betting perspective.
Clemson snapped a 14-game losing
streak in the series last year
The Clemson Tigers overcame in early
two-touchdown deficit to capture a 38-24 victory over the Auburn Tigers as
3.5-point home favorites last year, which snapped the program’s 14-game losing
streak in the series. Quarterback Tajh Boyd was the star of the show,
completing 30 of 42 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns, connecting with
wide receiver Sammy Watkins 10 times for 155 yards. Both teams ended up
combining for 1,059 yards of total offense.
Key players missing on both sides
Watkins has been suspended for the
first two games of the 2012 campaign due to drug-related issues, while Auburn
will be missing its leading rusher rusher from a year ago. Michael Dyer
was suspended indefinitely by head coach Gene Chizik before the program’s 43-24
win over the Virginia Cavaliers in last year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl. He
gained 151 yards on 16 carries, while scoring two touchdowns in last year’s
setback inside Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Lining up inside the Georgia Dome
Auburn would love to play this
contest in front of its home fans inside Jordan-Hare Stadium, as the program
has covered its last seven opportunities inside the venue when playing with
revenge. Chizik should still be happy about Saturday night’s situation,
considering the team has won both Chick-fil-A Bowl meetings against Clemson
inside the Georgia Dome to cap off the 1997 and 2007 seasons.
Venables to the rescue?
Prepare to hear a lot about Clemson
defensive coordinator Brent Venables when this ACC-SEC matchup kicks off at
7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday night on ESPN, as he comes to the program after being
in Norman with the Oklahoma Sooners since the 1999 season. The last time
this unit was seen on a football field, it allowed 70 points in a blowout loss
to the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2012 Orange Bowl. While at
Oklahoma, he coached five Big 12 Defensive Players of the Year and two Butkus
Neutral-field woes for the favorite
Clemson has lost and failed to cover
the spread in its last two games as a neutral-site favorite, including a
37-point setback to the Mountaineers. Since the 1996 campaign, the
program has compiled a dismal 7-13 ATS on a neutral field, while the UNDER has
gone 12-8 in that situation.
One of the biggest misfortunes of
betting Week 1 of the college football season is missing out on a number, which
is certainly the case here with college football odds shops like BetOnline’s currently offering a total of 56.5,
which is 6.5 points less than where the line on July 31.
I’m going to
recommend a play on Auburn in this spot, as I’ve developed a handicapper line
that favors Clemson by just a single point.
College Football Pick: Auburn Tigers +3.5
Be sure to check out our College Football Week 1 Value Picks article, where another capper predicts that Clemson will run away with this game.