We are only a few days away from some massive Week 1 matchups in college football. The most-watched game of Week 1 will definitely be Georgia vs. Clemson since both teams are ranked in the Top 5 in most preseason polls.
The game is set for September 4 at 7:30 EST and should have a playoff-type of feel to it. In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into each team and share our best bet for this marquee matchup.
Current Line and Best Available Odds for Georgia vs. Clemson
In what should be a tightly contested game, oddsmakers have made the Clemson Tigers a small favorite of anywhere from -3 to -4 depending on what online sportsbook you check. Be sure to check our College Football Live Odds Tool before getting down your Week 1 action.
Getting the best number available will help you win more of your college football bets this season! Here’s a live look at the best odds for both the side and the total in this game.
Best Odds for Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
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What to Expect from the Georgia Offense in Week 1
The Georgia offense looked awful during the first few games of 2020. All that changed when former USC star JT Daniels got his knee healthy. Daniels threw for 1,231 yards and ten touchdowns in only four games in 2020. It will be interesting to see how Daniels does against the tough Clemson secondary in Week 1.
Georgia seems to always have a stable full of talented running backs and 2021 will be no different. Zamir White returns this year after leading the team in rushing yards (779) and rushing touchdowns (11) in 2020. White and James Cook will enjoy running behind stud left tackle Jamaree Salyer. For this game, the key question is how much success will the Georgia running game have against a stout Clemson defensive line?
The Bulldogs receiver room had some terrible luck during the spring when the team’s best wide receiver, George Pickens, tore up his knee. Pickens will probably miss the entire 2021 season so young guys like Jermaine Burton and Arik Gilbert will have to step up and find ways to get open for Daniels down the field. Georgia’s inexperience at the receiver position could hurt them in Week 1 against a supremely talented Clemson defense.
What to Expect from the Clemson Defense in Week 1
Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney keeps landing tons of talented players on the defensive side of the ball. Last year’s unit ranked 14th in the nation against the run (112.7 yards per game). Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee both return at the two defensive tackle spots so this unit could be even better at defending the run in 2021. Georgia has a solid rushing attack but we expect Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to find creative ways to limit the Bulldogs.
Clemson has churned out some stellar pass rushers in recent years and they have several guys who know how to disrupt the quarterback. Venables will have no problem sending stud linebacker Baylon Spector (64 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 2020) on some delayed blitzes to try to make Daniels uncomfortable. Sophomore defensive end Myles Murphy also loves to spend time in the opponent’s backfield as he had 10.5 tackles for loss a year ago.
The Tigers did struggle at times against the deep ball last season but expect that to improve this year as the young bucks in the secondary have more experience. Nolan Turner led Clemson in interceptions last year and Venables will likely match him up with Georgia’s best receiver. Andrew Booth Jr., a talented corner, also has the ability to play on Sundays.
What to Expect from the Clemson Offense in Week 1
Clemson has to replace quite a bit from a stellar 2020 offense. Both Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are now on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. Nevertheless, this offense has a ton of former four and five-star recruits.
DJ Uiagalelei got to play in nine games last year and showed everyone that he is as good as advertised at the QB position. The 6-4 250 pounder threw five touchdowns and ran for four scores in limited playing time. This will be a big test for Uiagalelei as Kirby Smart will try to confuse him with many different defensive schemes.
Replacing Etienne in the backfield won’t be easy, but senior Lyn-J Dixon has the skills to do so. Dixon ran for 190 yards and two scores last year and should get the bulk of the carries against Georgia.
It’ll be nice to see wide receiver Justyn Ross back on the football field after a neck injury threatened to end his football career. Ross missed the entire 2020 season but was arguably the best receiver on the roster in 2018 and 2019. Clemson will try to get Ross involved early and often against the Bulldogs.
What to Expect from the Georgia Defense in Week 1
Georgia’s defense should be one of the best units in the nation in 2021. Last year’s defense finished first in the country in rushing yards per game (72.3). The problem was the secondary was susceptible to giving up big plays. This makes us think that Clemson may try to burn the Bulldogs by calling several deep play-action passes.
The Georgia defensive line should be able to limit Clemson’s running game, especially with tackles like Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt clogging the middle. Adam Anderson is the team’s best pass rusher at the linebacker spot and he had 5.5 sacks in 2020. Quay Walker is also poised for a big 2021 season at the other linebacker spot.
The Dogs secondary should show a great deal of improvement in 2021. Experience will not be an issue as four of the defensive backs are seniors. Corner Derion Kendrick and strong safety Christopher Smith have NFL-level talent and both should help shut down the Clemson passing game.
Our Pick: Georgia +4
In what should be the best game of Week 1, we’ll gladly take the points with the Georgia Bulldogs. We like the fact that we are getting the more experienced QB in JT Daniels to go along with a fantastic defense. Be sure to shop around and try to find the +4, which is currently available at BetRivers. This one will be a barn burner! Good luck!