Two of the nation's top 10 teams square off in college football's opening week when the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs visit the No. 8 Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium in South Carolina. Georgia, currently the fourth betting choice to win the BCS title this season, is a 2-point road favorite at most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com.
The Georgia Bulldogs finished 2012 with an impressive 12-2 SU and 8-6 ATS record, pushing Alabama to the limit in the SEC Championship Game but falling just short of a BCS title shot with a 32-28 loss. They are also 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in their past eight games as a road favorite.
Aaron Murray's decision to return to Georgia for his senior year made the Bulldogs an early preseason favorite to win the BCS Championship this season.
The Clemson Tigers are also coming off a great campaign in 2012, going 11-2 SU and 9-4 ATS with a thrilling comeback win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Like Georgia, Clemson returns one of the best quarterbacks in the country in senior Tajh Boyd, who led the Tigers to 41 points per game last season. They have been a home underdog just four times since 2007, according to OddsShark.com.
With E.J. Manuel departed from Florida State and Virginia Tech on a downswing, Clemson looks like the team to beat in the ACC this season.
Both of these teams finished in the top 20 in the nation in scoring last season, and with Murray and Boyd returning, both teams are expected to be just as good or better on offense again in 2013. But which team will be able to come up with more stops on defense?
Last year, for all of the individual talent on the defense, Georgia struggled with consistency and couldn't stop the run. Clemson improved significantly from the year before, but still allowed 30 points or more four times last season.
In a nutshell, the team that makes more plays on defense is going to win this game. There will be plenty of offense in between those plays, and this one could go either way; but with Tajh Boyd's ability on the ground and the home crowd behind them, we like the Tigers to pull off the upset.
PICK: Clemson +2.0 | Matchup and Preview