Can Reloading No. 5 Clemson Cover Spread as Nearly Six-Touchdown faves at Home Against Kent State?
The Clemson Tigers may have lost gifted starting quarterback Deshaun Watson to the NFL Draft, but the fifth-ranked defending national champions are still expected to be very good this coming season.
The big question surrounding Dabo Swinney’s squad heading into their regular season opener, at least for college football bettors, is whether or not the Tigers will be good enough to spank the Kent State Golden Flashes by almost six touchdowns.
This week 1 mismatch will go down on Saturday, September 2 at 12:00 PM ET, live from Clemson Memorial Stadium in South Carolina while airing live on ESPN.
Now, let’s find out if the Tigers can cover the college football week 1 betting line.
Kent State Vs Clemson College Football Week 1 Line & Pick
Kent State Golden Flashes (3-9) at No. 5 Clemson Tigers (14-1)
When: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 12:00 PM ET
Where: Memorial Stadium-Clemson
Line: Clemson Tigers -39.5
Why Bet Kent State Golden Flashes Line at +39.5
The Golden Flashes went a discouraging 3-9 last season and 2-6 in the MAC and need to improve in a big way, mostly on offense, as they get set for head coach Paul Haynes’ fifth season. The good news is that Kent State has an experienced quarterback returning in Nick Holley. The dual-threat signal caller threw for 868 yards and rushed for 873 in seven starts before suffering a knee injury in Week 11.
Holley was Kent State’s leading rusher in 2016, but Haynes is expecting a lot of improvement in the rushing attack, starting with sophomore Justin Rankin who rushed for 511 yards and three scores last year. Kent State has four returning starters on the offensive line and will look to senior wide receiver Kris White to make plays in the passing game.
Defensively, the Golden Flashes have lost six of the top seven tacklers from last season, but eight players who started the final game of 2016 return, including outstanding senior cornerbacks Jerrell Foster and Demetrius Monday. The defensive line and linebacker units are expected to be solid in 2017 if not necessarily strengths.
Why Bet Clemson Tigers Odds Line at -39.5
Swinney has turned to junior Kelly Bryant to take over for Watson, but he only threw nine passes last season, so he’s really inexperienced. The Tigers also need a new starting running back and No. 1 wide receiver after losing leading rusher Wayne Gallman and top wideout Mike Williams to the NFL Draft. Running back C.J. Fuller and wide receivers Deon Cain, Ray-Ray McCloud and Hunter Renfrow are expected to step up and fill the void in their new roles in 2017. The good news for Swinney is that four starters return on the offensive line.
Defensively, the Tigers have been phenomenal the last few years and they should be outstanding again, despite losing some key players. Junior Christian Wilkins and sophomores Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell could combine to form the best trio of defensive linemen in the country while junior linebacker Kendall Joseph is set to replace star linebacker Ben Boulware. Clemson also has plenty of experience in the secondary with two senior starters and a pair of talented sophomores looking to make their marks.
Kent State Vs Clemson College Football Week 1 Betting Analysis
While there is absolutely no doubt that Clemson is going to get the easy win at home against an overmatched Kent State team, I simply don’t like the insanely high point spread in this contest.
I know the Golden Flashes are just 11-24 ATS in their last 35 non-conference games while Clemson has gone 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games, but I’m banking on the fact that the Tigers are going to need some time to figure out their new identity. I like Kent State plus the ton of points.
Pick: Kent State +39.5 Points