College Football Week 1 Picks: Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Jeff Grant@@JeffGrantSportsContributor IJuly 9, 2014

College Football Week 1 Picks: Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Clemson Tigers led the nation with 122 tackles for loss last season, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 college football picks, as they prepare to take on the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium.

    Sports bettors will find that the Tigers are 9.5-point road underdogs in the NCAA football odds, with no betting total available in the marketplace.

    Let's take a closer look at this nonconference matchup from a betting perspective while offering up a prediction along the way.

    Gambling statistics via SBR Forum 

Clemson Tigers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Clemson Tigers have dropped seven of their last nine season openers when playing away from home, but they did manage to pick up a 38-35 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs as 1.5-point underdogs at Memorial Stadium in 2013.

    College football experts expect senior quarterback Cole Stoudt to earn the starting job, as he completed 47 of 59 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns as Tajh Boyd's backup last year. 

Georgia Bulldogs

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Georgia Bulldogs have won 16 of their last 17 home openers, but they'll begin life without four-year starting quarterback Aaron Murray in this matchup, as he was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2014 NFL draft.

    Senior signal-caller Hutson Mason did gain some experience a season ago, completing 60.9 percent of his passes for 968 yards and five touchdowns versus three interceptions.

    It's important to point out that the program is 5-8 against the spread as home favorites since the start of the 2012 campaign. 


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    I'm going to recommend that readers back the Clemson Tigers as one of their Week 1 college football picks, as they've tallied six victories over Southeastern Conference opponents during the Dabo Swinney era.

    Pick: Clemson Tigers +9.5

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