Auburn-Clemson Tale of Two Tigers Goes to the 'Under'

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 12:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2017 12:58 PM UTC

The NCAA football odds have been shifting more towards Auburn for Saturday’s double-Tiger collision in Clemson, but the total might provide the best wagering angle.

NCAAF Season Record: 6-4 (+1.60)

Television was once called a vast wasteland by then-FCC chairman Newton Minow, his comment coming in 1961. He was probably right then, which means it’s even vaster in its claim as an idiot box with today’s media.

Still, it’s also pretty cool how they schedule nice early college football matchups to further manipulate the general viewing public, like this week’s battle between Auburn and Clemson. ESPN begins its coverage at 7 PM (ET) from Memorial Stadium in Clemson, and it’s the home Tigers who have been bet down from -8 to -5½ at BetOnline, the scoreboard target running 53½.

Both sides tuned up for their 51st meeting with cakewalks past Sun Belt and Mid-American squads. It’s their fourth get-together since 2010, last year’s clash coming in Week 1 and resulting in a 19-13 Clemson win at Auburn where Dabo Swinney’s side was giving up 7½, the final never threatening a 62-point total on the NCAAF betting board. The last matchup in South Carolina was 2011, Clemson covering a 3½-point spread with a 38-24 final that just skipped past.


Auburn Gets Pettaway Back This Week

Gus Malzahn brings his lads into this one off a 41-7 win at home against Georgia Southern, the Tigers barely missing a 5-TD spread and the final falling 10 shy of the total. The only time the Eagles were in the game was because of an offensicve miscue late in the first quarter, Auburn’s defense smothering GSU by allowing only 78 total yards.

Despite putting up 535 total yards and 351 of that on the ground, Auburn’s offense did sputter a bit at times. Those are pretty impressive numbers since 1st-string tailback Kam Pettaway was serving a suspension, along with wide receiver Kyle Davis. Malzahn said both would return this week, though backup QB Sean White still has a game to go in Gus’ doghouse.


Both Pass Defenses Completely Untested

While Auburn was missing its cover by a point, Clemson grabbed the cash by the same margin in a 56-3 triumph over Kent State. Any notion these Tigers were going to take a big step back after losing QB Deshaun Watson was dismissed very early in the game as Kelly Bryant rolled up more than 300 yards in total offense before grabbing pine early in the second half.

Look, we can’t take a lot from Week 1 for either team. About the only negative we have to go on Auburn having an extra turnover, 2-1, compared to Clemson. Combined, the Tigers and Tigers surrendered 9 yards passing. Nine, for crying out loud. This one will be played much differently on both sides, nowhere more so than in the defensive backfields, and the team that gets a passing rhythm going first has the advantage.

With Irma out in the Atlantic, everyone is reminded to check the weather before going to the window. Assuming no problems there, I like the ‘under’ for my free college football pick with a slight lean to Clemson minus the points.

Free NCAAF Pick: 'Under' 54Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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