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Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Clemson Tigers Odds - Prediction

Kent State Golden Flashes (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 5 Clemson Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday September 2nd, 2017. 12:00PM (EST)
Where: Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
TV: ESPN
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: KENT +39/CLEM -39
Over/Under Total: 51

It does not seem that long ago that Deshaun Watson connected with Hunter Renfrow for the 2-yard touchdown that sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Not only had Clemson won their first National Championship in 36 years but they also beat Alabama stopping the Crimson Tide from completing their bid at back to back championships in a “down goes Frazier” type of moment. Now Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman, and Charone Peak that compiled Clemson’s unstoppable offense have departed to the NFL leaving many to wonder if Clemson is destined for regression. On the other hand, several of the nation’s top recruits step into promising roles to keep expectations high in Tiger town. On Saturday, expectations meet reality when Clemson host Kent State as 39 point favorites in Death Valley.

The losses on the offensive side of the football are undeniable for Clemson. They lost one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, one of the best receivers in the nation, along with several other quality talents. Therefore, it would not be surprising to see Clemson retrace in what many would consider a “rebuilding” season. Instead of feared “rebuilding” term, I believe Clemson is still in a good position to be very good again this year and possibly even stay in the national championship discussion. The reasons are simple. The defense, that ranked 9th last year, has the chance to be even better as the best in the ACC. Additionally the holes left on offense will be filled with 5 star talent backed by several quality recruiting classes over the last few years.

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At the quarterback position, Clemson has two choices in Kelly Bryant and one of the most heralded freshmen in Hunter Johnson. Bryant has earned the starting gig but I would not be surprised if Johnson sees the field at some time this year giving his potential. Additionally, the offense will be supported by a veteran offensive line that should help the quarterback situation mature. Considering National Championship hero Hunter Renfrow returns with Deon McCain and Ray Ray McCloud, the receiving corps should be fine. Instead my biggest concern for the offense surrounds the running game. Clemson performed at their best with they were able to run the football last year despite all of the excitement surrounding the passing game. Wayne Gallman was excellent in that position and Clemson will need C.J Fuller to be that guy again. If Clemson fails to run the ball effectively that will put more pressure on their inexperienced quarterbacks and that will be very important early this season.

Despite all of the question marks, the good news for Clemson is they get to test their high powered offense against the likes of Kent State in the opener. The Golden Flashes have won just 8 games in the last 3 seasons combined and are on the heels of a 3-9 campaign from 2016. To make matters worse, it was just recently announced that Head Coach Paul Haynes will be absent from the opener as he is dealing with medical issues. Therefore, the Golden Flashes have an uphill climb from a talent and technical standpoint entering this Saturday’s game.

Offensively, Kent State has a few guys that have played well but question marks also surround those situations as well. Former receiver, turned quarterback, Nick Holley is returning from a season ending knee injury last year and has been limited throughout the fall. Holley is not a spectacular passer but can run the football. Meanwhile, senior wide out Kris White also returns from a leg injury as one of the featured pieces of the offense. Therefore, I am not sure if this appears to be the best situation for a team without their coach and returning players that are fresh off season long injuries from a year ago. However, the real reason I do not believe in the Golden Flashes chance to keep this game respectable is because I think Clemson’s defense is going to be that good.

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think the number is a bit high for Clemson as they look to break in so many new players on offense. The defense could create some turnovers and short field scoring opportunities. However, I still believe the number is a bit high for week 1 expectations. Take Kent State +39

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NCAA Football Week 13 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews with against the spread predictions.

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Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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