The marquee game on the Week 2 college football schedule will be a battle of Tigers in Death Valley. Clemson will play host to Auburn at 7:00 EST on Saturday, September 9, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. It will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Oddsmakers have made Clemson 6-point favorites. However, initial betting has favored Auburn after Clemson originally opened as 8-point home favorites. Click here for a full list of Week 2 betting odds and links to game previews.
Auburn vs Clemson Vegas Game Odds & Betting Predictions
Both sets of Tigers enjoyed a comfortable win over an inferior opponent in their season opener. In Clemson’s first game since being crowned national champions, the Tigers demolished Kent State 56-3. Quarterback Kelly Bryant was quite impressive in his first career start, throwing for 236 yards and rushing for 77 more. Meanwhile, Clemson’s defense was the textbook definition of dominant, holding Kent State to 120 total yards.
As for Auburn, the Tigers stifled Georgia State’s triple-option offense, keeping the Eagles to just 78 total yards. Georgia State’s only touchdown was scored by its defense on a fumble recovery. That fumble by starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham was the only flaw in Auburn’s season opener despite playing without running Kamryn Pettway and wide receiver Kyle Davis, who were both suspended for the opener but expected to play against Clemson.
Saturday’s game will be a rematch of last year’s season opener in Auburn that Clemson managed to win 19-13. Auburn will no doubt be looking for revenge as they visit one of college football’s toughest road venues.
Free College Football Betting Selection: Clemson -6
Much of the early betting on this game has favored Auburn, and understandably so after their win over Georgia State. However, the spread going down only makes it easier to lean toward Clemson to win at home.
To be fair, Auburn is in much better shape than a year ago when these team’s met. The Tigers are settled at quarterback with Stidham, something that wasn’t the case during last year’s opener. Stidham is also much more of a passing threat than most of Auburn’s quarterbacks during the Gus Malzahn era. However, Stidham is still short on starting experience, even though he started a few games for Baylor in 2015. Keeping his composure during a night game in Clemson will be difficult, and that’s on top of having to play against Clemson’s defense.
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Somehow, Clemson is able to reload on defense year after year, and that was once again on display during the team’s opener against Kent State. Clemson’s defensive tackle duo of Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, in particular, have the potential to disrupt Auburn’s offense. Auburn’s greatest strength is its running game, but Clemson’s power up front from Wilkins and Lawrence combined with its speed on the back end could make things tough on Auburn and force Stidham to throw the ball more than Malzahn would prefer.
The key for Auburn could be on the defensive side of the ball. Bryant was practically a Deshaun Watson clone against Kent State and poses a more difficult challenge than Georgia State’s triple-option. Clemson may be missing some of the star power the Tigers have had in recent seasons, but Bryant has a multitude of weapons around him who will test just how good Auburn’s defense is after a promising start to the season.
Unfortunately, we didn’t learn all that much about either set of Tigers last week, as both crushed an inferior opponent. That makes this week’s matchup tough to call. But until I see someone knock off the defending champs, I’m going to keep putting faith in Clemson. The Tigers showed no signs of complacency or taking a step backward in their opener. That makes me think Clemson will beat Auburn at home and be able to cover the spread.