Posted on: September 12, 2020, 10:51h.
Last updated on: September 12, 2020, 12:03h.
While major college football started last weekend with a few games, the season starts in earnest this weekend, as teams from the ACC and Big 12 start play. It also marks the first time we’ll see teams ranked in the Associated Press preseason Top 25, which is led by top-ranked Clemson.
It won’t be a smooth start for the Big 12, as two of its nonconference games slated for this week have been postponed because of COVID-19 outbreaks. It’s uncertain if or when Louisiana Tech at Baylor and Southern Methodist at Texas Christian will be rescheduled. Two other games, Florida International at Central Florida and Marshall at East Carolina also have been called off for this weekend.
All but one game will be broadcast nationally. The exception is Oklahoma’s home game against Missouri State, a Football Championship Subdivision school. The fifth-ranked Sooners are letting people pay $54.99 to watch what should be a lopsided affair Saturday night, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.
It also marks the return of Bobby Petrino to college football, as he takes over a Bears program that went 1-10 in college football’s second division last year. Petrino last was on the sidelines at Louisville in 2018, where he was fired mid-season after losing eight straight games.
DraftKings, BetRivers/Play SugarHouse, and BetMGM are offering spreads and totals. On Friday, BetMGM had the Sooners as 42.5-point favorites, while DraftKings and Rivers/SugarHouse offered OU as 44.5-point favorites. As of early Saturday afternoon, the spreads are 47 points at BetMGM and 48.5 at DraftKings and Rivers.
The total’s going up, too. It’s gone from 68.5 at DraftKings and Rivers/SugarHouse to 73.5, and from 66.5 at BetMGM to 73.
Clemson, Lawrence Big Favorites Versus Wake
On Saturday night, national title favorite Clemson kicks off its season with a road contest against ACC foe Wake Forest. The Tigers are expected to win easily, as they’re 33.5-point favorites at FanDuel
According to the sportsbook, 75 percent of bets and 88 percent of the handle were on Clemson as of Friday afternoon. Even with Clemson’s moneyline odds set at -10000, 56 percent of those bets and 82 percent of the money were on the Tigers. Wake’s moneyline odds are +2500.
As the season opener, it marks the beginning of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s latest Heisman Trophy campaign, and it’ll almost assuredly be his last, too.
I just love football. Graduating in December. Planning on this being my last year,” he told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi on College Football Gameday Saturday morning.
The Demon Deacons gave up nearly 30 points a game last year, and Lawrence has plenty of weapons in the skill positions to get the Tigers on the board early and often Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). The total is set at 58.5 at FanDuel, down from 60.5 as of Friday. Then, 86 percent of the bets and 87 percent of the handle were on the over.
Can Kansas Start #Big12AfterDark?
One of the more disappointing aspects of the 2020 college football season is that with the PAC-12 sitting out for now, we’ll be deprived of the glorious #Pac12AfterDark contests that often wrapped up each Saturday.
Often as the clock struck 1 a.m. and even 2 a.m. ET Sunday morning on the East Coast, Washington State or Arizona State or some other school in the league would be trying to pull off some late comeback that would keep college football fans awake across the country.
Maybe this year will be the time for #Big12AfterDark, and to kick that off, we get Kansas hosting Coastal Carolina in a game that kicks off at 10 p.m. ET. That’s 9 p.m. in Lawrence, Kan., which is closer to the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific.
This is actually the second year in a row these schools have met, and the Chanticleers upset KU last year 12-7.
The host Jayhawks, a perennial doormat in the Big 12, are a 5.5- to 6.5-point favorite, depending on the book. They’re also coached by former LSU coach Les Miles, who is nicknamed “The Mad Hatter” for his peculiar play-calling tendencies. He’s also known for not having the best clock management abilities, so if any game is going to provide wacky drama, it’s likely to be this one.