Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame team kicks off ACC play vs Duke next weekend. Photo from @RoadTripSports (Twitter)
- Opening-week lines have been set for ACC and Big 12 games for their Week 1 on September 12th
- Clemson and Texas are big favorites in their openers
- See odds for all games featuring ACC and Big 12 teams over their opening weekend below
Instead of the Power Five conferences, it will be the Power Three this season. At least in the fall.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed their seasons to the spring rather than attempt to play during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a chance the Big Ten could start on Thanksgiving weekend as President Donald Trump is putting pressure on the conference to play ASAP.
The ACC, Big 12 and SEC, meanwhile, will attempt to play their normal autumn schedules. With the Big 12 and ACC beginning next weekend, opening lines have been released.
ACC & Big 12 Week 1 Opening Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread||Over/Under at DraftKings|
|UAB||+700||+16.5 (-110)||Over 48.5 (-110)|
|Miami||-1250||-16.5 (-110)||Under 48.5 (-110)|
|Duke||+1050||+21 (-110)||Over 53.5 (-110)|
|Notre Dame||-2500||-21 (-110)||Under 53.5 (-110)|
|Clemson||N/A||-32.5 (-110)||Over 60.5 (-110)|
|Wake Forest||N/A||+32.5 (-110)||Under 60.5 (-110)|
|Coastal Carolina||+150||+4 (-110)||Over 58.5 (-110)|
|Kansas||-182||-4 (-110)||Under 58.5 (-110)|
|Georgia Tech||+360||+12 (-110)||Over 54.5 (-110)|
|Florida State||-480||-12 (-110)||Under 54.5 (-110)|
|Louisiana Tech||+575||+17 (-110)||Over 54.5 (-110)|
|Baylor||-910||-17 (-110)||Under 54.5 (-110)|
|Syracuse||+750||+20.5 (-110)||Over 63 (-110)|
|North Carolina||-1430||-20.5 (-110)||Under 63 (-110)|
|Tulsa||+850||+21.5 (-110)||Over 65 (-110)|
|Oklahoma State||-1667||-21.5 (-110)||Und65 (-110)|
|UTEP||N/A||+42 (-110)||Over 61.5 (-110)|
|Texas||N/A||-42 (-110)||Under 61.5 (-110)|
|Western Kentucky||+335||+11.5 (-110)||Over 56 (-110)|
|Louisville||-455||-11.5 (-110)||Under 56 (-110)|
Odds taken Sept. 1
Clemson, Texas Big Favorites
No. 1-ranked Clemson and No. 14 Texas are both contenders in their conferences – and both are heavy favorites.
Clemson has opened as a 32.5-point choice over ACC rival Wake Forest. Texas is a whopping 42-point favorite against Texas-El Paso.
Clemson-Wake Forest would have once featured a matchup between two of the best quarterbacks in the county. Yet while Trevor Lawrence returns for his junior season at Clemson and is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, Jamie Newman moved on from the Demon Deacons to Georgia as a graduate transfer.
Highest-graded QBs set to play this fall:
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – 91.1
2. Sam Ehlinger, Texas – 90.1
3. Jamie Newman, Georgia – 85.1 pic.twitter.com/uDZMU0ogS9
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 1, 2020
Not only is Wake Forest’s offense missing Newman following an 8-5 season, but its five leading receivers form last year are gone now that Sage Surratt has opted out of the season. Surratt had 66 receptions for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games in 2019.
While Clemson should seemingly be able to cover a big number, it is worth noting that Wake Forest has 10 starters back on defense, including standout linebacker Carlos Basham Jr.
Texas Cannot Disappoint vs UTEP
Texas looks like a better choice to cover as it is facing a dreadful UTEP program that has gone 1-11 each of the last two seasons. The Miners might be the worst of the 77 FBS teams that will play this fall.
While the Longhorns were a disappointing 8-5 last season, they did finish on a good note by routing Pac-12 runner-up Utah 38-10 in the Alamo Bowl.
They also have senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger back for his fourth season as the starter. He will be surrounded by four returnees on the interior line and experienced skill-position players.
Ehlinger looks ready for the season. At least in the virtual world.
Texas capitalizes on the exchange of field position- QB Sam Ehlinger converts a short TD run- and the Longhorns lead, 7-3! #2DCFB #WeekZero #HookEm pic.twitter.com/QphDBOeZKN
— 2nd Dimension Sports (@2D_CFB) August 29, 2020
Texas did allow 421 yards a game last season, but the defense figures to be better under new coordinator Chris Ash, the former Rutgers coach.
Kansas-Coastal Carolina Rematch
The lowest spread of the nine games listed above is the four points Kansas is laying against visiting Coastal Carolina.
While a win by Coastal Carolina would be a small upset, it also would not be a surprise. A strong case can be made that the Chanticleers are the better team, but the Jayhawks are favored primarily because they are a Power Five team playing at home against a Group of Five program.
The teams met last season in Lawrence with Coastal Carolina winning 12-7 as a seven-point underdog.
The Chanticleers return two experienced quarterbacks from a 5-7 team in Fred Payton and Brian Carpenter to run their spread-option offense along with standout lineman Trey Carter.
Kansas went 3-8 last season in Les Miles’ first year as coach. It was the 11th straight losing season for the Jayhawks and their 10th in a row with no more than three wins.
The Jayhawks are counting on senior quarterback Thomas McVittle, who has thrown only one pass in his Kansas career.
2020 College Football Conference Title Odds Tracker
Duke Upset in South Bend?
Texas is the best bet on this board despite being a six-touchdown favorite. However, Duke getting 21 points at Notre Dame in the Fighting Irish’s first game as a temporary member of the ACC is intriguing.
Duke is coming off a 5-7 season in which it failed to go to a bowl for just the second time in eight years. Notre Dame, meanwhile, is considered the team with the best chance of ending Clemson’s string of five straight conference titles.
However, Duke might be undervalued. Head coach David Cutcljiffe will handle play calling this year and he is the man who developed Payton and Eli Manning as collegians.
It is easy to see why players are motivated by Cutcliffe:
Morning message for all coaches from @DavidCutcliffe @DukeFOOTBALL at the @NikeCOYPDX Clinic:
🗣“A bad carpenter always complains about his tools…sharpen them!”
🗣“Teach winning, if you’re teaching anything else you’re wrong. That’s the goal…but that’s not your purpose.” pic.twitter.com/41WcdDwX16
— Football Coaches Insider (@FBcoachinsider) February 29, 2020
Being a quarterback whisperer should come in handy for Cutcliffe as he will have a new signal caller in Clemson graduate transfer Chase Brice. While Brice was No. 2 on the Tigers’ depth chart, he did take over for an injured Lawrence and rally Clemson to a second-half comeback victory at Syracuse in 2018.
The Blue Devils should keep things respectable in South Bend.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.