Auburn takes on Clemson in one of the major Week 2 matchups. According to OddsShark, Clemson is favored by 4.5 points at home. The over-under is set at 57 points.
Both teams have new starting quarterbacks this season. For Clemson, Kelly Bryant took over the reigns from Deshaun Watson after he headed to the NFL. After a 2016 season with multiple quarterbacks, Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham is the new Auburn quarterback.
The OddsShark computer expects a close game. The computer projects a 38.6-35.4 Clemson win. The computer is taking Auburn to cover the spread, and the over on the point total.
SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s S&P+ projections also have Clemson winning, while Auburn covers the spread. The projections have Clemson winning by 4.2 points.
Neither Auburn or Clemson had a difficult test in Week 1. Auburn opened up with a 41-7 victory over Georgia Southern. Stidham had a modest debut for Auburn. Stidham was 14-of-24 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Clemson routed Kent State 56-3. Bryant and the Clemson offense did not miss a beat. Bryant was 16-of-22 for 236 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Bryant was also effective on the ground with seven carries for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Auburn has a high-powered rushing attack with Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. Expect Pettway and Johnson to run into trouble against a deep Clemson defensive line. Clemson should be able to put pressure on Stidham with potential to force him into making mistakes.
We are more optimistic on Clemson’s chances than some of the metrics. Bryant looked better than advertised in Clemson’s opener. While he faces a much more talented opponent this week, Bryant’s playmaking abilities give Clemson the edge. One thing is for sure, the Tigers will win given both teams have the same mascot.
Heavy’s Pick: Clemson 34 Auburn 27. Clemson Covers -4.5 Spread. Over on the Point Total.