The college football season will kick off in late August with few marquee matchups and a bevy of perceived mismatches.
Out of the 45 early games with lines at Caesars Sportsbook, 18 have point spreads of 20 or more points. Six teams are favored by 30 or more points, including Clemson and Alabama, which each open against power-conference opponents.
The defending champion Tigers are 34-point favorites over visiting Georgia Tech in an ACC opener on Aug. 29. The Yellow Jackets have not been this large of an underdog since at least 1978, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Alabama is a 32-point favorite over Duke on Aug. 31 in Atlanta. The Crimson Tide are 12-0 straight up — and 11-1 against the spread — in season-openers under coach Nick Saban, with an average margin of victory of 28.8 points.
Texas A&M, Nebraska, Michigan and Washington State also are favored by 30 or more points in their respective openers.
There are also a handful of intriguing opening matchups that are expected to be more competitive:
• Florida is a 7.5-point favorite over Miami on Aug. 24 in Orlando.
• Florida State is a 4-point favorite over Boise State on Aug. 31 in Jacksonville.
• Auburn is a 3-point favorite over Oregon on Aug. 31 in Arlington, Texas.
Clemson and Alabama are the clear-cut favorites to win the national championship. The Crimson Tide are +240 and Clemson is +250 to win the national title at Caesars Sportsbook. Georgia (+650) and Ohio State (+900) are the only other teams with single-digit odds.
More money has been bet on Alabama than any other team in Caesars Sportsbook’s national championship odds. However, more bets have been placed on Ohio State.
In coach Ryan Day’s debut, the Buckeyes are 27-point home favorites over Florida Atlantic in their opener on Aug. 31.
Notre Dame and Louisville wrap up the opening matchups on Labor Day, Sept. 3. The Fighting Irish are 20-point road favorites.