2024 College Football: 3 Early Week 1 Plays for Saturday, August 31

It's never too early to start prepping for the 2024 college football season! After digging into the Week 1 slate, we found 3 early plays to jump on for August 31.
One of our best bets for Week 1 of college football is on Garrett Greene and the West Virginia Mountaineers! Country Roads take me home!
One of our best bets for Week 1 of college football is on Garrett Greene and the West Virginia Mountaineers! Country Roads take me home!

Happy Monday, fellow sports investors! Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, it's officially time to prepare for the upcoming college football season. Early lines were posted quite some time ago and we're just a few weeks away from Week 0.

I haven't found anything worth playing for the light slate of Week 0 games so far. However, I did find 3 early value plays for Week 1 that you can pounce on to hopefully capture that coveted closing line value (CLV).

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Clemson vs. Georgia Under 47.5

8/31 - Noon EST on ABC

This total seems awfully high for in Week 1 for two teams that historically have solid defenses. Dabo Swinney's refusal to accept NIL and the transfer portal has really limited Clemson's offense the past couple of years. QB Cade Klubnik put up some decent numbers last year (2,844 passing yards, 19 TD, 9 INT), but the Tigers just don't have enough horses to throw to on the outside.

Both teams will have to do a bit of scoring to spoil this Under and I just don't see that happening. How does Clemson score against this elite Georgia defense? Sure, the Tigers are thrilled to have All World RB Phil Mafah back, but how much success can he possibly have against this Bulldog front seven?

Georgia should have plenty of offensive firepower with Carson Beck returning under center this season. However, Kirby Smart is notorious for getting a double digit lead and then playing keep away. I also think that the offense could take a while to adjust to life without Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey.

My numbers have this total at 44 or so, and it wouldn't surprise me if it closes near that. Let's kick off the CFB party with an Under!

South Carolina -17.5 over Old Dominion

8/31 - 4:15 PM EST on SEC Network

I'm not a big Shane Beamer guy, but this one has blowout city written all over it! The Cocky faithful will be starving for a big win after a lackluster 2023 season that saw them just miss a bowl game. Losing Spencer Rattler to the NFL hurts the Gamecocks, but I've read plenty of good things about LaNorris Sellers.

Sellers may be inexperienced, but he looks to have all of the tools and should be able to gash ODU with his legs on several occasions in this game. South Carolina also hit a home run by bringing in Rocket Sanders from Arkansas thorugh the transfer portal. He's one of the best RBs in the country when healthy.

South Carolina also brought in 3 upperclassmen transfers at the wideout position during the offseason. Two of those three (Jared Brown and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce) are expected to start right away. They should wreak some havoc on a Monarchs secondary that's starting from scratch. The Cocks will take this one, 41-17.

West Virginia +10.5 over Penn State

8/31 - Noon EST on FOX

This number seems at least a smidge high, especially since the Mountaineers closed 2023 strong by winning 5 of their final 6 games. Garrett Greene was the main reason for WVU's success and he's back for his senior year in Morgantown. He's a legit dual-threat QB, as he threw for 2,406 yards and ran for another 772 a year ago.

Yes, Penn State is usually one of the top defensive units in the land, but they lost a ton of guys to the NFL. They brought in some horses through the portal, but it could take these guys a few games to figure things out. The Nittany Lions offense could also take a while to find its footing after losing 3 offensive linemen to the league and bringing in a new offensive coordinator.

All in all, I think this is just too many points. West Virginia has a solid ground attack with the 3-headed monster of CJ Donaldson, Jaheim White, and the aforementioned Greene. Give me the points and don't be afraid to sprinkle a tad on the money line with this live dog! Woof!

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