Twelve seconds remained in the college football season when Deshaun Watson fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to help Clemson make a big score for underdog bettors.
No, the Tigers did not win the national championship game on Jan. 11, but they did cover the spread, and that meant a lot. Clemson closed as a 6½-point underdog in its 45-40 loss to Alabama.
More than four months later, Watson and the Tigers are not sneaking up on anyone.
“Clemson is loaded, and Watson is the key guy,” Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller said.
The Golden Nugget posted regular-season win totals on 24 teams at noon Thursday, and the Tigers top the list at 10 (Over minus-120). Clemson is actually sharing the top spot because Florida State’s posted win total is priced the same. Alabama’s win total is 9½.
South Point sports book director Chris Andrews opened lines last week on several of the season’s marquee games, and the Crimson Tide emerged as the No. 1 team in Andrews’ power ratings.
The Westgate recently opened odds to win the Heisman Trophy, with Watson as the favorite at 5-1 odds. Watson passed for 405 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama in January, and he finished last season with 4,104 yards and 35 touchdowns passing while also rushing for 1,105 yards and 12 scores.
Here are the Golden Nugget’s opening win totals and prices:
Florida State#10 (Over-120)
Louisiana State#9½ (Over-140)
Notre Dame#9 (Under-125)
Ohio State#8½ (Over-115)
Texas Christian#8½ (Under-125)
Oklahoma State#8½ (Under-130)
Michigan State#8 (Under-135)
Southern California#7½ (Over-120)
* All teams must play exactly 12 regular-season games for action.
Contact sports betting reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907. Follow on Twitter: @mattyoumans247