Sportsbooks reacted quickly Friday after news broke that Clemson All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins would be suspended for the first two games of the season, most notably the Tigers’ opening showdown against Auburn in Atlanta.
Clemson was around a 3.5 to 4.5-point favorite over Auburn before the game came off the board at shops in Vegas and offshore.
Watkins, the ACC’s preseason player of the year, was suspended by coach Dabo Swinney for an offseason arrest. Police found marijuana and some non-prescribed pills on Watkins after a traffic stop.
Watkins had a breakout freshman season with 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns; he’s a dynamic kick-returner and a difference-maker.
It will be interesting to see how much oddsmakers believe Watkins is worth toward the line, as the line had not reopened as of noon ET, Saturday.
Junior wideout DeAndre Hopkins will now get the focus of Auburn’s defense. He is a reliable threat for Clemson after catching 72 passes for 976 yards and five touchdowns last season.
In other Week 1 news, Penn State’s player losses have begun to mount and have made a serious impact on the line for the Nittany Lions' season opener against visiting Ohio. Penn State opened as high as 15.5-point favorites over the Bobcats from the MAC, but the line has plummeted all the way to -7 at BetOnline and was below a touchdown at several Las Vegas books, including the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook.