It’s No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal on Friday night in the Sugar Bowl in a rematch of a playoff semifinal from last season. The Tigers won that and are favored again on the college football odds.
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How to Bet Clemson vs. Ohio State NCAA Football Odds & TV InfoWhen: Friday, 8 PM ETWhere: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New OrleansTV: ESPNStream: ESPN appRadio: Tunein.comOpening NCAAF Lines: Clemson -7.5 (total 66.5)
Series HistoryThis marks the third time the Sugar Bowl has hosted a CFP Semifinal. Following the 2014 season, eventual national champion Ohio State defeated Alabama, 42-35. Eventual national champion Alabama shut down Clemson, 24-6, in the Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl following the 2017 season. This will be the 18th Sugar Bowl matchup between teams ranked in the Top 5 and the 59th between teams ranked in the Top 10.Clemson beat Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal last season, 29-23. Trevor Lawrence connected with Travis Etienne on a 34-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 1:49 left in the fourth quarter. Ohio State had jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half.The meeting will be the fifth between Clemson and Ohio State all-time, moving the Buckeyes past Alabama and LSU as Clemson’s most common bowl opponent. Though Ohio State ranks second all-time in FBS wins, Clemson holds a 4-0 all-time record against Buckeyes.
Why Bet on Clemson?Clemson went on to go 9-1 in the regular season and with a 34-10 win against Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game earn its 10th consecutive year with double-digit victories under Dabo Swinney. It’s the Tigers’ sixth straight College Football Playoff.Star Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was 25-36 passing for 322 yards and two touchdowns to go along with a 34-yard touchdown run. Travis Etienne ran for 124 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown, marking the fourth ACC championship in which he has scored. The offense combined for 541 total yards.The Tigers’ defense held the Fighting Irish to just 263 yards and sacked quarterback Ian Book six times. James Skalski, who became the first player to ever appear in five ACC championships, recorded a sack and five total tackles.Clemson became the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. Clemson improved to 14-10 all-time in games between AP Top 10 teams and pushed Clemson to 9-3 in games between AP Top 10 teams since the start of the 2016 season. Clemson earned its 13th all-time victory against an AP Top 5 opponent. Ten of Clemson’s 13 all-time wins against AP Top 5 teams have come under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. The Tigers improved to 9-5 all-time in games between two AP Top 5 teams. Clemson is now 7-3 since 2016 when both teams have entered a game in the AP Top 5.Lawrence was named a Heisman finalist, although he won’t win. Lawrence won all nine of his starts (he missed two games due to COVID protocols), completing 198-of-286 passes for 2,753 yards and a completion percentage of 69.2 with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He finished the season with a passer rating of 172.7.The Tigers will be without offensive coordinator Tony Elliott for this game because of COVID-19 protocols. Clemson did not confirm whether Elliott, 41, had tested positive for COVID-19, saying only that he would remain in protocols. The Tigers are 80-6 during Elliott’s time calling the offense. Swinney is expected to rely on veteran quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Brandon Streeter to call plays for the Tigers’ offense.Clemson will be making a bowl appearance for the 16th consecutive year, adding to its current school record that began in 2005. In total, it will be Clemson’s 47th bowl appearance, with the Tigers holding a current 25-21 all-time record in bowl play.
Why Bet on Ohio State?Because the Big Ten waited to start this season until late October, the Buckeyes (6-0) haven’t been nearly as tested as Clemson, playing just six games after three others were canceled because of COVID-19 issues.OSU struggled to beat Northwestern 22-10 in the Big Ten title game. Trey Sermon rolled up 331 yards on 29 carries, topping the Ohio State all-time single-game record set by Eddie George in 1995 (314 vs. Illinois). Sermon added a pair of touchdowns. His 331 yards were the most all-time in any conference championship game.Justin Fields completed 12-of-27 passes for 114 yards and two interceptions in his worst game as a Buckeye. Before the season began, Fields was projected to be the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. After beginning the season by completing 72 of his first 83 passes for 908 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in three games, he struggled down the stretch. There were the three interceptions against Indiana, and in the Big Ten Championship two more picks.However, Fields was without top receiver Chris Olave in the Big ten title game. The 6-foot-1 Olave was one of 22 players who didn’t dress for the game against Northwestern due to issues with COVID-19. Olave caught 36 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns in five games during the regular season. He’ll play in this game. Olave caught his 20th career touchdown pass on Dec. 5 at Michigan State, which moved him into a tie for sixth place on Ohio State’s career list with K.J. Hill. Olave is three receptions shy of 100 for his career.“I just missed Chris being out on the field,” Fields said. “He is a great leader for the receivers and of course a great player. I think having him back will make our offense better as a whole.” Fields is currently tied with Joe Germaine for third on Ohio State’s career TD pass list with 56. Bobby Hoying is No. 2 with 57 from 1992-95. J.T. Barrett holds the Ohio State and Big Ten record with 104.Ohio State is the only Power 5 team in the nation averaging at least 250 rushing yards (275.7) and passing yards (253.5) per game this season. Ohio State has three 300-yard passing, and rushing, games.Ohio State is making consecutive appearances in the CFP for the first time. The Buckeyes are tied for third in most CFP appearances with Oklahoma (four). Only Alabama (six) and Clemson (six) have more. Ohio State is the only school to appear in a New Year’s Six bowl game in all seven years of this current postseason format.OSU is making its 51st bowl game appearance and it has a 24-26 bowl game record. The Buckeyes are 2-2 all-time in the College Football Playoff and 3-0 in New Year’s Six bowl games.
Game TrendsBuckeyes are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog.Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as an underdog.Buckeyes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 bowl games.Tigers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games as a favorite.Tigers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 bowl games.Tigers are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 neutral site games.
Expert PredictionClemson 38, Ohio State 31
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