J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State Buckeyes might be the third-ranked team in college football, but they’re favored to beat Deshaun Watson and the second-ranked Clemson Tigers when the two championship-hopefuls teams square off in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 7:00 PM ET.
The third-ranked Buckeyes are surprising 3-point favorites to beat the second-ranked Tigers. The two title-hopefuls will battle at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Now, let’s find out if the Buckeyes can get the win and cover when this game goes down live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona while airing live on ESPN.
College Football 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: Buckeyes (11-1) At Tigers (12-1)
When: Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 7:00 PM ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: Ohio State -3 / Total: 59
Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) has won five consecutive games, including their ‘Instant Classic’ 30-27 win against the previously second-ranked Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 26 despite failing to cover the spread as 3-point favorites. The Buckeyes average a stupendous 42.7 points per game this season to rank ninth nationally in scoring while limiting their opponents to an even more impressive 14.2 points per contest defensively to rank third nationally in points allowed.
Dual-threat quarterback J.T. Barrett has completed 61.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,428 yards with 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions while rushing for an additional 847 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back Mike Weber has racked up a team-high 1,072 yards and nine rushing scores while gifted wide receiver Curtis Samuel has hauled in a team-high 65 passes for 822 yards and seven scores.
Clemson (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS) has won three consecutive games since suffering their only loss of the season and comes into the Fiesta Bowl off a tough, 42-35 win against Virginia Tech in the ACC title game despite failing to cover the college football betting odds as a 10.5-point favorite. The Tigers average an encouraging 40.2 points per game to rank 15th in scoring nationally while simultaneously limiting their opponents to just 18.4 points per game defensively to rank an even more impressive 12th in points allowed.
Gifted dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson has completed a blistering 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,914 yards with 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while rushing for another 524 yards and six scores. Running back Wayne Gallman rushed for a team-high 1,002 yards and 15 touchdowns while wide receiver Mike Williams hauled in a whopping 84 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Expert ATS Pick & Final Score Prediction
Maybe it’s me, but I’m stunned that oddsmakers have installed the Ohio State Buckeyes as favorites over Clemson, seeing as how I believe the Tigers have been the better team all season and should have been favored over the lower ranked Buckeyes. No worries…I’m simply going to advise you to back the value-packed Tigers to get the outright win and ATS cover by ‘putting the clamps’ Ohio State’s one-man gang of J.T. Barrett.
Ohio State is 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games and 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral suite games, but the Buckeyes are also just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record and 2-6 ATS in its last eight games overall. Clemson has compiled a perfect 5-0 ATS mark in their last five bowl games while also going 7-1 ATS in their last eight neutral site games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games in the month of December.
In the end, I think the Clemson Tigers have too much talent on both sides of the ball for the Ohio State Buckeyes to keep up with.