Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers Sugar Bowl Betting Picks

December 30, 2020

Date:Friday, January 1st
Time:8:00 PM ET
Network:ESPN
Venue:Superdome
Spread:Clemson -7.5
O/U:65.5

The 6-0 Ohio State Buckeyes will meet up with the 10-1 Clemson Tigers on Friday night at 8:00 PM ET in the Sugar Bowl. The winner of this game will head to the CFB Championship to face off with either Alabama or Notre Dame. We will know the answer to that question by kickoff. The Tigers come in as 7.5-point favorites and we’re expecting plenty of points with a 65.5 over/under. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we have every single bowl game covered.

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College Football Playoff Semifinals Preview: Alabama vs. Notre Dame and Clemson vs. Ohio State

Trends

  • Buckeyes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Over is 5-0-1 in Buckeyes last 6 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
  • Over is 6-1 in Tigers last 7 games in January.

When The Ohio State Buckeyes Have The Ball

The Buckeyes only played six games and there was plenty of conversation about whether they should be in the playoff over teams like Texas A&M and Cincinnati. Talent-wise, Ohio State belongs and they’re going to give the best test to Clemson of anyone not named Alabama. The Buckeyes are led by QB Justin Fields, who’s finally shown some growing pains in the last few weeks of the season. He’s up to 1,521 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions on top of 274 rushing yards and five scores. Fields is the best dual-threat QB in College Football and he’s tough to stop when given protection.

The Buckeyes have plenty of weapons to play with and the WR pair of Chris Olave (36 rec, 528 yards, 5 TD) and Garrett Wilson (38 rec, 621 yards, 5 TD) are elite to say the least. Both will be 1st round NFL talents and it’s impossible to double both with the lethal running attack Ohio State offers. Aside from Fields running it, Trey Sermon (675 yards, 3 TD) and Master Teague III (449 yards, 6 TD) are both future NFL backs that can go for 100+ yards in any given game.

A lot of what Ohio State needs to do comes defensively. While Trevor Lawrence gets all the hype, the Buckeyes must focus on Travis Etienne. He’s the true catalyst of this attack and they aren’t the same team when he’s slowed down. If Ohio State wants to win this game, they can’t play a game of catch-up with Clemson. Justin Fields has shown he will make a mistake or two and the defense must be able to make up for them.

When The Clemson Tigers Have The Ball

The Tigers sole loss of the season came to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a game that QB Trevor Lawrence missed due to COVID. They avenged that loss with a 34-10 win over Clemson in the ACC Championship, so it’s fair to say that Clemson is either the first or second-best team in the country to this point. Lawrence has thrown it for 2,753 yards and 22 touchdowns all the while missing three total games at no fault of his own. He has plenty of weapons on the outside, starting with WR Amari Rodgers. He’s separated from the pack and is up to 69 catches for 966 yards and seven touchdowns.

While Lawrence is one of the best quarterbacks we’ve seen in College Football in a few years, HB Travis Etienne is still the engine that makes this offense run. He’s up to 882 yards and 12 touchdowns with 524 receiving yards and another five scores. He will see the ball 25+ times in this game and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being the x-factor in this ballgame. All in all, Clemson must play strong defense and let this experienced offense do it’s magic.

Spread Prediction

The Pick: Ohio State +7.5

These two teams are extremely close in my eyes and there is no way I would give Clemson more than three points. I truly think the Ohio State Buckeyes have a 49% or so chance to win this game and love the money line as well. Justin Fields has been far from perfect in the last few games, but Lawrence is a guy that has always thrown some picks and this corps of WR’s might be the worst he’s had to date. Ohio State ran it for nearly 300 yards in their last game and can beat you however they want. This is going to be a phenomenal game and I would take the underdog either way.

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Total Prediction

The Pick: Over 65.5
Final Score Prediction: Ohio State 42, Clemson 38

I don’t trust either of these defenses to consistently slow down either offense. I could see the game getting to a slow start before things get heated up in the second half. This is a game Clemson won by six points in the playoffs last year and both teams had much better defenses. I like this game to turn into a shootout at some point and for the winner to hit 40 points. Neither offense takes very long between plays and this would be a very uncomfortable under to bet. These QB’s can make things happen in a hurry and this is the kind of game where three touchdowns are scored at the end of the first half. Give me the over here, though I do like the 7.5 points on the Buckeyes even more.

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