The ACC is scheduled to collide with the Big Ten in the Orange Bowl where the 12th ranked Clemson Tigers are set to lock horns with the 7th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in what looks to be an offensive showcase on paper. The Tigers saw their four-game win streak come to a close in their regular season finale at South Carolina where they fell 31-17 as 2.5-point underdogs to the Gamecocks. Ohio State suffered its first ever SU defeat under the watch of head coach Urban Meyer when it was toppled 34-24 against the Michigan State Spartans in the B1G championship game.
OHIO STATE – CLEMSON BOWL GAME BETTING ODDS:
1. Why CLEMSON will cover the spread: While the Buckeyes defense proved to be firmly capable of defending opposing ground games (#7 at 102.6 YPG), that was far from the case when attempting to limit the opposition through the air with teams gouging the Buckeyes pass defense to the tune of 259.5 YPG (#106) and nearly 12.0 yards per pass completion (#43). That will no doubt me music to the ears of QB Tajh Boyd, WR Sammie Watkins, and Martavis Bryant who were the ringleaders of a Clemson air attack that finds it ranked 11th in the country after averaging nearly 330 YPG; that trio combined hit pay-dirt 24 times!
2. Why OHIO STATE will cover the spread: The Buckeyes possess one of the more balanced offensive attacks in the country led by QB Braxton Miller who threw for 1860 yards and a TD/INT ratio of 22:5. His go to guys through the air were WRs Philly Brown and Devin Smith who combined for 1310 yards and 18 total TDs. But Ohio State did most of its dirty work on the ground where stud RB Carlos Hyde had a banner year in going off for 1408 yards and 14 TDs while averaging 7.7 YPC; Miller added another 1033 yards on the ground and 10 TDs of his own.
Clemson was pretty stout in defending the pass (#14) but that was only because the opposition was too busy ripping them apart on the ground to even think about throwing the ball – the Tigers gave up an average of 152.6 YPG rushing at 4.0 YPC (#50)
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3. Orange Bowl Total Talk: It’s no surprise both squad’s made some green for ‘over’ bettors as potent as each of these offenses were throughout the regular season. Clemson played to high scorers in seven of its 12 lined games, while the Buckeyes cashed ‘over’ tickets at a 9-5 clip and enters postseason play having gone ‘over’ the closing number in three of their L/4. That said, the ‘under’ is 8-3 in the Tigers L/11 neutral site games as well as 7-2 in their L/9 bowl games.
Each of the Buckeyes L/4 postseason match-ups have combined to go ‘under’ the closing number – sans Urban – but the ‘over’ is a perfect 5-0 the L/5 times they ran up against a +.500 opponent.
4. Betting Trends for Clemson/OSU: Combined, Miller and Boyd have accounted for 70 touchdowns this season; that’s a big number peeps! Though both sides might enter this one a bit disappointed having missed out on the national championship game after being predicted to compete for it at the outset of the season, the competitive juices will start flowing once the game begins with both rosters filled with top tier talent. With each offense’s strength being able to decisively take advantage of both defense’s weakness, this one has track meet written all over it.
For those looking to play a side, know that Clemson will be looking to win its second straight bowl game while at the same time turn the page on that dreadful performance vs. West Virginia the last time it partook in the Orange Bowl. OSU will be out to tally its first bowl win since 2010 after falling in the Gator in 2011 and being ineligible for postseason play last year.
Ohio State 45 – Clemson 40