Clemson vs. Ohio State Betting Predictions

Sugar Bowl Clemson vs Ohio State
Clemson vs. Ohio State, NCAA Football, Sugar Bowl, January 1

Clemson has won nine game by at least 18 points and have played in just two games decided by single digits. The commonality in those games was Trevor Lawrence being out with COVID-19, so when Lawrence is healthy, the Tigers have been dominant. Meanwhile, Ohio State is unbeaten but the two best teams they’ve played all season gave the Buckeyes all they could handle. Lawrence and Clemson should avoid the poison and soundly defeat Ohio State in this one.

Clemson vs. Ohio State Betting Odds

Clemson’s offense is a juggernaut with All-American talent across the board, starting with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. The junior is averaging more than 300 passing yards per game and is completing a career-high 69 percent of his passes this year. He hasn’t been as explosive in the scoring department with just 22 passing touchdowns, though he has rushed for seven touchdowns this season. He mostly, though, has left the running to Travis Etienne, who is averaging 5.5 yards per carry this season. It’s been a slight step back for Etienne after his last two seasons, but he ran 10 times for 124 yards in the ACC title game against Notre Dame, so he’s always a threat to step up in big moments. The Clemson defense is holding opponents to less than 300 yards per game, including limiting teams to less than 100 rushing yards and 200 passing yards per game.

Justin Fields is the star player for this Ohio State offense, but he is not the most important player on the unit. That would be running back Trey Sermon, who had a breakout game with 331 rushing yards against Northwestern. If the Buckeyes are able to get their running game going, it will make Fields’ life much easier. Fields is at his best when he has good weapons around him, especially at receiver. The quarterback struggled with the Northwestern pass rush and secondary without Chris Olave, his top receiver. Fields has thrown five interceptions this year, and it’s not a surprise that they all came against Indiana and Northwestern, inarguably the two best teams Ohio State has faced this season. The only question for this Ohio State defense is the health of its linebackers, who will play a critical role in limiting Etienne and the Clemson rushing attack. The Buckeyes have been excellent otherwise on that side of the ball and have the athletes to match up with the Tigers across the board.

The New Jersey online football betting sites made a big mistake when they set the Sugar Bowl over/under in this game. The number is somewhere between 65 and 66.5 points depending upon the sportsbook at which you’re searching. Clemson has scored 40 points in eight games this year and it has racked up more than 500 yards per game. The defense has held three straight opponents to 17 points or fewer, including suffocating the Notre Dame offense in the ACC championship game. Ohio State’s offense was flourishing until it ran into a stout Northwestern defense in the Big Ten title game and scored just 22 points. The Buckeyes defense has been great as well, except for when it faced a dynamic Indiana offense. I doubt the Buckeyes will be able to slow down Lawrence and the Clemson offense, but the Tigers should be able to give Fields and the Ohio State offense some issues. Therefore, it’s quite easy for me to bet the under 66.5 total points at -110 odds.

Clemson to win

The football betting sites in New Jersey showed Ohio State a lot of respect by only installing Clemson as an 8-point favorite on the Sugar Bowl betting line. The Tigers have soundly defeated every opponent in its path with Lawrence at quarterback, and Clemson has scored at least 34 points in every game this season. If the offense wasn’t enough to sway you, the Tigers have held all but one opponent to 28 points or fewer, so Ohio State has its work cut out for them. Northwestern really gave teams an excellent blueprint to slow down this Ohio State passing attack, and the Wildcats were a few missed assignments away from slowing down the running game as well. If Northwestern had a better offense, it probably would have taken better advantage of the situations it forced upon the Buckeyes. Ohio State is talented but the Buckeyes are certainly vulnerable, and Clemson will take full advantage of that. I’m quite confident in my Sugar Bowl betting predictions that the Tigers will win with ease, so I’ll bet Clemson laying eight points for -103 odds. You could bet the parlay for increased Sugar Bowl odds by betting both Clemson laying 7.5 points and the under 65.5 total points for +285 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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