NCAA Football Free Picks: Clemson vs. Ohio State

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

Ohio State faced a ton of fire for only playing six games and being declared eligible for the Big Ten Championship game. Now, Clemson’s own Dabo Swinney has been vocal about the Buckeyes’ and the conference’s decision to bend the rules. This is shaping up to be a great contest as we will see two first-round QBs go head-to-head in the national semifinal.

The Sugar Bowl has potential to be the best NCAA football game of the season

Undefeated Ohio State battles it out against last year’s finalist, Clemson. The Buckeyes faced scrutiny for only playing six games and having the Big Ten change its rules to allow Ohio State in the conference title game.

One of those haters? Clemson’s head coach Dabo Swinney. Adding fuel to the fire, Swinney even said that the Buckeyes were ranked outside of his top 10 in the Coaches Poll.

Entering this game, the Tigers are a perfect 4-0 against Ohio State lifetime.

Two of the best offenses in the nation go head-to-head, which leads me to believe this will be a battle of offensive attrition. Combined, Ohio State’s 42.50 and Clemson’s 44.91 points per game equate to a total of 87.41 points per game.

The over/under for the Sugar Bowl is set at 67 (10Bet). I know, the Buckeyes and Tigers’ defensive cores are strong enough to withstand pressure, but this contest is suiting up to be a huge offensive battle. Betting sites are siding with Clemson, currently listed at –315 (888Sport).

First, I love the QB matchup. Justin Fields (OSU) and Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) both have something to prove.

Lawrence is dubbed as the future number one pick in the NFL draft, but Fields is making a strong showing as to why analysts and predictors should put some respect on his name. Fields is listed right behind Lawrence in QB rankings for the NFL draft, so there may be a chip on Fields’ shoulder entering this game.

Looking at the defense, both teams are highly regarded but some interesting stats leads me to believe this could be a high-scoring affair.

Starting with the Tigers, they put up tremendous numbers against ranked opponents. They tallied 34 points against ND in the ACC championship and put up 47 points against the Fighting Irish in the regular season. They pumped #7 Miami, dropping 42 points against the Hurricanes. That point total was the second-highest allowed by the Hurricanes this season.

Swinging back to Ohio State, their sample size is small but they dropped 38 on Penn State and 42 on Indiana. Yes, they only managed 22 against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship, but that scoring total was an anomaly for the Buckeyes’ season.

The point I am trying to make is that the Buckeyes and Tigers have had no trouble scoring against top college defenses.

Ohio State and Clemson’s defense are well respected, but the passing game has torched them in earlier games this season. With two of the best college football QBs going head-to-head, we could see the predicted top draft picks put on quite a show.

The Sugar Bowl will also be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which means weather will not affect this game.

I truly believe we will see an offensive masterpiece when Ohio State and Clemson collide.

Stats

  • Clemson are 19-1 in last 20 SU playing as the favourite.
  • Clemson is 1-0 in neutral site games this season.
  • OSU is 0-3 SU vs. Clemson in last three games.
  • Ohio State are 1-5 in last 6 ATS vs. ACC opponents.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter @Patrick_Trudeau so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.

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