NCAAF

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Clemson Tigers Prediction, Pick – 12/31/16

College Football: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl- CFP Semifinal

OSU vs. CLEM

#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) at #2 Clemson Tigers (12-1)

December 31, 2016- 7:00 PM ET (TV ESPN) University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

Two teams all too familiar with the College Football Playoffs will highlight the second of Saturday’s semifinal when the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes will do battle against the No. 2 Clemson Tigers in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl that will determine a berth in the national title game on Jan. 9. And for this showdown in Glendale at the University of Phoenix Stadium, here are the following betting lines;

Best Buckeyes Lines: MyBookie Spread (-2.5) ML -135

Best Tigers Lines: Bovada Spread (+3) ML +105

Over/Under: BetOnline 58.5

By the time kickoff is underway, both the Buckeyes and Tigers will know who will be the first team to punch their ticket to the championship game between No. 4 Washington and No. 1 Alabama, which will precede this exciting contest.

Ohio State (11-1) found their way into this semifinal without winning the Big Ten title, while the Tigers (12-1) survived a scare by Virginia Tech to capture the ACC championship. The Buckeyes won the inaugural four-team playoff in 2014, while Clemson lost a heartbreaker to Alabama last season 45-40 in what became a classic.

And in last year’s championship game in the same University of Phoenix Stadium, current Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson put on a show against the vaulted Bama defense throwing for 405 yards. The talented junior gunslinger threw for 3,914 yards with 37 touchdowns and rushed for another 526 yards with six touchdowns. In all, the Tigers are scoring 40.2 points on 505.7 yards per game.

Opposing Watson is fellow junior J.T. Barrett, who threw for 2,428 yards with 24 touchdowns and on the ground ran for 847 yards with nine touchdowns. The Buckeyes average 40.2 points on 480.0 yards per game.

One area to look to is the Clemson defense which led the nation in sacks with 46 going up against an Ohio State offense that has had their issues protecting Barrett allowing 11sacks over their last two games.

Both these high-powered offenses met three yeas ago in the Orange Bowl with Clemson winning 40-35 and are sure to put on a show once again.

Prediction/Pick

Watson, who is expected to enter the NFL draft will aim to keep his season going with a return trip back to the title game, while Barrett has his own ideas where he is 26-3 as a starter. Expecting a tight one, MyBookie is favoring OSU (-2.5) points over CLEM, while Bovada is giving the “underdog” Tigers (+3) points.

BetOnline delivers the over/under at 58.5 total game points scored; a number I will play as I will favor the OVER of 58.5 total game points scored as my favorite betting pick.

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