Ohio State vs. Clemson Prediction
The second of back-to-back New Year’s Day semifinal matchups in college football will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET when Clemson takes on Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Will the Buckeyes have a much better showing at the betting window than they did in the Big Ten title game?
329 Auburn Tigers (+4) vs. 330 Northwestern Wildcats (-4); o/u 43.5
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
7:00 p.m. ET, Friday, January 1, 2021
Ohio State Buckeyes Game Notes
Ohio State junior QB Justin Fields completed 12-of-27 passes for 114 yards and two interceptions in a 22-10 victory over Northwestern to win the Big Ten Championship on Saturday. Fields (6'3/228) was missing his main target, Chris Olave, as well as five-star freshman slot receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba, and it was clear that their absence affected the junior signal caller's performance. He tended to lock onto Garrett Wilson, who was bracketed all game long by the Northwestern secondary, catching only four of his ten targets. The Georgia transfer underthrew Wilson that resulted in a costly interception in the end zone with Ohio State still trailing 10-6 at the time. His sub-par performance will be forgotten thanks to an all-time rushing explosion from Trey Sermon, but Fields will have to be much better in the College Football Playoff if OSU is going to advance to the National Championship Game.
Clemson Tigers Game Notes
Clemson OC Tony Elliott will not be with the team for Friday's College Football Playoff semifinal against Ohio State due to COVID-19 protocols. It goes without saying that this is a big deal, as Elliott is widely regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in college football. Clemson has yet to announce who will call the plays for Friday's Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup with the Buckeyes.
Ohio State vs. Clemson Betting Prediction
The Buckeyes have covered in four straight when playing in the month of January, are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven bowl games and are 9-2 against the number in their last 11 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous contest. Ohio State is also 20-8 against the spread in its last 28 games as an underdog, is 16-7 against the number in its last 23 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in its previous game and is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games as a neutral site dog. The Tigers, meanwhile, are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL BETTING PREDICTION: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES +7.5