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Clemson vs. Ohio St. Orange Bowl Betting Predictions & Preview

Clemson vs Ohio State NCAA Football Handicapping

The 12th-ranked Clemson Tigers will face off with the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 3 in the Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.

2014 Orange Bowl
12 Clemson Tigers (10-2) vs. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)
Date: Friday, January 3, 2014
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
City: Miami, Florida
O/U Odds: 69
Spread: Ohio State -2.5
Money Line: Ohio State -145, Clemson +125

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Both of these teams surely had their sights set on a national title this season, but Clemson ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Florida State, while Ohio State couldn’t complete an undefeated season, losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

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It seemed all Ohio State could do was win from the time that Urban Meyer took over in Columbus, but things came crashing down in the Big Ten championship game when the team got run over by Michigan State. The Buckeyes had began Meyer’s tenure by going 24-0 in its first 24 games. However, a closer look at those games shows that the Buckeyes never did really play an opponent of note, as their strength of schedule was quite soft. Their first real test came against Michigan State, and they were unable to answer the bell. The team wasn’t allowed to participate in the postseason last year despite a perfect record because of NCAA violations, and will surely be hungry to get after it in this one.

Now they get a Clemson team that spent the early part of the season ranked as the No. 3 team in the nation. The team has two losses on their schedule compared to Ohio State’s one, but those losses came against national No. 1 Florida State, and then at a South Carolina team that has their number.
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The Tigers have looked strong on both sides of the football, with other players stepping into the voids left by departing skill players DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Ellington, with senior quarterback Tajh Boyd continuing his development into a pro-caliber quarterback, and wide receiver Sammy Watkins continuing to wreak havoc on opposing defense.

Boyd completed 67.6 percent of his passes and threw for 29 touchdowns this season, while Watkins brought in 10 touchdowns in a 1,200 yard season. The Buckeyes filled the stat sheet as well. Quarterback Braxton Miller missed some time but still threw for 22 touchdown passes versus only five interceptions in addition to the damage he does with his feet. Top running back Carlos Hyde missed the start of the year due to a suspension but made plenty of noise when on the field, rushing for 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns at a rate of 7.7 yards per carry.

Both sides should be able to score in this one, but expect Clemson to put a few more points on the board as they rank at, or near the top of the list of most talented opponents Ohio State has faced in the Meyer-era.

The Buckeyes are 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.

The over is 5-0 in Ohio State’s last five games against opponents with a winning record, and 6-2 in its last eight games overall.

The play: Clemson ML +125, Over 69


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