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Sugar Bowl Betting Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers

NCAA FBS Previews

The second College Football Playoff semifinal game on Friday will be a rematch between the Clemson Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Clemson beat the Buckeyes a season ago, and Ohio State will be looking for revenge in the Sugar Bowl.

The Ohio State Buckeyes enter this game with a perfect 6-0 record and as Big Ten Conference champions. Ohio State was not challenged much this season, though it had to deal with plenty of COVID-19 issues.

Clemson brings a 10-1 record into this showdown, and it won the ACC Championship just two weeks ago. The Tigers suffered a regular-season loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish but played that game without their star quarterback.

The Clemson Tigers are 7.5-point favorites over Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. 

Ohio State Defense Better Show Up

If the Buckeyes are going to pull off this upset on Friday night, then their defense must dominate the game. The Buckeyes are allowing 21.0 points per game this season, and that was to offenses far inferior to Clemson.

Quarterback Justin Fields is a future NFL star, and he has had a great season under center for the Buckeyes. Fields averaged three touchdown passes per game during the regular season, and he can also make some plays with his legs.

The Buckeyes are also one of the best rushing teams in the country, running for more than 275 yards per game. Running back Master Teague will need to play a key role in this game in keeping that Clemson offense off the field. 

Lawrence Shines in Prime Time

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy this season, and he has a history of playing well in the College Football Playoff. Lawrence has thrown for over 2,700 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, and he will look to exploit a young secondary.

Running back Travis Etienne only rushed for 882 yards this season, but he remains dangerous when he has the football. Clemson uses a balanced attack on offense, but it is also able to put up points in a hurry.

The defensive line is once again dominant for Clemson, and that unit is allowing just 17.5 points per game. The Tigers were able to hold Notre Dame to just 10 points in the ACC Championship Game, so their defense has plenty of momentum. 

Clemson Blows Out Ohio State

The Buckeyes might enter this game with a perfect record, but they have not been tested this season. The Big Ten Conference was bad as a whole, and Ohio State will be completely overmatched on Friday night.

Clemson has a recent history of playing well in the College Football Playoff, and that offense will be hard to stop in this game. Look for the Tigers to take control of this game early as they cruise to the College Football Playoff Championship.

Bet the Clemson Tigers -7.5 over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl on Friday night.

For more Dunkel Index picks, check out our college football picks page.

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