Third ranked Ohio State and second ranked Clemson will battle for a spot in the CFP National Championship when they take the field at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona this weekend. The 2016 Fiesta Bowl meeting between the two powerhouse teams is scheduled to kickoff at 6:00pm ET on ESPN. The latest Ohio State vs Clemson odds from Bovada.lv have the Buckeyes lined as a -3 favorite. The total in the semifinal clash is set at 59.5 points.
To call Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State a success would be a vast understatement. The Buckeyes enter their New Year’s Eve showdown with Clemson an eye popping 61-5 on his watch and they are 3-1 in bowl play, including their 42-20 victory over Oregon — as a six-point dog no less — in the 2014 College Football Playoff Championship.
Ohio State has looked a tad more vulnerable this season, though, in spite of its impressive 11-1 record. The Buckeyes did not play in their conference championship game thanks to a 21-24 loss at Penn State, and they won they had narrow wins over Northwestern and Michigan State, two teams that combined to go 9-15 on the season.
Still, Ohio State’s resume is a strong one (it played the most difficult schedule in the country according to TeamRankings.com) and wins over Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan were enough for it to earn a spot in the CFP semifinals.
And the Buckeyes will have, perhaps, some extra incentive in this weekend’s contest. Meyer owns a 10-2 bowl record, but one of the two setbacks came to Dabo Swinney’s Tigers in the 2013 Orange Bowl. Clemson, playing as a two-point underdog, scored a 40-35 win over the Buckeyes.
The Tigers will have every opportunity to score another upset in this year’s meeting. Clemson’s numbers are nearly as impressive as Ohio State’s totals, ranking eighth in total defense (313.9 yards per game allowed) and 13th in total offense (505.7 yards per game) and its strength of schedule is an impressive seventh.
The Tigers notched their share of big wins as well, taking down ranked squads in Auburn, Louisville, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Clemson’s lone loss was a one-point stunner at the hands of Pitt in Death Valley. The Tigers dominated the stat sheer (630 total yards to 464 for the Panthers), but three turnovers proved too much to overcome.
2016 Fiesta Bowl Betting Trends:
Clemson is 6-1 against the spread (4-3 straight up) playing as an underdog since January 3, 2014.
Since 2012, Ohio State is 5-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread playing as a favorite coming off 10 or more days rest.
2016 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State vs Clemson Odds: College Football Odds Provided by Bovada.lv
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes -3 (-110), Over 59.5 (-110)
No. 2 Clemson Tigers +3 (-110), Under 59.5 (-110)