Clemson vs. Ohio State: Fiesta Bowl - 12/31/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Clemson vs. Ohio State: Fiesta Bowl - 12/31/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

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

College Football: Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)

The Line: Clemson Tigers +3 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Ohio State Buckeyes and Clemson Tigers meet New Years Eve night in the Fiesta Bowl college football playoff at University of Phoenix Stadium on ESPN.

The Ohio State Buckeyes look for their 12th victory of the season while getting back to the national championship game. The Ohio State Buckeyes have won at least 12 games seven times in school history. J.T. Barrett is completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,428 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. Barrett has one or less touchdown pass in six of his last eight games. Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown have combined for more than 1,207 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns while Dontre Wilson has 27 receptions. The Ohio State Buckeyes ground game is averaging 258.3 yards per contest, and Mike Weber leads the way with 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, Ohio State is allowing 14.2 points and 281.6 yards per game. Raekwon McMillan leads the Ohio State Buckeyes with 87 tackles, Tyquan Lewis has 7.5 sacks and Malik Hooker has six interceptions.

The Clemson Tigers look for their 13th victory of the season to make back-to-back national title appearances. The Clemson Tigers have won five of their last eight bowl games. Deshaun Watson is completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,914 yards, 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Watson has two or more touchdown passes in 10 of his last 11 games. Mike Williams and Jordan Leggett have combined for more than 1,808 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns while Deon Cain has 32 receptions. The Clemson Tigers ground game is averaging 173 yards per contest, and Wayne Gallman leads the way with 1,002 yards and 15 touchdowns. Defensively, Clemson is allowing 18.4 points and 313.9 yards per game. Ben Boulware leads the Clemson Tigers with 105 tackles, Carlos Watkins has 8.5 sacks and Jadar Johnson has five interceptions.

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The Buckeyes are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. The Tigers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games and the over is 5-0 in Tigers last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.

I'm sorry, but the Clemson Tigers haven't looked good for much of the season and have barely skated by against subpar competition. If those Clemson Tigers show up in this contest, this game will get out of hand quickly. Either way, I don't pick against Urban Meyer in big games, and I'm certainly not going to do it when he has a month to prepare. It’s really that simple. In terms of the game itself, the Buckeyes defense is good enough to rattle Watson and the dual-threat ability of Barrett will keep this Clemson defense on its heels. Ohio State shouldn't have much trouble winning this game and advancing to the national title game.

See Who The Experts Picked To Win This One

Randy’s Pick Ohio State Buckeyes -3

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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