Orange Bowl Odds
Posted by Jimmy Boyd
The No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1) will host the No. 12 Clemson Tigers (10-2) in the 2014 Orange Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 EST on Friday, January 3 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida and will be televised nationally on ESPN. This matchup features two teams who came into the season with the expectation of playing in the BCS National Championship, only to fail to win their own conference. Oddsmakers currently have Ohio State listed as a 2.5-point favorite.
Why Clemson Will Cover:
The Tigers have had pretty much an identical season to 2012. Just like last year, their only two losses came against Florida State and South Carolina. Last year they would go on to beat LSU as a six-point underdog in the Chik-fil-A bowl 25-24. If there was one bowl Clemson could pick to go to outside of the championship game, I have to believe it’s the Orange Bowl. The Tigers have some unfinished business to take care of after getting embarrassed 33-70 in 2012 Orange Bowl against West Virginia.
If there was one bowl Clemson could pick to go to outside of the championship game, I have to believe it’s the Orange Bowl. The Tigers have some unfinished business to take care of after getting embarrassed 33-70 in 2012 Orange Bowl against West Virginia.
This is a huge letdown spot for Ohio State. Unlike Clemson, who had their national title hopes crushed by in the middle of October, Ohio State was dealt that blow in the Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. All the Buckeyes needed to do was win that game and they would have been playing Florida State in the BCS Championship Game. There’s a good chance Ohio State isn’t going to be interested in this game at all.
Even if the Buckeyes show up to play, there’s still plenty of reason to believe Clemson will win this game. Ohio State’s defense was shredded by a pretty mediocre Michigan State offense. First year starting quarterback Connor Cook completed 24 of 40 attempts for 304 yards and three touchdowns and the Spartans as a team piled on 438 yards of total offense. As you might have guessed by Cook’s numbers, the strength of Ohio State is their run defense. The Tigers have thrived against teams who excel against the run. They are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games vs defenses who allow 120 or fewer rushing yards/game.
Clemson comes in with the 14th ranked offense in the country, averaging 502.0 ypg. A big chunk of that is their 13th ranked passing attack (329.3 ypg) led by senior quarterback Tajh Boyd. You have to believe Boyd and star wide out Sammy Watkins will be able to have their way with an uninspired Buckeyes defense.
Why Ohio State Will Cover:
There’s no denying this is a brutal spot for Ohio State after coming so close to playing for a national championship, but you do have to take into consideration that they will have had plenty of time to get over that loss to Michigan State. Not every team responds to that situation the same. Some teams use a heartbreaking loss like that as motivation.
One of the positives for Ohio State is that due to being ineligible to play in a bowl game last year, there should be some excitement with going to a BCS bowl. Maybe the biggest reason to back the Buckeyes is head coach Urban Meyer. Over Meyer’s career, his teams are 13-4 ATS off a bye, 16-4-1 ATS off a SU loss and 7-1 ATS in bowl games.
Maybe the biggest reason to back the Buckeyes is head coach Urban Meyer. Over Meyer’s career, his teams are 21-5 ATS when they have 2 or more weeks to prepare, 16-4-1 ATS off a SU loss and 7-1 ATS in bowl games.
While Meyer has done an unbelievable job preparing his team for bowl games, the jury is still out on Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney. Sure he led his team to an upset win over LSU last year, but it’s also hard to ignore that previous performance they had in the Orange Bowl a couple years back. Sweeney’s Tigers also lost 26-31 to USF as a 5-point favorite in the 2010 Meineke Car Bowl.
Early Lean – Ohio State -2.5