After running the table with a perfect 13-0 record, the ACC champion Clemson Tigers can earn their first berth in a national championship game since 1981 when they face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl as four-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Tigers’ unblemished straight-up record has kept them atop the College Football Playoff rankings since Week 10, but the club has proven to be a betting disappointment, covering in just one of its last five games and finishing its campaign with a middling 6-7 record against the spread. Conversely, the 11-1 Sooners have shown improvement as the season has progressed.
Oklahoma rides a seven-game SU win streak into Thursday’s betting matchup at Sun Life Stadium, going 6-1 ATS while claiming victory by an average margin of 32.6 points. The Sooners surely will be eager to avenge a 40-6 loss to Clemson in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl.
Alabama will face Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl as 9.5-point favorites in Thursday’s other College Football Playoff matchup. The Crimson Tide will be looking to end a two-game SU bowl game losing streak that includes a stunning 42-35 loss to Ohio State as 7 1/2-point favorites in last season’s Sugar Bowl.
The Spartans are undefeated (SU and ATS) in their last four bowl games, but they suffered a 49-7 loss to Alabama in their only previous meeting in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
Also on New Year’s Eve, the Florida State Seminoles will be gunning for a sixth consecutive ATS win when they battle the AAC champion Houston Cougars in the Peach Bowl as 7 1/2-point favorites.
The Seminoles are 6-1 SU in their last seven bowl game appearances, while the Cougars are 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall as betting underdogs, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
On New Year’s Day, Notre Dame will look for its first win over Ohio State since 1936 when the Fighting Irish face the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl as 6.5-point underdogs. The 10-2 Fighting Irish are just 2-3 ATS in their last five games, while the 11-1 Buckeyes are a solid 4-2 ATS since failing to cover in five of their first six games.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will try to end a two-game SU and ATS losing streak when they meet the Ole Miss Rebels as seven-point underdogs in the Sugar Bowl, while the Stanford Cardinal will gun for a fourth straight win when they battle the Iowa Hawkeyes in this year’s Rose Bowl as six-point chalk.
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