BIG AL's 100% (13-0 ATS) CLEMSON/OHIO ST WINNER! Photo by

Clemson Tigers (10-1) vs Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)

Friday, January 01, 2021 at 8:00 pm

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At 8 pm, our selection is on the Ohio State Buckeyes + the points over Clemson.  The Buckeyes were provided a lot of bulletin board material from the words of Clemson coach, Dabo Swinney.  And I'm sure the Ohio State team wasn't happy to hear Swinney's thoughts.  But, at the end of the day, when the players take the field, those words stay behind on the bulletin board, and a team's success (or failure) will largely come down to execution.  And over the last decade, it's hard to find a team which is better at execution than three of the four teams in this NCAA Football semi-final (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State).  Those three programs have been heads-and-shoulders above their brethren for years.  And one of the lessons gleaned over the years is that you don't want to give ANY of these team points -- regardless of the talent on the other side.  To wit:  the Buckeyes are 15-3 ATS their last 18 as underdogs, including 13-0 ATS when getting more than 3 points!  (Likewise, Alabama is 12-7-1 ATS its last 20 as an underdog, and Clemson is 33-13 its last 46 as a dog.)  Last year, of course, when these two teams met in the semifinal round, Ohio State did suffer a rare ATS defeat as an underdog (one of the Buckeyes' three ATS losses of their last 18 as underdogs).  But Ohio State was only getting 2.5 in that game.  And it only lost by six.  So, if it was getting the number of points as it is in tonight's game, then it would have covered.  So, yes, Clemson has the much better quarterback, and the better overall team.  But so did most of the last 13 opponents the Buckeyes faced when they were installed as an underdog greater than 3 points.  And Ohio State still managed to cover the spread in each of them.  The bottom line is that there's too much success on the side of the Buckeyes as an underdog (or with any of the NCAA blue bloods) to lay a significant amount of points to them.  Now, it's also true that Ohio State struggled in the Big 10 Championship game vs. Northwestern, and mustered just 22 points in a 12-point win (as a 16.5-point underdog).  But the Buckeyes are a fantastic 53-25 ATS after scoring 24 or less points in their previous game.  Take Ohio State + the points.  Good luck, as always...Al McMordie.

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Al’s Pick Ohio State Buckeyes: +7.5 -110

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