Orange Bowl NCAAF Betting Tips
The Capital One Orange Bowl is the first of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games, featuring the Oklahoma Sooners and the Clemson Tigers at 4:00pm Eastern time on December 31. Even though the Sooners are the #4 seed in the semifinals, they are favored to win by four points. The over/under total is 65 points. It may be that the gauntlet that Oklahoma ran in beating Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State in three straight games to win the Big 12 has impressed the NCAAF betting public. The fact that Clemson struggled to put away North Carolina in the ACC championship game has impacted the line as well.
— Orange Bowl (@OrangeBowl) December 29, 2015
Why should you pick Oklahoma (-4)?
Quarterback Baker Mayfield is so difficult to track that coach Bob Stoops didn’t even know Mayfield had transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma until Mayfield was on campus. His creative play can cause nightmares for opposing defenses. However, even if Clemson can contain Mayfield effectively, they will also face a two-pronged rushing assault from Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, bolstered by an O-line that has just gotten stronger over the year. The OU receivers (Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal and Dede Westbrook, along with tight end Mark Andrews) have been solid as well.
Why should you bet on Clemson (+4)?
Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson has shown the ability to throw the ball all over the field — and take off and run when his options aren’t open. They show an incredible degree of balance on both sides of the ball. Watson has led the Tigers to the #11 offense in the nation. While the Sooners sit at #6, the Tiger defense ranks #7 in the nation. The only playoff team with a better defense is Alabama, ranked at #2. OU has won with its offense this year, but Clemson has won games with both offense and defense, showing greater versatility.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think the betting public is selling Clemson’s resume short because of the greater visibility of the Big 12 and the reputation that OU has built up over the years. I like them to win this game outright, beating the Sooners 27-24.