Early CFP Odds Have Clemson, Michigan State as Underdogs


After winning their first ACC crown since 2011 and claiming the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, the Clemson Tigers will start preparing for their Orange Bowl semifinal matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners as 4-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Clemson’s victory over North Carolina in the ACC title game extended their current straight-up winning streak to 16 games, including a 40-6 victory over the Sooners in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl.

However, they have struggled at the sportsbooks all year, going 1-4 against the spread in their past five games, and enter the Sooners vs. Tigers Orange Bowl matchup at Sun Life Stadium with a middling 6-7 ATS overall record.

Since a 24-17 upset loss to Texas in Week 5 threatened to derail their season, Oklahoma has come to life, winning seven straight SU and going 6-1 ATS.

The Sooners have been an offensive force, averaging a whopping 51.3 points per game during their current winning streak, which features a pair of lopsided victories over nationally ranked squads including a crushing 58-23 win over rival Oklahoma State to claim the Big 12 title as 7.5-point chalk.

Not surprisingly, Oklahoma’s vaunted offense has consistently pushed the point total OVER this season, going 8-2 in their last 10, three times eclipsing totals of 70 or more. The Sooners have also enjoyed plenty of postseason success in recent years, winning four of their last six overall, and four of their past five when favored.

In the other College Football Playoff semifinal, No. 2 Alabama takes on No. 3 Michigan State as a 9.5-point betting favorite in this year’s Cotton Bowl.

The Crimson Tide have won 10 straight SU since an early-season 43-37 upset loss to Mississippi, surrendering more than 16 points on just one occasion and just 11.7 points per game during that stretch.

The Spartans defied expectations this season, marching to a 12-1 SU record with huge upset victories over Michigan and Ohio State, and are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven.

However, Michigan State came up well short in their only previous meeting with the Crimson Tide, suffering a 49-7 loss as an 8-point underdog in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.

In other early bowl game betting lines, the Buckeyes will battle Notre Dame as 6.5-point chalk in the Fiesta Bowl, while the Wolverines are favored by 4 over Florida in the Citrus Bowl, and Ole Miss takes on the Cowboys as 7-point chalk in the Sugar Bowl.