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2016 Fiesta Bowl odds: Ohio State small favorite vs. Clemson in Playoff

The Ohio State Buckeyes have been paying out as small betting favorites at the sportsbooks as they prepare to take on the Clemson Tigers in the national championship semifinal.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 10-2 straight up and 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games as a favorite of 6.5 points or less. The Buckeyes will try to get the job done as a small favorite over the Clemson Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday.

Ohio State is a 3-point favorite in Glendale, Ariz. at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their last 12 games coming off a loss in the previous game of a matchup, the Buckeyes are 11-1 SU.

The Buckeyes had plenty of close calls in 2016, needing overtime to fend off the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines and avoiding a disastrous loss to Michigan State, 17-16, as a 20-point road favorite.

But when the dust settled, the Buckeyes had survived one of the toughest schedules in the nation with an 11-1 SU and 6-6 ATS record. Ohio State ranked ninth in the nation in scoring with 42.7 points per game on offense and third in scoring defense allowing only 14.2 points per game.

Since losing to Clemson in the 2014 Orange Bowl, the Buckeyes are 3-0 SU and ATS in their last three postseason games per the OddsShark College Football Database.

Betting Line / Total: Ohio State -3 / 59 Points

Trend: Ohio State is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games.

Trend: Clemson is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against teams with winning records.

Clemson didn't finish too far behind the Buckeyes on offense with 40.2 points per game and defense with 18.4 points per game allowed. The Tigers also had their share of close calls while eventually finishing the season with a 12-1 SU and 6-7 ATS record.

Deshaun Watson led the team to wins over Louisville, Florida State, and Virginia Tech en route to the ACC title. The Tigers are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Big Ten opponents.

Saturday night's total is set at 59 points. The OVER is 3-0 in Ohio State's last three games against teams with winning records.

Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff at the end of the 2014 season, and Clemson advanced to the National Championship Game before falling just short against Alabama last season. Both of these teams are hungry, talented, and experienced, setting the stage for what should be a fantastic semifinal matchup.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers

When: Saturday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. ET

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix

Buckeyes vs. Tigers OddsShark Matchup Report