Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, will host the 2021 edition of the Cheez-It Bowl and will feature the Clemson Tigers and Iowa State Cyclones. They look to be evenly matched, with only a 1.5 point spread separating the two teams.
That is a particularly interesting spread to consider when we realize that this is actually the first time these two teams have ever played each other. The uncertainty in this game only increased, as both sides lost plenty of players and coaches who either moved on to different jobs or simply decided not to participate, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Clemson Tigers Betting Preview:
The biggest worry by far for this Tigers team is the offense, as they have struggled for much of the season producing just 308.4 yards of total offense per game. Even more concerning is the fact they were unable to rush for over 100 yards per game ending the regular season with a 99.2 average in terms of their rush yards. An offensive drop was certainly expected with Trevor Lawrence heading off to the NFL, but even the biggest Clemson skeptics probably did not think things would be this bad.
A lot of the blame for the offensive struggles has to fall on the shoulders of starting QB DJ Uiagalelei who was heavily hyped coming into the season. The offensive line was abysmal, and he did not have the greatest weapons in the world, but still, many fans and pundits expected far more out of the sophomore, and he represents quite the barrier to the Tigers winning this game. It is also important to note that Uiagalelei will have even less help Wednesday with leading receiver Justyn Ross taking this game off to prepare for the NFL draft.
The defense has, without a doubt, been the unit that is most responsible for the Tigers putting up 9 wins, as they have been downright spectacular at times. Spectacular perfectly describes their performance in their last game with South Carolina, as they held the Gamecocks to just 206 total yards and forced 2 turnovers in a 30-9 win. The Gamecocks certainly are no world-beaters, but to shut out a team like that, who also will be participating in a bowl game, was a big statement that this defense can carry this team to success.
Iowa State Cyclones Betting Preview:
Unfortunately for Cyclones fans, this season will be remembered with a thought of ‘’what if’’ hanging over it, as the cyclones have only managed a 7-5 record. Still, they had chances to win plenty of those games, with only 1 loss coming by multiple scores. This team has some incredible talent, and they showed that plenty this year with impressive wins over the likes of Oklahoma State on their record.
The Cyclones were dealt a huge blow coming into this game, however, with Breece Hall opting to go and prepare for the NFL Draft as opposed to playing in this bowl game. It is hard to blame Hall for securing his future in the NFL by skipping out on this one, but he is one of the few running backs in the country who really moves the spread, as he has been nothing but impressive since busting on the scene for Iowa State.
Iowa State is coming off of a nice victory last time out over the TCU Horned Frogs, but Breece Hall was the driving force for the offense that day, like he has been many times over his career, rushing for 242 yards and 3 TD’s on just 18 carries. It is hard to know how the Cyclones will deal with the loss, but they would undoubtedly be favorites in this game if he were in the starting lineup.
Luckily for Iowa State, they also have a decent enough passing attack led by Brocky Purdy, who has been reliable in 2021. Purdy had a 73.1 % completion percentage, and I think we will see the very best of him and the skill position players, as I am sure the Cyclone’s coaches will scheme more toward the pass with Hall out of the picture.
Clemson Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Betting Prediction:
Even though the Cyclones will be missing Hall for this game, I still think they are the superior team who will get the job done on Wednesday. They have the passing attack to move the ball effectively without a stellar running game, and they may very well have a better defense than Clemson. Look for Iowa State to cover this spread and win this one outright in what might be an unexpected blowout.
Free Betting Pick
Clemson Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Betting Verdict: Iowa State Cyclones ATS +1.5
Clemson Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones Final Score Prediction: 28-14 Iowa State