Clemson faces Iowa State in the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl on Wednesday, December 29th
Cyclones’ All-American running back Breece Hall has opted out of the bowl game
Read below for Clemson vs Iowa State odds and picks for the Cheez-It Bowl
Clemson (9-3) and Iowa State (7-5) will try to conclude disappointing seasons with a victory when they faceoff in the Cheez-It Bowl on Wednesday, December 29th. Kickoff is 5:45 PM EST at Camping World Stadium. ESPN will broadcast the game.
The Tigers are listed as small 1.5-point favorites in Orlando. The game total is set at 44 with oddsmakers projecting a low-scoring affair between two underwhelming programs.
Let’s take a look at the Clemson vs Iowa State odds and offer you our Cheez-It Bowl pick.
Clemson vs Iowa State Odds (Cheez-It Bowl)
O 44 (-110)
Iowa State Cyclones
U 44 (-110)
Odds as of December 28th at DraftKings
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Tigers Are Heating Up
Clemson can clinch an 11th consecutive double-digit win season with a victory over Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl. After an underwhelming 4-3 start to the season, the Tigers have rallied off five straight victories. Dabo Swinney’s team beat South Carolina 30-0 in the final week of the regular season.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) December 16, 2021
Clemson is yet to have any opt-outs for the Cheez-It Bowl, (they have some lost some players to the transfer portal) which speaks to the culture Swinney has built in Death Valley. The Tigers did lose defensive coordinator Brent Venables and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott over the past weeks, but Swinney has filled those spots from within the program.
While Clemson doesn’t have any bowl opt-outs, it’s important to note some key injuries. Star receiver Justyn Ross suffered a season-ending injury in November, while three starters on defense are out indefinitely. Emerging WR Joseph Ngata (foot) practised Wednesday and is listed as questionable for the Cheez-It Bowl. EJ Williams entered Covid protocol and is likely out for the game.
Tigers QB DJ Uiagalelei will start in the Cheez-It Bowl despite dealing with a sprained PCL in his left knee and injured ligaments in the index finger on his throwing hand. The sophomore pivot told reporters he’s fine to play, but “won’t be completely healthy.”
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Cyclones No Longer Run on Hall
Iowa State will be without All-American running back Breece Hall for the Cheez-It Bowl against Clemson. The Big 12 offensive player of the year has declared for the NFL Draft and won’t play in the bowl game. Hall rushed for 3,941 yards in three seasons at ISU.
Breece Hall: 30 rushes of 20+ yards since 2020
Most in college football ♨️ pic.twitter.com/pDNOT3xxv7
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 23, 2021
Hall opting out didn’t shift the Cheez-It Bowl odds, however, as Iowa State still has another top offensive talent they can rely on. QB Brock Purdy will suit up against Clemson after leading the Big 12 in passing yards this season (2,941). His 73.1 completion percentage is fourth-best nationally.
Iowa State has lost three of their past five games entering the Cheez-It Bowl, but they did win big last time they took the field. The Cyclones dominated TCU 48-14 in Week 13, easily covering the 15.5-point spread. The issue is that Breece Hall (242 Yds) accounted for most of their offense.
Clemson vs Iowa State Pick & Prediction
Dabo Swinney and Matt Campbell are two top-tier coaches who should have their teams well prepared for the Cheez-It Bowl. This betting line should be a bit higher, however, when you consider the Hall opt-out. Clemson has had a down year, but they’ve won five straight and covered in four of those.
Clemson has won eight of their past 10 bowl games, while ISU is 5-11 all-time in bowls. The Cyclones did beat up on Oregon in the 2020 Fiesta Bowl, but they were blown out by Notre Dame the year prior. ISU is 2-2 ATS in bowl games under Campbell.
It’s sometimes hard to find motivation for these elite programs in bowl games, but Clemson is an exception in this spot. They’ve had a miserable year by their standards but are playing much better and can still secure a double-digit win season.
Clemson’s elite defense is allowing just 15 points per game and should stifle this ISU offense missing it’s best player. The Tigers’ offense has scored at least 30 points in five straight weeks and should get strong performances from improving youngsters Uiagalelei and Will Shipley to take the Cheez-It Bowl.
Pick: Clemson Moneyline (-125)
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