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Odds and Ends: Clemson Begins Cheez-It Bowl Prep as Slight Favorite Over Iowa State

Clemson is a 1-point favorite over Iowa State with a point total set at 44.5 between two defensive-minded teams in the Dec. 29 Cheez-It Bowl.

Clemson's final game of the 2021 season is also the Tigers' first real coin-flip game based on odds.

Dabo Swinney's squad begins preparations for the Dec. 29 Cheez-It Bowl as 1-point favorites over Big-12 opponent Iowa State. Based on Clemson being -125 on the moneyline, the Tigers have a 55% chance of winning the game. That's as small an edge as they've had this season.

Clemson was a 3-point favorite over Georgia in the season opener. The Tigers were 3.5-point underdogs on the road at Pittsburgh in October and 3.5-point favorites at Louisville and against Wake Forest in November.  

Some shops even opened with the Cyclones as a small favorite. FanDuel Sportsbook had just the moneyline offered at -110 for each team, strengthening the idea these two teams are valued similarly.

Under head coach Matt Campbell, Iowa State is 7-5 overall this season but 5-7 against the spread. Clemson is 9-3 overall and just 4-8 against the number. 

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WIth two defensive-minded teams, the total is set at 44.5 on FanDuel. Clemson ranks ninth nationally in total defense and gives up just 4.4 yards per play. The Cyclones come in at 10th in defensive yards allowed and 5.1 per play. The Tigers' 15 points per game allowed are second best in the country while Iowa State is giving up 20.6 per contest. 

Clemson will be without defensive coordinator Brent Venables, though. He left for the Oklahoma head coaching position, and Swinney hasn't announced who will run the defense. This development could affect the betting line.

The Cyclones have an offense ranked considerably higher statistically than the Tigers, averaging 12 points more per game. 

One othing that could drastically move the line and total for this game and every other bowl is potential player opt-outs.

"I hope everybody's there," Swinney said Sunday. "Whoever we got, we're going to be ready and be excited to go play."

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