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Tennessee Volunteers vs. Clemson Tigers Orange Bowl Betting Preview

The #6 Tennessee Volunteers (10-2) tangle with the #7 Clemson Tigers (11-2) in a top 10 college football matchup in the Orange Bowl. The meeting will be the 20th time these two storied football programs have met, with the Vols holding an 11-6-2 advantage in the series.

Friday’s kick-off is at 8 p.m. EST at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Clemson is a 4.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is at 63.5 points.

What to Know – #6 Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee took a major lead forward in 2022 under third-year head coach Josh Heupel. The Vols finished second place in the Southeastern Conference East Division and were a top-10 team for a majority of the year.

Strapped with the highest-scoring offense in college football, Tennessee averaged 47.3 points and 538.1 yards of total offense per game. The Vols’ defense surrendered 23.5 points and 398.8 yards of offense to opposing teams.

Quarterback Hendon Hooker was a big piece of the Vols’ offensive success but was injured in UT’s loss to South Carolina and was knocked out for the remainder of the season. Backup Joe Milton III stepped up in Hooker’s absence in the season finale, completing 11-of-21 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown.

The Vols went 9-3 against the spread during the regular season and are 4-0 ATS in their previous four non-conference matchups. Tennessee is 0-4 ATS in its last four games played at a neutral location.

What to Know – #7 Clemson Tigers

The Tigers posted another top-10 season, and a late-season loss to in-state rival South Carolina kept Clemson out of the College Football Playoff. Clemson knocked off UNC in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship to win its seventh title in eight years. Dabo Swinney is in his 14th season as head coach of the Tigers.

On offense, Clemson scored 34.7 points per game behind an offense that generated 404.6 yards of total offense. The Tigers’ defense held opponents to 20.1 points and 331.3 yards of total offense per game.

Former prized recruit D.J. Uiagalelei guided the offense this season but put his name in the transfer portal and won’t be suiting up for Clemson in the bowl game. Freshman Cade Klubnik takes over the starting role after completing 31-of-46 passes for 377 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in limited action this season.

Clemson was 7-6 ATS this year and 2-0 ATS in games played on a neutral field. The Tigers are 10-0 ATS in their previous ten games played in December and 4-0 ATS over their last four bowl matchups.

The Pick is In

There is a night and day difference between a UT offense with Hooker under center versus Milton. Hooker made the Vols’ offense click, and Milton doesn’t have the ability to make the same throws.

Clemson should be able to do what it wants against a poor Vols defense, and the Tigers’ defense will be able to take advantage of Hooker’s absence under center.

The Pick: #6 Clemson Tigers -4.5

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