Cheez-It Bowl 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Tips for Clemson vs. Iowa State

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 28, 2021

Clemson linebacker James Skalski (47) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Ohio State, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Cheez-It Bowl features two Power Five programs that failed to live up to high expectations during the 2021 college football regular season.

The Clemson Tigers and Iowa State Cyclones both had College Football Playoff aspirations, but they died out quickly after poor starts. 

Clemson fell out of playoff contention with two losses in September, but it rebounded nicely to finish 9-3. 

Iowa State did not have as much luck turning around its season, as it finished 7-5 with only one winning streak. 

Dabo Swinney's Tigers are favored for Wednesday's game inside Camping World Stadium in Orlando, and they should be the more reliable team from a daily fantasy football perspective. 

Iowa State will be at a major disadvantage without star running back Breece Hall, who opted out of the game to focus on the 2022 NFL draft, and it is going up against a tough Clemson defense. 


Cheez-It Bowl Info

Date: Wednesday, December 29

Start Time: 5:45 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: ESPN.com and ESPN app


Game Odds

Spread: Clemson (-1.5)

Over/Under: 44

Money Line: Clemson (-125; bet $125 to win $100); Iowa State (+105; bet $100 to win $105) 


Daily Fantasy Tips

Put More Trust in Clemson's Offense

Clemson's offense will not be at full strength on Wednesday, but it still is the more trustworthy unit in the Cheez-It Bowl. 

Wide receiver Justyn Ross opted out of the contest to focus on the NFL draft, and Joseph Ngata is dealing with an injury.

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei still has plenty of players to target in the passing game. Beaux Collins, Dacari Collins and E.J. Williams will be his top pass-catchers if Ngata is unable to play. 

Tight end Davis Allen and running backs Will Shipley and Kobe Pace should also get involved in the passing game in some capacity. 

Uiagalelei only threw for 2,059 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season. He should use the Cheez-It Bowl as a chance to flex his strengths in the passing game ahead of next season.

Look for the young signal-caller to spread the ball around to make up for Ross' absence. He may use the running backs and Allen more on short passes to create some early confidence against an opponent that will try to keep it a low-scoring game. 

Iowa State gave up 187.8 passing yards per game, so it may be hard at times for the Clemson sophomore to complete passes, but he is still the best option at the position because of the five-star talent around him.


Be Hesitant With Iowa State's Offensive Stars

Iowa State faces one of the biggest disadvantages of bowl season without Breece Hall in the fold. 

Hall was one of the best players at his position in the FBS and he is expected to be one of the first running backs chosen in the 2022 NFL draft. 

Hall may have had a tough time gaining yards—if he played—because Clemson's rushing defense allows 99.2 yards per contest. 

Without Hall, the Clemson defense can focus on stopping quarterback Brock Purdy and tight end Charlie Kolar. 

Purdy and Kolar combined for 723 yards in the passing game, but their connection could be halted by James Skalski and the Clemson defense. 

Skalski, who is one of the most experienced defenders in college football, did not opt out of the Cheez-It Bowl, and he should wreak havoc on the Iowa State offensive line. He has 259 tackles and 10 sacks in his lengthy collegiate career. 

Clemson should force Purdy to beat it, and that may be a struggle for the Iowa State signal-caller against a unit that allowed 14 points or fewer in six of its nine victories. 


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