Clemson vs. Alabama – 8:00 PM EST, Monday, January 7, at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
Betting Line: Alabama -5.5
Over/Under: 59.5 points at 888 Sportsbook
Well, most experts predicted this would be the National Championship game and they were right.
The top two teams in the nation face off for the big prize with #1 Alabama a 5.5-point betting favorite over #2 ranked Clemson. This is the fourth-straight playoff matchup between these two college football powerhouses and the third time they’ve competed in a National Championship game.
Nick Saban will look to pass the legendary Bear Bryant with his seventh national title and his team is loaded to say the least. Alabama beat Oklahoma in the semifinals by 11 points after jumping out to a 28-0 halftime lead and is loaded on both sides of the ball. Saban’s men rank fourth in the nation in overall offense and 13th in overall defense. While their D is loaded, they have given up 62 points in their last two games.
Like ‘Bama, Clemson ran the table this season and dominated Notre Dame in the semifinals. The Tigers rank third in the nation in offense and second in defense and while they lost to the Crimson Tide last season, they beat them two years ago in the title game.
Clemson feature star freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who will be facing Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who came in second in the Heisman voting this season.
In an interesting stat, in the last three meetings between these teams — all in the BCS playoffs — the Tide have outscored the Tigers 38-24, but have been outscored 62-57 in the second half.
These teams met last season in the BCS semifinals with Alabama beating Clemson 24-6.
This season Clemson is 14-0 SU with an ATS record of 8-6`and an O/U record of 6-8 and Alabama is 14-0 SU with an ATS record of 8-6 and an O/U record of 8-5-1.
Trevor Lawrence passed for nearly 3,000 years this season with 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions and in the 30-3 blowout win over Notre Dame in the semis he passed for 327 yards with three touchdowns and was not picked off. He has not been picked off in his last four games and while he has a solid wide receiver corps he faces a Bama pass defense that only gave up 17 touchdowns and had 14 interceptions.
Clemson will look to establish the run behind Travis Etienne (1,572 yards 22 TD) who has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games and had 109 yards on the ground in the Notre Dame win.
Alabama does have a great defense, but they have not looked great in the last two games and in the win over Oklahoma in their last game they gave up 308 passing yards and 163 rushing yards.
Alabama beat Oklahoma 45-34 in their last game where they racked up 528 total yards. Tagovailoa, passed for 318 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions and three players for the team had at least 60 receiving yards. The Tide will also look to establish the run and they had three players on the season that had at least 495 rushing yards led by Damien Harris. The Tide do not have a dominant back this season, but a few guys that can move the chains.
Clemson led the nation this season in sacks with Alabama ranking eighth in that category and the offensive line for each team will be under a lot pf pressure. That matchup is pretty tight and the team that can get to the opposing quarterback more has the advantage in this game.
Clemson Tigers betting trends
- 8-1 ATS in their last nine bowl games
- 13-3 ATS in their last 16 neutral site games
- 1-5 ATS in their last six non-conference games
- Under record of 4-1 in their last five games
Alabama Crimson Tide betting trends
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine games facing teams from the ACC
- 10-5 ATS in their last six games in January
- Over record of 4-1 in their last five non-conference games
Clemson vs. Alabama betting prediction
The last time these teams met Alabama came out on top, but the last time they met for all the marbles Clemson won.
This game will be an exciting one and pretty close, but Alabama has the ends at the quarterback.
Tagovailoa was the hero of last season’s title game as a freshman coming off the bench and he will have another big game.
His play, especially late when the pressure is on, will be key and he will lead the Crimson Tide to their second straight National Championship win and they will also cover the spread as well.
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