No. 2 Clemson Tigers vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Monday, Jan. 9, 8 p.m. (ET) ESPN
BetAnySports Pointspread: Alabama -6.5
BetAnySportsTotal Line: 51
Clemson’s return trip to the College Football Playoff Championship against a very familiar foe hit some bumps along the way with a few close calls and a loss to Pittsburgh, but when push came to shove it proved it belonged with a 31-0 shutout of Ohio State as a 1.5-point underdog in the CFP semifinals. The Tigers are now 13-1 straight-up on the year with a 7-7 record against the college football picks spread. The total stayed UNDER BetAnySports’ closing 57-point line against the Buckeyes after going OVER in their previous four games.
Deshaun Watson completed 23-of-36 passing attempts in last Saturday’s win for 259 yards and a score and the Tigers rushed for another 205 yards on 48 carries, but the big story in that game was the play on the other side of the ball. Clemson held the Buckeyes to just 215 yards of total offense in that dominating win. This was after this unit gave up 35 points to Virginia Tech in the ACC title game.
The Crimson Tide turned in another perfect performance in its return trip to the national title game at 14-0 SU capped off by last week’s 24-7 victory over Washington as 13-point favorites in the other semifinal game. Alabama was able to cover the spread in 10 games this season despite closing as a double-digit favorite in 13 of those14 contests. The total stayed UNDER BetAnySports’ 51.5-point line against the Huskies and it has now stayed UNDER in five of its last seven games.
It remains to be seen how the sudden departure of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin effects the Tide’s game plan for Monday night, but it would be safe to assume that they will try and pass the ball a bit more after gaining just 57 yards through the air against Washington. They rolled up 269 yards on the ground in that game so we already know that we will still see a big dose of the running game. Alabama is another team that relies heavily on its dominant defense. This unit held the Huskies to a total of 194 yards last week.