2020 Season College Football Past Picks
January 11, 2021
Ohio State vs. Alabama
Monday 01/11 08:00 PM Eastern
1 unit on Ohio State +9 (-105) (risk 1 to return 1.95) RESULT: LOSS
This is a rematch of the 2015 Sugar Bowl when Ohio State beat the Crimson Tide 42-35. The Buckeyes toyed with a supposedly superior Clemson team, defeating the Tigers 49-28 in the semifinals as Justin Fields threw six touchdown passes while outplaying assumed No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence. Fields went 22 of 28 for 385 yards and the Buckeyes also racked up 254 rushing yards while holding Clemson to only 44 yards on the ground. Fields isn't the only Buckeye that can take over a game, as running back Trey Sermon ran for 193 yards and has now gained 636 yards his last three games. Ohio State has allowed opponents only 22 points per game and has the second-best rushing defense in the country. The Buckeyes averaged 272.6 rushing yards this season and Fields has completed 73.4 percent of his passes for 1,906 yards and 21 TDs with only six interceptions. Alabama's defense is #32 in the country allowing 353.2 yards per game and, of course, the Tide had three players among the top five in Heisman Trophy voting in QB Mac Smith, Najee Harris and the winner DeVonta Smith. Ohio State is 5-0 ATS its last five January games and 19-7 ATS its last 26 games as an underdog. Alabama is 0-4 ATS its last four Bowl Championship games and 1-4 ATS its last five bowl games overall. Also, the Crimson Tide is just 2-7 ATS its last nine January games and 2-5 ATS its last seven neutral-site games. Clearly, Nick Saban is a genius and very difficult to defeat. But, if he has an Achilles heel, it's facing great rushing teams like the Buckeyes. Ohio State racks up 273 rushing yards per game (compared to just 186 per game for Bama). When facing ball-control teams that average 230-plus rushing yards per game, Saban is just 9-19 ATS with Alabama. Play Ohio State.