2018 Season College Football Past Picks
January 07, 2019
Clemson vs. Alabama
Monday 01/07 08:00 PM Eastern
2 units on Clemson +6 (-115) (risk 2 to return 3.74) RESULT: WIN
Here we go again! Clemson and Alabama meet for the the fourth straight time in the CFP playoffs. Alabama got a favorable matchup last week against a small Oklahoma defensive line that was #108 in the country in yards allowed, #96 in points surrendered (32.4 per game), #129 against the pass, allowing 291 yards in the air per game. Now it's a completely different matchup against a fast and physical Clemson defense that is fourth in yards allowed, third against the rush, and second in points allowed (13.7 pg). Clemson just dominated a Notre Dame team (30-3) that was in the Top 22 defensively in yards and points surrendered. Clemson's secondary has allowed just 11 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Tigers' QB Trevor Lawrence (24 TDs, 4 INTs) leads an explosive and balanced offense that was third in total yards, averaging 274 yards passing, 256.3 rushing, for 44.3 points per game (fourth). The Tigers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine Bowl games, and 13-3 ATS at neutral sites. Clemson is also 35-17 ATS after allowing fewer than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. They match up well with Alabama, covering two of the last three years. They held 'Bama to 24 points a year ago, while winning 35-31 two years ago as a +6.5 dog, and losing by five two years ago while gaining 550 yards. And neutral-field underdogs like Clemson that outrush their opponents by 100+ yards per game at 35-10 ATS. Under Dabo Swinney, the Tigers are 75-58 ATS including 12-4 as a dog in the 3.5 to 10 point range. Nick Saban is a master but you know where he struggles to meet expectations? He struggles vs. great rushing teams like Clemson. Against teams that average 230+ rushing yards per game, the Saban-led Tide are just 9-18 ATS. Yes, this Alabama team is historically good. But Clemson is their equal. Take the points and play Clemson.