college football playoff

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Clemson Betting Picks

The two best college football teams in the country meet when Alabama takes on Clemson in the National Title game tonight at 8pm EST on ESPN. We’ve got a full betting breakdown of the game along with thoughts on the side and total. Let’s get to the action!

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Alabama -5 (-121)/ Over 58 (-110)/ Moneyline -225
Clemson +5 (+100)/ Under 58 (-110)/ Moneyline +180

BetStars Sportsbook – Up to $500 in FREE Bets
Alabama -5.5 (-110)/ Over 57.5 (-110)/ Moneyline -212
Clemson +5.5 (-110)/ Under 57.5 (-110)/ Moneyline +170

FanDuel Sportsbook- Up to a $500 FREE Bet
Alabama -5.5 (-110)/ Over 57.5 (-110)/ Moneyline -215
Clemson +5.5 (-110)/ Under 57.5 (-110)/ Moneyline +170

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It’s time for Round Four of Alabama versus Clemson on Monday night at Levi Stadium for the national title. These teams have been on a collision course all year, and college football fans will get to see the two best teams compete for it all once again. This is a nasty rivalry now, even if this game will be played thousands of miles from either school.

Both teams are 14-0. Both teams are winning games by an average of around 30 points per game. And both have superstar quarterbacks who are not NFL draft eligible. Finally, both teams have rosters chock-full of the best talent college football can produce.

The dominance of Alabama and Clemson this season, combined with the fourth straight year we have seen this matchup in the playoffs, would have caused attendance issues at any stadium in America. However, this game is in Santa Clara, California, an area that does not care about college football. Thus, tickets for this game have been found on the secondary market for less than face value.

What’s more, The Bay is the most expensive area of the country writ large. Traveling from Alabama and South Carolina for this game is not quick or cheap. You combine all that with cloudy-to-rainy skies and temperatures in the upper 50s and you can understand why fans aren’t dying to get off their couch to go to this game.

Statistically speaking, it’s hard to find a clear-cut advantage for either team. Both are giving up fewer than 17 points per game. Conversely, they’re putting up 44 or more. Clemson is the best rushing team in the country, and Alabama is the second-best passing team. Clemson is third in the country in yards per game while Bama is fourth.

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On defense, the staggering numbers continue. The Tigers lead the country in points per game, yards per play, yards per rush, and sack percentage. Clemson is also ranked in the top five in yards given up per game, yards rushing per game, and third down conversion rate. As for Alabama’s D, they are ranked the top 15 in the country for points per game, yards per play, yards per rush, third down conversion rate, and sack percentage.

Long story short: these teams can really get after it on both sides of the ball.

One thing worth noting is that Alabama’s strength of schedule is tops in the nation. And it’s a lot better than Clemson’s. The SEC had more top 25 teams than the ACC, and Alabama faced arguably the third-best team in the country in Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Bama also played a tougher team in the national semi-finals. Oklahoma, featuring the Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, was the exact type of offense that gives Bama fits. Yet Bama just kept on rolling.

One big missing piece for the Tigers this season is a mobile quarterback. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence doesn’t run enough to make him a major threat with his legs. In their playoff semi, Notre Dame didn’t have the talent to hang with the Tigers, and it showed early and often. However, Alabama will be the best opponent for Clemson this year by a wide margin. Lawrence is a true freshman who will be playing in the biggest game of his life and facing the best defense he has ever seen. If Clemson wins their second title in three years, they will have gone through the best college program ever to do it.

Moving on, it didn’t matter that Tigers defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence didn’t play against Notre Dame due to his positive PED test. But against the Crimson Tide, not having a top 15 player in college football is a significant loss. Now, Tua Tagovailoa is likely to have big game because he always performs when the lights are the brightest. Yet Lawrence not being in his way is a massive obstacle removed. Some have written off the loss of Lawrence as a minor storyline, but I disagree.

When you combine the fact that Alabama has played a tougher schedule, Trevor Lawrence’s inability to run, the lack of the other Lawrence playing, and Tua’s quick-strike ability throwing the football, I like the Tide to win this game by a touchdown and cover.

Also, given the weather forecast and the game being played outdoors in cooler temperatures, I like the Under as well.

PICK: Bama -5 and Under 58.5

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