It's the first-ever rematch of a national championship game Monday when No. 1 Alabama looks to become the first FBS team in history to win 15 games in a season as it takes on No. 2 Clemson in Tampa. Let's take a look at some player prop options at Bovada.
Deshaun Watson O/U 23.5 Comp., 269.5 Passing Yards, 2.5 TDs, 0.5 INTs
If Clemson is going to win its first national title since the 1981 season, Watson is going to need a huge game. It's his final college game too as Watson, a junior, already has declared for the NFL Draft. He should be a first-round pick and a huge night against that historically good Alabama defense can only boost his status. Perhaps the Cleveland Browns would take Watson at No. 1 overall? You can't argue with Watson's athleticism as he has thrown for 4,173 yards and 38 touchdowns this season. If there's one knock on him it's that Watson sometimes makes poor decisions as evidenced by his 17 interceptions. Still, it can't be argued that Watson is the greatest offensive player in school history. Yes, Alabama did recruit him heavily. Watson, from Georgia, committed to Clemson his sophomore year in high school but that didn't stop Alabama from making a heavy push for him. To prepare for him, the Tide had former quarterback Blake Sims play Watson on their scout team last week in Tuscaloosa. Sims recently signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a running back. It is perfectly legal by NCAA standards to have a former player come back and help his school. In the Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State, Watson threw for 259 yards with a TD and was picked off twice. In last year's shootout loss to the Tide, he threw for 405 yards, four touchdowns and a pick.
NCAAF Free Picks: 'Over' On All
Best Line Offered All: Bovada
Wayne Gallman O/U 54.5 Rushing Yards
Part of why I lean 'over' on all those Watson props is because I don't think Gallman, who also has declared for the NFL Draft, will be able to do much against by far the nation's No. 1 rushing defense. Alabama allows only 63.4 yards on the ground per game and Washington's Myles Gaskin, who is frankly better than Gallman, was held to 34 yards on 10 carries in the Peach Bowl semifinal against that unit. I expect the Tigers to basically give up on the running game at some point and just let Watson sling it -- or run it himself. Gallman had 45 yards rushing on 14 carries in last season's title game vs. Alabama.
NCAAF Free Pick: 'Under' 54.5 (-130)
Bo Scarbrough O/U 77.5 Rushing Yards
Part of the reason that Nick Saban decided to give offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the boot after the Fiesta Bowl win and replace him with Steve Sarkisian was because Kiffin didn't use Scarbrough enough in the victory over Washington. The redshirt sophomore had just 13 carries midway through the fourth quarter even though he was tearing up that very good defense. He finished with 180 yards on 19 carries, including a spectacular 68-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that essentially put the game away (see above video). Alabama already has gotten good news on Scarbrough as he has said he will return to Tuscaloosa next year. As a redshirt sophomore, he would have been eligible to declare. But was that performance against the Huskies a bit of a fluke? Scarbrough entered the game with just 539 yards all season, trailing both running back Damien Harris and quarterback Jalen Hurts in rushing yardage on the year. To be fair, Scarbrough has been a bit banged up this year, missing two games with a knee injury. His average over the past three games is 7.7 yards per carry. Clemson ranks No. 22 nationally against the run, allowing 125.8 ypg. In the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State managed only 88 yards on 23 carries. But in last year's title, game, Alabama's Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, rushed for 158 yards and three scores on 36 carries. No chance Scarbrough gets anywhere near that many touches, though.