Alabama -9½ over Notre Dame: College Bowl Picks

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 7, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

After long layoffs for both teams, the two best defenses in the country in terms of scoring square off when Alabama faces Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game. Roll Tide!

These two teams have seemingly been waiting for an eternity, but at long last, the Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1, 5-0 away) take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0, 5-0 away) for all the marbles Monday night in the BCS National Championship Game from Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL at 8:30 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Alabama as a decided favorite for this contest with the current line at -9½ with odds of -106.

Alabama has not played in 37 days and Notre Dame has been waiting even longer, having been idle for 44 days, but finally the top two teams in the country meet to decide the national championship. This is also a matchup of the top two teams in the nation in terms of scoring defense, with Notre Dame leading the way surrendering 10.3 points per game and Alabama following closely behind allowing 10.7 points in second.

Unfortunately for Fighting Irish backers, we only see Alabama continuing that strong defensive play in this contest. The Crimson Tide are attempting to defend their national championship from last season and win their third national title in four year while also trying to give the SEC its seventh straight championship, and we feel that by the end of the night, the reason for that SEC dominance will be obvious.

Now we have a lot of respect for what Notre Dame has done while going undefeated this season, and the Irish may have the best defensive front seven among all non-SEC teams in the country. At the end of the day though, the SEC has won six straight championships because it is simply faster and stronger than all the other conferences, and Alabama has the edge in team speed on both sides of the ball here.

As for the “stronger” part of the equation, the Crimson Tide offensive line may the best in the country and it can quite possibly overpower the Notre Dame defensive line like no other team has done all year. That line’s run-blocking opened up running lanes for the Tide’s two great running backs Eddie Lacy (1188 rushing yards, 6.5 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns) and T.J. Yeldon (1000 yards, 6.5 YPC, 11 TDs) all year and probably will again tonight.

Also, the line’s pass-protection gave quarterback A.J. McCarron ample time to effectively manage games as he had a terrific ratio of 26 touchdown passes against only three interceptions! McCarron’s success all begins with the running game though, and remember that Alabama had an amazing 350 rushing yards vs. Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Notre Dame deserves credit for doing what it had to do to win every single game, wrapping up a perfect regular season with a 22-13 road win over the USC Trojans. However, the Irish did have more than a few close calls vs. some rather suspect competition, and the main reason was erratic offensive play. The Irish ranked 48th in the country in total offense while averaging 26.7 points per game and they did not face an SEC defense all season.

Granted, young quarterback Everett Golson got better as the season went on, but facing a team with the defensive speed of Alabama will be a whole new experience for him. Furthermore, Golson is more of a running quarterback than a pure passer, so he may not be equipped to take advantage of the Tide’s one minor weakness, which at times has been the secondary, especially while he is running for his life trying to elude the Alabama pass rush.

Add this all up and Roll Tide you’all.

[gameodds]6/132591/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

College Football Pick: Alabama -9½ (-106)

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