The 2015 college football season comes to an end Monday night from Glendale, Ariz., and here's hoping the Alabama-Clemson game comes close to the Super Bowl drama there last February. Here are some player props picks for the title showdown.
Jake Coker 'Over/Under' 19.5 Completions, 215.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TD Passes
Will Coker Throw An Interception?
That Coker throws a pick is -130 on college football odds and no -110. I would argue Coker's performance was the most surprising of the two College Football Playoff semifinal games. Michigan State stacked the box to stop Derrick Henry and dared Coker to win the game. And Coker did, vastly outplaying potential 2016 first-round NFL draft pick Connor Cook of the Spartans. Coker, a senior transfer who will be playing his final college game (he's not a pro prospect), completed 25-for-30 for 286 yard, two touchdowns and no picks. The completion percentage was his highest of the season if you throw out a meaningless game vs. Charleston Southern where Coker didn't play much. His rating was the second-best of the year also throwing out that game. Coker hasn't thrown an interception since Nov. 14 at Mississippi State. Clemson allowed only 166.9 passing yards per game this season, No. 5 in the nation. The Tigers gave up 16 TD passes and picked off 14. They have one of the country's top pass-rushers in ACC Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Lawson, assuming he plays after an injury in the Orange Bowl, and also one of the nation's top cornerbacks in Mackensie Alexander. Those guys will both be first-round picks in April. Oklahoma Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield completed 26-for-41 for 311 yards a TD and two picks in the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson. Those numbers are inflated as the Sooners essentially had to throw most of the second half as they trailed and couldn't run the ball a lick.
College Football Picks: 'Under' all but yards (Coker will hit one long one) and yes.
Derrick Henry O/U 146.5 Rushing Yards, 1.5 Total TDs
The Heisman winner was pretty quiet against Michigan State -- as noted above, the Spartans' game plan was clearly to take him out of the game. Henry rushed 20 times for 75 yards, his lowest yards per carry in a game this season. It was his fewest yards overall in a game against a Power 5 foe this season. Derrick Henry did score twice, however. He leads the nation with 2,061 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. Clemson's rush defense was spectacular last week against Oklahoma, which doesn't have a huge, physical back like Henry. The Sooners had only 67 yards on 33 carries. Clemson has a stellar defensive line. A total of 29.7 percent of opposing rushes have been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. Less than half of opposing runs on third or fourth down, with two yards or less to go, achieved a first down or touchdown (44.1 percent power rate). Those statistics rank No. 2 and No. 3 in the nation. Clemson allows an average of 128.8 yards per game rushing. Presumably this will be Henry's final college game as he's expected to turn pro.
College Football Picks: 'Under' yards, 'over' TDs at Bovada.
Deshaun Watson O/U 22.5 Completions, 235.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TD Passes, 54.5 Rushing Yards
Will Watson Throw An Interception?
Will Watson Have A Rushing TD?
Yes is -185 on college football odds for the INT and no is +140. No is -145 on the rushing TD and yes +105. Obviously Watson is the key to this game because if he doesn't have a huge one, the Tigers aren't going to win. Watson was very good against Oklahoma, completing 16-for-31 for 187 yards, one TD and one pick. The passing yards were his fewest since an Oct. 24 rout of Miami in which Watson was pulled early. He also rushed 24 times for a season-high 145 yards and a score vs. the Sooners. It was Watson's fifth straight game with at least one rushing score and his fifth in the past six with at least 100 yards. Clearly the Oklahoma defense isn't in the same ballpark as Alabama's. The two best mobile QBs the Tide faced this season were Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott. They combined for 33 yards rushing. That said, dual-threat QBs like Johnny Manziel and Nick Marshall have given Alabama defenses trouble in the past. I would compare Alabama's unit to Florida State's in terms of talent. Against FSU this season, Watson threw for 297 yards and a score while rushing for 107 and no TDs.
College Football Picks: Take 'Under' all the passing with your college football picks, 'over' the rushing yards. He will have a pick and a rushing score.