Expert's Final Thoughts On Championship Game Alabama vs. Clemson

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 11, 2016 12:56 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 12:56 PM GMT

Let’s look at the teams and some of the prices on key Players in the Anytime TD Scorers marketplace, handicap the game itself and offer four thought-out college football picks for this game.

 

Odds Offered by: 

Alabama Score First -135 (best line at 5Dimes)
Clemson Score First +135 (best line at BetOnline)
Longest TD 49½ Ov -110 (best line at SportsBetting)
Longest TD 50½ Un -110 (best at Bovada)
Longest FG 42½ -115 (best line BookMaker)
Longest FG 42½ -105 (best line at BetOnline)
1st Score TD -220 (best line at BetOnline)
FG or Safety +190  (best line at GTbets)

 

Free College Football Pick: Alabama -6½ -110, Alabama Money Line -254, Derrick Henry Anytime TD Scorer -300, Calvin Ridley Anytime TD Scorer -111
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacleat Bet365
Championship Game Score Prediction: Alabama 37 - Clemson 16

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2962383, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Head Coach Nick Saban and Alabama will be looking for their fourth NCAA Division I football championship in the L7 years, but Head Coach Dabo Swinney, QB Deshaun Watson and undefeated Clemson, and QB Deshaun Watson will have something to say about that when the two teams collide in the Sonoran Desert at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Monday night to settle it all in the third BCS title tilt game. Let’s hop back into The Lab here and take a look at both teams and some of the prices on some key Players in the Anytime TD Scorers marketplace, handicap the game itself and offer four thought-out picks for this game for our wise Sportsbook Review readers.

 

Odds Overview
Alabama vs. Clemson: Top-ranked and unbeaten Clemson (14-0 SU, 7-7 ATS) and QB Deshaun Watson will have their hands full on Monday night when the Tigers face RB Derrick Henry and #2-ranked Alabama (13-1 SU, 8-6 ATS) for all the College Football marbles in the CFP National Championship game from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Clear, 59°, Winds W 2-7 mph, 10% Relative Humidity) on Monday night. The Point Spread here currently sees the #2-ranked Crimson Tide as 7-point favorites in most sportsbooks Online, Offshore and here in Las Vegas but a couple of UK operators (BetVictor, SkyBet) have Alabama at (minus) 6½ and Offshore heavyweight Pinnacle has also moved to 6½. The Total  in a 50 to 51point range (Station Casinos) range while the Money Line (Winner) odds in this game sees Alabama as healthy -254 Favorites with Clemson presently priced at +221 (Pinnacle). The Alabama Crimson Tide Team Total Points is set at 28½ (Ladbrokes), while the Clemson Tigers Team Total Points is at 21½ (Ladbrokes). The 1st Half odds see Alabama as 3½-point favorites (William Hill) while the 1st Half Total is 26½o -114 (888sport).

 

Clemson Tigers
Head Coach Dabo Swinney and Clemson (38.4 PF-20.0 PA) come into this game having handily defeated #4 Oklahoma, 37-17, in the CFP Semifinals in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on New Year’s Eve as QB Deshaun Watson threw for 187 yards and a TD and RB Wayne Gallman carried the ball 26 times for 150 yards and 2 TDs in the big victory. A look at Clemson’s schedule reveals a somewhat soft schedule with games (and Wins) against the aforementioned #4 Sooners, #6 Notre Dame (24-22), #16 Florida State (23-13), and #24 North Carolina (37-17). The Oklahoma and Notre Dame victories are impressive, and churning through the ACC unbeaten is also a feather in the Tigers’ cap, but the Louisville (20-17) Win in Kentucky may be the best real barometer of this team. It seems if this current—or the Fall version—of Alabama would play at Louisville, the Crimson Tide would win by at least 12 points, but more likely around 17-30, and the Tide is in peak form. Clemson HC Swinney said early Sunday that he expects starting DE Shaq Lawson (Knee) to play here but WR Mike Williams (Neck) is Out and has been for some time, so so star WR Artavis Scott (Anytime TD Scorer +137, bet365) and WR Hunter Renfrow (Anytime TD Scorer +250, PaddyPower) to be targeted the most by Watson on Monday night. But the Tigers prime method of trying to churn out yards and get First Downs against this rugged Alabama Defense (74 ypg Rushing yards allowed) is on the ground and that means RB Gallman (1,482 yards, 12 TDs, Anytime TD Scorer -105, Ladbrokes) and QB Watson (1,037 Rushing yards, 12 TDs) will be trying to find creases as well as trying to avoid monster hits to the ribs. In the end, it seems Clemson will realize somewhere in the 2nd quarter that trying to run against the Crimson Tide is an exercise in futility. And then Swinney and Watson may decide a Pass First, Run Second mentality is better to try to beat Alabama, but by then it may already be too late. Had Clemson not intercepted the Cardinals late in that game in Louisville—the Cardinals were using their third QB in three games—and somehow lost there, Clemson would possibly not even be here even with the current 4-team CFP System while HC Saban and this Crimson Tide side would have always found a way to get to this game.

 

Alabama Crimson Tide
Head Coach Nick Saban and Alabama (34.1 PF-14.4 PA) come into this championship game off a decisive spanking of #3 Michigan State, 38-0, in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on New Year’s Eve as Crimson Tide QB Jake Coker (Anytime TD Scorer +275, Ladbrokes) threw for 286 yards and 2 TDs, RB Derrick Henry(Rushing yards 146½ -117, William Hill) rushed for 75 yards on 20 carries and scored 2 TDs and Freshman WR Calvin Ridley (Receiving yards 87½ -117, William Hill) caught 8 passes for 138 yards and had 2 TDs in the shutout. The strength of this Alabama team right now—whose lone Loss was to #15 Mississippi, 43-37 in Week 3 at Home in Tuscaloosa—is the Defense which has just allowed 258.2 ypg and an average of just 14.4 ppg heading in here—skewed by some big-point games. The Crimson Tide have a pristine 0.0 ppg in CFP play this season with that Semifinal blanking of the Spartans in Big D and teams—like the Chiefs on Saturday and the Seahawks on Sunday in the NFL—who don’t allow a TD in their previous games in games that really, really, really matter are dangerous ones to both play and bet against. And Alabama fits that bill. Having cut its teeth with victories over #20 Wisconsin (35-17), #8 Georgia (38-10), #9 Texas A&M (41-23), #2 LSU (30-16), #17 Mississippi State (31-6) and aforementioned #3 Michigan State, as well as registering quality W’s over Arkansas, Tennessee and intrastate rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the Crimson Tide have played a much better schedule than Clemson and with Saban at the helm, expect to win the title and have all year. That’s always the goal down in Tuscaloosa. And this well-balanced Alabama (422.5 ypg) team has steadily improved every week and strangely seems like they come into this game as the ones with something to prove. Weird, huh?

 

Series History & Trends (If They Have One) & Best Betting Approaches
These two teams certainly deserve to be in this game and again justify having this whole CFP process in the first place as surely a polling of middle-aged Writers in Dockers with their Smart Phones would have both the Crimson Tide and Tigers both at #1. And what better place to actually determine a Football champion then with Writers voting, right? Can I get an Amen? Who needs football fields and an actual game or games when we have Bytes and Bits and egomaniacal writers and pundits who can determine the true champion for us? Anyway, the 4 teams (CFP Playoff) are great but we need 8 fellas. Quickly. It’s simple. Only the big conferences have a chance to get into this Gridiron Dance and one more tier of games would be perfect as 16 teams is obvious overkill and clutter. And these kids need to go back to Class. Anyway, this game should start a little slow, then explode into a slow Alabama rout, sort of like slow-cooking Ribs or something. The Crimson Tide are just too stacked on the Offensive side of the football and it’s hard seeing Clemson scoring more than 20 points against the staunch Alabama Defense while the SEC champs should approach the 40-point mark with at least 4 and maybe 5 TDs, justifying plays in that somewhat niche Anytime TD Scorer marketplace. Lifetime, Alabama is 12-3 SU vs. Clemson and the last time these two met, the Crimson Tide won 34-10 on a neutral site in Week 1 of the 2008 season, covering as 4½-point underdogs. But unlike the NFL Playoffs, most NCAAF long-term Series results and Trends for Bowl games or Championship games like this are more irrelevant (for serious Sports gamblers) because the two teams just don’t play as often. For two storied SEC and ACC programs, Alabama and Clemson meeting only 15 times in their rich histories is almost rendered meaningless by scope. For example, in MLB the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves play 13 times this season, none at neutral sites. Cross-species Math.

So then the big question really is, “How Does This Current Clemson Team Stack Up Against This Current Alabama Team?” And although on paper and with the undefeated Record and #1 Ranking and (finally) the spotlight Between Their Hedges, it seems that the Tigers and Watson (+100 Anytime TD Scorer, bet365) are a live underdog here, but the conventional wisdom is that they play good for maybe a quarter or so and then really get their lunch handed to them. The SEC is still the strongest conference in College Football, and although down some from past recent years, the SEC is still thicker than the rest and has schools who concentrate on playing good Defense (Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State). And Defense will be the thing here again for the Crimson Tide, who allowed 0 points to Michigan State in their last 60 minutes of play and will want to keep Clemson from scoring even one TD. Think about that mentality. There is some Seattle Seahawks in this Crimson Tide D, and expecting, or wishing for a bad game from that side of the football in this situation seems like backward thinking. Alabama should cruise to a Win easily here with QB Coker, star RB Henry (Anytime TD Scorer -300, bet365) WR Ridley (1,031 Receiving yards, 7 TDs, 12.4 ypc; -111, bet365), WR Richard Mullaney (361 yards, 5 TDs; +187 Ladbrokes), WR ArDarius Stewart (61 receptions, 637 yards, 10.4 ypc, 4 TDs, +150, 888sport) and TE OJ Howard (+120, bet365) all strutting their stuff on Offense while the Tide D shoots for another shutout. The 7 (or preferred 6½) looks small here—as does the -254 price on the SEC West side at Pinnacle—and the steam lately (Friday-Sunday) seems to be on the underdog Tigers. This seems like it could be a numbers thing (7 Key Number) as Alabama looks just too good and expect RB Henry as well as Frosh Ridley (6-1, 188)—who looks to be in that Bama Amari Cooper mold—as well as maybe sophomore Stewart (6-1, 204) to all get TDs here one way or another as Saban and the Tide roll to their fourth national championship in the last 7 seasons (2009, 2010, 2012) and first under this newfangled yet brilliant format which was long overdue.

comment here