The 14-0 Clemson Tigers find themselves as underdogs once again. Heading into the national championship, the number one ranked Tigers find themselves a seven point underdog against the Nick Saban led Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama has the opportunity to win its fourth national championship under Saban.
Clemson has won its last four bowl games; 25-24 win over LSU in 2012, 40-35 over Ohio State in 2013, 40-6 over the Oklahoma Sooners in 2014, and 37-17 over Oklahoma again in the Orange Bowl on New Years Eve, all under coach Dabo Sweeney.
Alabama, is coming off of a 38-0 thrashing of Michigan State and 70% of the betting public currently has picked Alabama to cover the spread against Clemson.
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, will pose threats to the Alabama defense, and Clemson is very physical on both sides of the ball. With the offensive line coming together, Clemson has the offensive weapons to potentially pick Alabama apart. However, Alabama’s defensive front will present the biggest challenge that Clemson’s young offensive line faced.
Alabama ranks third in the nation for scoring defense, allowing only 14.4 points per game. Alabama also has the number one defense against the run. Clemson allows 20.2 points per game which is good for 13th best in the nation and 23rd against the run.
As a disclaimer, I locked in CLEMSON +550 before the College Football Playoff began, so personally I will be going with the Tigers. However, I do not have another individual wager on this game (-105 odds is not worth the risk that +550 was).
My advice to anyone wagering on this game? Bet against Nick Saban or Dabo Sweeney at your own risk, especially when you need Dabo to lose by more than a touchdown. Dabo has continued to defy the odds when his Tiger’s are doubted. On the other side, Nick Saban is a living legend.
In the end, the safer money line pick is with the Crimson Tide, but I see this match-up as much closer than the -245 odds that Alabama straight up is worth. Alabama appears to have the better defense and the more physical running game, but I think Clemson can definitely keep this game with-in a touchdown. It will be interesting to see how the Alabama offense responds if this game turns into a shootout, but quarterback Jake Cooker was exceptional against a tough Michigan State defense. I’m predicting that Saban and his talent come out on top, but not enough to jump on the -7.
(Alabama 30 Clemson 24)
Bet Sports Strong Rating C
***Bet Sports Strong Ratings***
A-Bet with confidence
B-Strong lean, but bet with caution
C-Slight lean, enjoy the game but be careful with your money