This year’s National Championship game is a rematch of last year’s contest as #2 ranked Clemson Tigers look for better luck this year against #1 Alabama Crimson Tide in Tampa. The Tigers beat Ohio State 31-0, while the Tide took out Washington 24-7. Alabama won last year’s game by a score of 45-40. This contest has a start time of 8:00 pm EST on January 9.
Vegas odds have the Crimson Tide listed as 6 point favorites, while the total has been set at 53. The game has a start time of 8;00 pm EST and will be televised on ESPN.
Breaking Down The Clemson Tigers
The Clemson Tigers are in the title game once again and will be looking to make amends for last year’s 45-40 loss at the hands of Alabama. They got here by taking out the Ohio State buckeyes 31-0, in an extremely impressive defensive display. Defense isn’t usually what comes to mind when people think of the Tigers, but this team has played solid defense this year and that had a great game plan against the buckeyes. They will need to have a strong game plan for this one as well. The defense really struggled in last year’s meeting vs the Tide as they allowed 473 yards in that game, including 335 through the air. This year they will have to concentrate more on the run vs this team and they just held the Buckeyes to a mere 88 yards on the ground and that was a top five rushing offense coming in. The Tigers come in ranked 8th in total yards allowed, 16th vs the pass, 19th vs the run and 7th in points allowed, giving up just 17.1 ppg. On offense they have been led by Deshaun Watson, who threw for 4173 yar4ds and 38 TDs, but did have 17 INTs. He also ran for 581 yards and 8 TDs. Last year he threw for 405 yards with four TDs and just 1 INT vs the Tide. He will need another big game here. The Tigers come in ranked 12th in total offense, 7th in passing, 63rd in rushing and 13th in scoring, putting up 39.5 ppg
Breaking Down Alabama Crimson Tide
Can anyone beat the Crimson Tide? This team just continues to win national titles, even though they lose a ton of talent each year. Last year they were in a wild game in this contest and allowed Clemson 550 yards of total offense, including 405 through the air. That defense is not known for allowing numbers like that and they have allowed more than 16 points just twice all year and they have allowed just 6.83 ppg over their last 6 games. Don’t expect that to happen here, although they did just allow 194 total yards in their win over Washington to get to this game. The Tide comes in ranked 1st in the nation in total defense, 12th vs the pass, 1st vs the run and 1st in points allowed, giving up just 11.4 ppg. Very strong defense, but this will be the best offense that they have faced this year so far. On offense they have been led by freshman QB Jalen Hurts, who threw for 2620 yards and 21 TDs, while also rushing for 891 yards and 12 more TDs. He played very well last week in what many felt could be a tough spot for the youngster. The experience in that game can only help him here. It also helps that he has Damien Harris (1013 yards rushing) and Bo Scarbrough (719 yards rushing) to0 help him out. Scarbrough had 180 yards rushing last week vs a tough Washington defense, which is an Alabama Bowl record. The Tide comes in ranked 31st in total offense, 85th in passing, 11th in rushing and 15th in scoring, putting up 39.4 ppg.
Trends: The Tigers have gone 8-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. The Over is 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record, while the Under is 10-4 in their last 14 bowl games.
The Crimson Tide have gone 14-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game. The Over is 19-6-1 in their last 26 neutral site games, while the Under is 5-1 in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
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