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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Clemson Tigers  College Football Playoff National Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – January 9, 2017

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Clemson Tigers College Football Playoff National Championship Game Predictions, Odds, Picks and NCAA Football Betting Preview – January 9, 2017

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Clemson Tigers Preview

Where: Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL

When: Monday, January 9, 2017 – 8:00 PM ET

Line: Alabama Crimson Tide (-6.5) vs. Clemson Tigers (+6.5) – view all NCAA Football odds and lines

TV Broadcast: ABC

College Football News and Previews

Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (-6.5)

For at least a few minutes at the Peach Bowl, Alabama looked like they’re about to be on the wrong end of an upset, as the Huskies scored quickly to grab an early 7-0 lead… but then the vaunted Tide defense and Bo Scarbrough happened.

The D shut out Jake Browning and his offense after that TD, while Scarbrough ran wild and produced 180 yards and two scores on 9.5 yards per carry. They won 24-7 and once again proved why they are a regular fixture in the national championship game.

Monday’s matchup, as you may know, is a rematch of last year’s same title game, where ‘Bama came out on top, 45-40. And as they try to once again edge out Clemson, we can expect an old-school brand of football, a recipe made of hard-nosed defense and ground-and-pound offense.

With the leadership of Jonathan Allen, ‘Bama’s stop unit has too many impressive stats on D, it’s not even funny. Among the most notable are points (11.4), total yards (244.4), and rushing yards (62.9) allowed per game, along with yards allowed per play (3.9) and yards allowed per carry (2.0), all of which are the fewest given up by any team in the nation. Further, they also top the nation in sack yards (408) and tackle yards for loss (585).

As for the ground-and-pound, it’s about Scarbrough, Damien Harris, and true freshman QB (who plays like a fifth-year senior) Jalen Hurts. Through their abilities in running and facilitating offense, Alabama finished the regular season ranking 12th in rushing yards (248.8 YPG) and 15th in scoring (39.4 PPG).

Harris, the team’s lead back, ran for 1,013 yards on 7.2 yards per carry during the year. Hurts, meanwhile, had 12 scores through the ground, and also tossed 21 TDs (only four INTs).

The Tide went undefeated in the season (10-4 ATS).

Betting on the Clemson Tigers (+6.5)

Like Alabama, Clemson too will be coming off great blowout win, as they annihilated the Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl, 31-0. It was simply a good ‘ol beating, so much so that it will probably rank as one of Ohio State’s and Urban Meyer’s worst losses ever.

As good as it was, though, the Tigers will have to move on, especially since they are seeking revenge over last year’s tough defeat.

If you are one of the many who would love to see ‘Bama finally lose, this is definitely a team that you can really believe on, as they own the talent that can go mano y mano with them on both sides of the field.

With DeShaun Watson guiding the offensive attack, the Tigers are putting up big yardage through the air (327.8 per game). His junior year solidified his stance as one of the best QBs in the country (4,173 passing yards, 38-17 TD-INT ratio). To greatly top all of those off, he can get out of the pocket and extend plays with his feet (581 rushing yards, eight TD runs).

Watson is also blessed to have a nice set of wideouts – Mike Williams, Jordan Leggett, and Deon Cain. Williams finished the regular season with 1,267 yards and 10 TD grabs and is arguably the most complete receiver in college football today. Leggett and Cain, meanwhile, are big-play magnets – the two finished with over 630 receiving yards and were gaining 17.6 yards every catch, while also combining for 16 scores.

Offense-wise, they may have the clear edge over Alabama, so it’s the defense that has to come through. Defensively, they are giving up good numbers – 306.9 yards and 17.4 points allowed per game (both eighth-fewest in the nation), while also causing opponents to only go 60-for-207 on third down situations (28.9 percent).

They are also recording 3.5 sacks and 8.8 tackles for loss every game, both of which are among the top five in the category. Additionally, Clemson had five players with 10 or more TFLs in the regular season.

The Tigers were 13-1 in the season (7-7 ATS).

Writer’s Prediction

‘Bama (-6.5) wins, but barely fails in covering the spread, 40-34.

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Written by JE

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