The Ohio State Buckeyes are back in the grandest stage of college football. The Buckeyes topped the initial College Football Playoff back in 2015, when they defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl before taking down the Oregon Ducks in the National Championship Game. Will Justin Fields and company go 2-0 in the CFP era against ‘Bama? Or will the Crimson Tide flex their muscles and show Ohio State why they are ranked No. 1 overall? The point spread opened at -8.5 in favor of Alabama but has since moved to -7.5 for the Crimson Ride.
Betting Preview for the Ohio State Buckeyes vs Alabama Crimson Tide College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 11, 2021
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Garden, FL
When: Monday, January 11, 2021, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Ohio State Buckeyes (+7.5)
Record: 7-0 Overall / 5-0 Conference
The Buckeyes entered the showdown with the Clemson Tigers at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s day with people doubting whether they have played enough games to prove that they really belong in the College Football Playoff, or that if they had seen enough action to form the cohesion needed to hurdle a team that defeated them a year ago in the CFP. All those were answered in a convincing fashion, as Justin Fields and company destroyed Clemson, 49-28. Fields outplayed Lawrence in a showdown between future NFL lottery picks, as he passed for 385 yards (22/28) with six touchdowns with just an interception. Meanwhile, running back Trey Sermon rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Ohio State’s rushing attack has been lethal over their last four games, during which they averaged 320.5 rushing yards to go with 10 rushing touchdowns. Alabama’s got a stout defense, but Fields is going to be a handful plus Sermon just showed he can deal with tough stop units when he rushed for 331 yards against the Northwestern Wildcats and ran circles around Clemson’s D.
The Buckeyes, who finished the regular season third in the nation with 43.4 points per game, have seen the total go over in four of their last five contests. Ohio State is 4-3 against the spread this season.
Betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide (-7.5)
Record: 12-0 Overall / 10-0 Conference
Alabama did what it was expected by many to do in the CFP, as the Crimson Tide walloped the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Jan. 1, 31-14. The Crimson Tide opened as 10-point favorites for that game and were seemingly on their way to covering the spread until a late and meaningless touchdown was scored by Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book. Nevertheless, the Crimson Tide are 8-4 against the spread this season. Alabama will once again put its trust in dependable quarterback Mac Jones. While not expected to be a high pick in the NFL, Jones has been more effective this season than Fields. Jones had 297 passing yards and four touchdowns against Notre Dame. Jones is the only qualified quarterback in the nation this season with a rating higher than 200, topping the rest of the field with a 203.3 rating. He also has 4,036 passing yards and 36 touchdowns against only four interceptions. Things are really being a whole lot easier for Jones with a fantastic offensive line in front of him and an excellent receiver in NFL-bound DeVonta Smith, who leads the nation with 1,641 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Against Notre Dame, Smith snacked on the Fighting Irish’s secondary, as he came away with 130 receiving yards and three touchdowns on seven catches. Expect Jones and Smith to have fun in the national title game against Ohio State’s pass defense that isn’t even top 100 in the nation.
Alabama wins, 44-34.
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