Alabama takes on Clemson for the second straight season to decide the National Championship. According to OddsShark, Alabama is favored by 6.5 points heading into tonight’s contest.
The over-under is set at 50.5 points. Alabama is 10-4 against the spread this season while Clemson is just 7-7. One of the challenges in picking this game is it appears Clemson is playing its best football of the season in the College Football Playoff as evidenced by their 31-0 victory over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
The OddsShark computer likes Alabama to come away with the victory. The computer projects a 40.9-32.7 Alabama victory. The computer is taking Alabama to cover the spread and the over on the point total.
How does Clemson pull off the upset? There are two most likely scenarios. One way would be for freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts to not play well and for the Alabama offense to play as bad as it did against Washington in the Peach Bowl. For as well as Hurts has played this season, he is still a freshman and this will be the biggest game of his career.
Another way would be for Deshaun Watson to top his performance against Alabama in last season’s title game. Watson proved he can provide trouble against Alabama’s defense.
To pick Clemson to win this game, you have to imagine ideal circumstances. Alabama could not play their best game and still wind up on top. We saw that against Clemson a season ago just like we saw it against Washington in the Peach Bowl.
Alabama’s defense is even better than it was last season, and it is scoring points on its own. Hurts is an upgrade to the Alabama quarterbacks we have seen in year’s past.
Clemson will hang around, but Alabama will pull away in the fourth quarter just as we saw in last season’s title game.
Heavy’s Pick: Alabama 31 Clemson 20. Alabama -6.5. Over on the Point Total.