The College Football Playoff National Championship is finally here and fans are given a game between the top-two ranked teams in the country. The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 2 Clemson Tigers square off in a rematch of the back-to-back national title matchups we saw in 2016 and 2017. While the two teams split that series, the tie will be broken on Monday night in Santa Clara, California.
The betting line and odds on this game have moved around a bit, with Alabama currently sits as a six-point favorite with the over/under at 58, according to Bovada. The outcome of the game itself will be tough to call, but we’re going to instead evaluate a few of the current prop bets.
There are often some great props available on big games such as this, and also a few that jump out and leave you scratching your head a bit. Let’s check out some of the wildest national championship prop bets ahead of the Clemson-Alabama matchup.
It’s worth noting that these bets are either just nearly impossible to figure, or the odds themselves are what stand out. We’ll explain each prop and what makes it so off-the-wall.
*All prop bets courtesy of Bovada unless cited otherwise.
Clemson Tigers/Alabama Crimson Tide Points Scored – Odd or Even
- Clemson Total Points Odd: -115
- Clemson Total Points Even: -125
- Alabama Total Points Odd: -120
- Alabama Total Points Even: -120
The million dollar question here is why Clemson’s odds of scoring an odd number of points pays out better than an even number? Unless I’m just completely missing something here, it would probably make sense for the odds to be the same. Alabama listed at -120 for both even and odd is spot on, but the Tigers at -115 on one side of the bet is interesting.
For what it’s worth, Clemson’s points over the last three games have been even. But in the eight games prior to that, they landed on an odd number. Maybe oddsmakers/bettors just believe the run of recent even scores will continue Monday.
On top of all that, this bet is a total guess and could literally go either way, so it’s one you’d likely only take for fun.
Team to Call the First Timeout
- Clemson: -120
- Alabama: -120
Predicting this might be slightly easier than trying to bet on who will win the coin flip (I didn’t even list that, but it deserves to be here). As far as the first timeout goes, there are far too many variables to even begin to take a guess at this. For the most part, many prop bets include at least some amount of research that can be done to make an educated guess.
But when it comes to the team who’ll call the first timeout of the game, it’s a total toss-up. Maybe Clemson gets the ball first, has a miscommunication before the snap and has to call a timeout immediately. Or, maybe Alabama has a defensive issue that needs to be fixed before an early play (or vice-versa).
First Team to 10 Points
- Clemson: +130
- Alabama: -170
- Neither: +7500
I’m fine with this bet in terms of Alabama being favored, even though it’s also anyone’s guess until we find out who gets the ball first. If the Tigers receive the ball to start the game, there’s a reason to believe they’d be favored to get to 10 points first. Unfortunately, we have no idea, so I’d prefer Clemson at +130 if taking either side.
But what I really want to point out is the odds of neither team scoring 10 points. I know sports betting sites have to put out the option just in case, but if we see Clemson and Alabama both land under 10 points, it’d be an unbelievable sight. While +7500 odds are appealing on almost anything, I’m not sure I’d even be willing to roll the dice on that.
First Scoring Play
- Touchdown: -290
- Field Goal or Safety: +190
It’s worth noting the odds of a touchdown being the first score opened at -350 or so. In turn, I’m apparently not the only one who found that to be ridiculous. It seems almost as though the oddsmakers think these two teams just aren’t going to be interested in field goals early on.
On the other side of that argument, if you believe the two defenses are going to come out looking to make a statement, then these odds on a field goal/safety at +190 are nice. In that same line of thinking, if you want to get really wild and bet the first score of the game for either team to be a safety, Clemson’s odds are +5000 while Alabama’s are +4500.
You’d be a happy camper to hit that bet, but I’m not sure I’d take -290 on the first score being a touchdown here.