Clemson (14-0) is playing in the national championship game for the third time in the last four years. The Tigers are coming off a 29-23 win over Ohio State in the CFP Semifinal despite being outgained by the Buckeyes 516 to 417. Trevor Lawrence threw for 3,960 yards this season and 36 touchdowns. Clemson has the nation’s top-ranked defense, according to Football Outsiders. The Tigers have covered eight of their last nine games ATS. Clemson leads the country in scoring defense (10.6 points per game) and total defense (244.7 yards per game). The Tigers offense is ranked third in total yards (547.7) and points per game (46.5).
LSU (14-0) has steamrolled their way into the title game having gone 25 consecutive quarters without trailing. The Tigers became the first team in history with a 5,000-yard passer (Joe Burrow), a 1,000-yard rusher (Clyde Edwards-Helaire), and two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson). Burrow has a 72% completion percentage when blitzed with 14 touchdowns and just one interception under pressure this season. LSU leads the nation in total offense (554.5 yards per game) and is third in scoring (47.8 points per game). The Tigers’ defense is ranked fifth in the nation with 16 takeaways this season.
ESPN’s FPI gives Clemson a 55.8 percent chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Monday’s CFP National Championship Game between the Clemson and LSU.
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Clemson vs. LSU Game Details
Date: Monday, January 13
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Spread: LSU -5.5
This line opened at LSU -4.5 and has been bet up to LSU -5.5 at most books with the large majority of the action coming in on LSU. This line is correlated with the action and moving with the market.
- Clemson is 14-0 SU and 11-3-1 ATS this season
- LSU is 14-0 SU and 9-5 ATS this season
- Under is 8-6 in Clemson games this season
- Over is 9-5 in LSU games this season
Analysis & Picks
We have reached the end of the college football season, and what a ride it was. This game features the two best units in the country, the LSU offense, and the Clemson defense.
Brent Venables is one of the smartest minds in college football and I trust he will be able to draw up a game plan to try and slow down Joe Burrow and the prolific LSU passing game. I think Clemson will be able to cause some disruption, especially up front. Clemson’s third-ranked sack rate is the highest LSU has faced this season.
With all the hype on Burrow, and rightfully so, Trevor Lawrence is flying under the radar in this game. Lawrence put together a spirited performance in the comeback win over Ohio State. Historically, the favorite has struggled in this game, going 0-6 ATS in the last six national championship games. I’ll take the points and don’t forget to sprinkle the moneyline.
PICK: Clemson +5.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith