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% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best prop 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
Analysis & Prop Bets
All eyes will be on the Heisman Trophy winner Monday night as Joe Burrow looks to solve the best defense in the nation. Burrow has been an unstoppable force this season throwing for over 5,200 yards with 55 touchdowns. Burrow’s remarkable regular season has caused his passing yards prop to be drastically over-inflated in this game at 365.5 yards. Burrow has only gone over that total in six of 14 games this season and I think Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venebales will do just enough to keep Burrow under this number.
PICK: Joe Burrow under 365.5 passing yards
Burrow’s success along with the high-flying LSU offense has allowed Trevor Lawrence to fly under-the-radar in this matchup. But make no mistake, Lawrence is an elite talent with both his arm and his legs. We will focus on his legs for this pick and his relatively low rushing prop of 53.5 yards. Lawrence ran for 107 yards and a touchdown in the CFP Semifinal win over Ohio State and I expect him to be active in the running game again on Monday night.
PICK: Trevor Lawrence over 53.5 rushing yards
The LSU defense can be had on the ground, allowing 120.3 yards per game on the ground this season. Travis Etienne was uncharacteristically quiet in the CFP Semifinal, rushing just 10 times for 36 yards. I expect him to get a full workload on Monday night as Clemson tries to control the tempo and keep LSU’s offense on the sidelines.
PICK: Travis Etienne over 93.5 rushing yards
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith