Winner takes all tonight in college football when the No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers play the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
The current line has Alabama favored by 6 points with the over/under point total sitting on 50.5. Entering this game, Clemson on the season is 13-1 straight up and 7-7 against the spread. Alabama is 14-0 SU and 10-4 ATS.
Alabama and Clemson played last season in this same game to decide the national champion and Alabama won 45-40. A win tonight would give Alabama its fifth national championship in the past 10 seasons under head coach Nick Saban.
Alabama has won 26 straight games coming into this championship game, while Clemson looks for its second national title overall and first in 36 years.
Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson threw for 259 yards, 1 touchdown passing and 2 rushing touchdowns in Clemson rout in the semifinals of Ohio State 31-0. Watson has a great deal more experience that Alabama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Watson had 4,173 yards passing with 38 touchdowns this season, but threw 17 interceptions. Hurts in comparison threw 22 touchdown passes and rushed for 12 touchdowns. Against Washington in the semifinals, Hurts had just 57 yards passing.
Alabama let Lane Kiffin its offensive coordinator go after the win against Washington, as Saban felt the OC was becoming too much of a distraction since he had accepted a head coaching position for next season with Florida Atlantic University.
The offense was unimpressive to Saban in the win over Washington. He gave the offensive coordinator duties to Steve Sarkisian and said the transition would be seamless.
Clemson’s Watson threw for 3 touchdown passes or more in seven games this season while passing for 300 or more yards in six games. The Clemson offense averages 39.5 points per game, while its defense allows just over 17 points per game.
Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough rushed for 719 yards which was third on the team, but his role has become much bigger the past few games including rushing for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Washington.
Alabama’s defense has scored 11 touchdowns and was No. 1 in points allowed at 11.4 per game.
Clemson is 8-1 ATS in its past 9 games on neutral fields.
Alabama is 4-1 ATS in its past 5 games on neutral fields.
Prediction: Alabama is too strong on defense, which will result in a victory and national championship for the Crimson Tide over the Tigers.