Clemson Tigers (14-0) vs Alabama Crimson Tide (14-0)Date : 01/07/2019
Time : 8:00 PM
Location : Levi's Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Clemson Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers will wrap up the 2018 college football season in the National Championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the opening kickoff is slated for 8:00 PM. #2 ranked Clemson won 30-3 over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl while #1 ranked Alabama won 45-34 over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl. This will be the 4th time these two teams have met in the College Football Playoff.
Clemson Tigers's Latest Performance :
The Clemson Tigers missed out on the National Championship last season after a Semifinals loss against the Crimson Tide and that has been motivation for Dabo Swinney and company as they smell revenge. The Tigers were able to advance to this point after they beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl 30-3. Freshmen QB Trevor Lawrence played well against a really good Irish defense as he threw for 327 yards and 3 TDs but that should come to the surprise of no one as he has thrown for 2933 yards, 27 TDs, and 4 interceptions this season. The freshmen QB has been sensational but the ground game has been even better as sophomore Travis Etienne has smashed through opposing defenses. Against Notre Dame, Etienne was able to find some success as he ran for 109 yards and a TD on 14 carries. The Heisman Trophy was a race between QBs but Etienne made it known that he will be in the upcoming talks as he has run for 1573 yards and 22 TDs on the season. Lawrence has an abundance of playmakers he can throw the ball to as he had 4 different WRs crack the 500-yard mark on the season and he was once again able to spread the ball out against the Irish as 3 different WRs cracked 50 yards. Freshmen WR Justyn Ross had a breakout performance as he had 148 yards and 2 TDs on 6 receptions which puts the former 4-star recruit at 847 yards and 8 TDs on the season. There were questions on how the Tigers defense would respond with the absence of All-American DT Dexter Lawrence but they played well as they held the Irish to only 3 points. Austin Bryant is one of the key pieces of the Tigers DL and he played well in the Cotton Bowl with 2 sacks and 6 tackles while Nolan Turner contributed the lone interception of the game.
Alabama Crimson Tide's Latest Performance :
Alabama has become a football powerhouse under Nick Saban and they have yet to truly be tested this season as they have run through their schedule. The Alabama Crimson Tide will be looking to defend their national title on 1/7 after they beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl on 12/29, 45-34. There were questions whether or not the Heisman Trophy runner-up in QB Tua Tagovailoa would play against the Sooners due to a high ankle sprain but the sophomore suited up and played well. Tagovailoa was able to complete 24 of his 27 pass attempts for a total of 318 yards and 4 TDs which has been representative of his season as the Hawaii native has thrown for 3671 yards, 41 TDs, and only 4 interceptions. The ground game has been a good supplement to Tagovailoa all season long and they once again found success against the Sooners. RB Damien Harris was able to contribute both the rushing TDs on the game while Josh Jacobs led the way with 98 yards. Harris has mainly been the featured back as he has run for 819 yards and 4 TDs but Jacobs has been a TD machine with a team-high 11. Tagovailoa was able to throw all 4 TD passes to different receivers as Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs, Josh Jacobs, and Jerry Jeudy were on the receiving end. Smith had the biggest game out of any Alabama WR as he hauled in 6 receptions for a total of 104 yards and a TD. The Alabama defense was able to keep Oklahoma in check as they kept them below their season average of 48.4 PPG and they will once again be looking to rattle a dynamic QB in Trevor Lawerence. LB Dylan Moses led the way with 6 tackles while Anfernee Jennings, Raekwon Davis, and Christian Miller contributed sacks.
How Clemson Tigers & Alabama Crimson Tide Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Clemson is 8-6 ATS
Alabama is 8-6 ATS
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Alabama ranks 2nd in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 47.7 PPG while Clemson ranks 4th as they score an average of 44.3 PPG.
Clemson ranks 2nd in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 13.7 PPG while Alabama ranks 4th as they hold opponents to an average of 14.8 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Clemson Tigers +6.5
My reason for the pick :
We have said that the only two teams to give Alabama a game this season would be the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers and I still think that is true to this day. Both these teams rank inside the top 5 in both offense and defense but something has got to give as we will either have a shootout or a defensive battle. The Tigers defensive front is a big difference in this game as the two worst games for Tua came against Mississippi State and Georgia, two teams who got pressure on the sophomore. Clemson should have success in getting in the backfield and keeping Tua and company to 3rd and long but they will need to play well in the back end as well. The Clemson offense should have success on the ground as Etienne is one of the top backs and the nation. The Tigers should keep this game close as I see this teams as identical.
Betting trends for Clemson Tigers:
- Clemson is 8-5 ATS after a win this season.
Betting trends for Alabama Crimson Tide:
- Alabama is 2-3 ATS when playing teams outside the SEC this season.