It’s the national championship game we all knew we wanted. Alabama and Clemson, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the preseason, meet in the first national championship game rematch in back-to-back years in the history of college football. Last season’s title game was a roller-coaster that saw the two teams combine for 40 points in the fourth quarter.
Defense, defense, defense. Alabama is one win away from a perfect season thanks to a stifling D that leads the nation in points and yards allowed while sitting third in sacks. If for some reason you doubted Alabama’s defense, you were silenced when it held Washington to 194 yards in the Peach Bowl. The defensive line features potentially the best player in college football in Jonathan Allen, as the surefire top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL draft has 62 tackles, 15.0 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks.
The Tide’s offense was carried by Bo Scarbrough in the semifinals, as the sophomore rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns against the Huskies. Jalen Hurts struggled, going 7-for-14 with just 57 yards and three sacks in the Peach Bowl. It was the first time all season Hurts looked like a freshman, as he has accounted for at least two touchdowns in 10 outings this season.
Alabama will be without Lane Kiffin, who was the team's offensive coordinator since 2014, after Nick Saban dumped him off the staff ahead of the national championship game. Kiffin had planned on coaching the Tide in the title game though he has already accepted the head coaching job for FAU, much like Kirby Smart did last year, but was dismissed after reportedly taking the task lightly.
Clemson enters the rematch with Alabama coming off its most dominant performance of the year, as the Tigers shut out Ohio State 31-0. The Tigers defense held the Buckeyes to 215 yards and nine first downs while registering three turnovers. Even though Clemson has been largely strong stopping the run this season, opposing running backs have gashed them more than once.
Clemson’s offense will go as far as Deshaun Watson can carry it. Watson has accounted for 46 touchdowns this season, which includes finding the end zone 17 times in the past four games. Watson had a huge game against Alabama in last season’s national championship game, as the then-sophomore threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.
Sportsbook Odds & Computer Pick
Betting fans backing the Alabama Crimson Tide here saw them at Sportsbook as -6-point favorites in this college football clash. (Check back shortly for Sportsbook totals at sportsbooks tracked by Odds Shark as none was available at the time this preview was written.)
Odds Shark college football prediction models picked a 41-33 result in favor of the Crimson Tide on Monday. Check the matchup report for any updates or pick revisions before kickoff. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.
Team Betting Records & Power Rankings
The Clemson Tigers will look to cover ATS vs their hosts on Monday, as they are 7-7 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Alabama Crimson Tide are 10-4 ATS. Clemson is 7-7 against the over under total, while Alabama is 6-8 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Alabama vs Clemson injuries news.
The game pits the Alabama Crimson Tide, currently No. 1 in our Odds Shark NCAA Football Power Rankings, against the Clemson Tigers, who rate No. 4 in the latest survey.
Offensively, the game matches up the Alabama Crimson Tide No. 15-ranked offense (39.36 PPG) against a Clemson Tigers defense that ranks No. 7 at 17.07 PPG. The Alabama Crimson Tide passing attack has averaged 212.14 yards per game, more than the Clemson Tigers give up through the air (183.79 YPG on average).
Defensively, the Clemson Tigers feature the league's No. 7-rated road run defense, allowing 112.17 yards per game. Alabama, meanwhile, ranks No. 37 in rushing offense at home.
Recent Outings Betting Recap
ClemsonÆs defense kept the Buckeyes off the scoreboard last time out in a 31-0 win at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Bo Scarbrough tore up the turf for 180 rushing yards in the latest Crimson Tide game, a 24-7 win over the Huskies at Georgia Dome.