Alabama-Clemson Betting Guide (2018)
Crazy how history repeats itself, huh? Here we find ourselves…mere days before the Alabama Crimson Tide of the SEC and the Clemson Tigers of the ACC duke it out just south of San Francisco. It’s the fourth year in a row that these two teams have met in the College Football Playoff. It’s the third time in those four years that this match-up is going down in the National Championship. At this point, it feels like these two are destined to dance forever. They may as well start calling the National Championship the ‘Alabama-Clemson Cup.’ Not that I’m complaining – this rivalry has become one of the greatest in college football history.
But, this year’s game feels like it’s going to be closer than ever before – and that makes it difficult to bet. The sports books have the spread hovering around Alabama -5.5 to -6. They haven’t been favored by fewer than 12 points all season (SEC Championship vs. Georgia). In fact, the college football championship odds haven’t budged on Alabama all season, so if you don’t want to go against the grain, you’re better off having some fun with some prop bets.
Alabama and Clemson both are 8-6 ATS this season, but there’s no question in my mind that Alabama is the more battle-tested team, having survived games Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn, and Mississippi State. Outside of needing a comeback to defeat Georgia, the Tide pretty well dominated those opponents. Clemson struggled to beat Texas A&M by two (their only mutual opponent with Alabama), and Syracuse by four. But, analysts will be quick to point out that this Clemson team is different now than it was then. So, be careful when weighing the Tigers’ struggles.
The Tide’s defense looked shaky at times against the high powered offense of the Oklahoma Sooners, while the Tigers absolutely manhandled the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the CFP semi-finals. Clemson looks better prepared to take on Alabama than they have since Deshaun Watson left for the NFL. This game is exactly why Tigers HC Dabo Swinney made the switch from Kelly Bryant to Trevor Lawrence. As of now, that certainly looks like the right move to make.
Between Lawrence and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, we could be witnessing the two best pure passers in college football. Tagovailoa helms the best offense in Alabama history. Unlike years past, you figure this game is going to be a shootout between elite college offenses.
So, playing the point total seems like a cake walk, and maybe that’s the way to go. It’s the type of obvious that gives you pause, like…”okay, what am I missing here?” The over/under is set to 59.5, a mark that no one would be surprised to see either team surpass on their own. Given that Alabama and Clemson have combined for 75.5 points per game, on average, during their last two title game bouts, that 59.5 looks appetizing. Like I said, what are we missing here?
SportsBettingDime has a predicted score of 28.2 to 29.1 in favor of Alabama. While you can’t score fractions of points, I’d say that’s fair, but this game is going to be a lot closer than many people think. The Clemson defense isn’t getting the credit it deserves for having the athletes that can hang with a team like Alabama.
If you’re twisting my arm, I say take Clemson +6/+5.5 and the over. Check back later and we’ll break down some of those ridiculous prop bets when they come out.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley