The 2017 title tilt will get underway tonight, Monday, January 11 at 8:30 PM ET, live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Now, let’s find out if DeShaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers can either get the outright win or ATS cover against Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide.
NCAA Football Championship Betting Odds: Tigers Vs Crimson TideWhen: Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 at 8:30 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Spread: Alabama -6.5
Moneyline: Clemson +220 at Alabama -250 / Total: 50.5
Alabama is currently favored by 6.5 points after opening as a 7-point favorite. If you want to bet the Total, the game’s Over/Under is sitting at 50.5 after opening at 53.5. The Crimson Tide are a -250 pick against the Moneyline while the Tigers can be had as a +220 pick against the Moneyline.
Why Bet The Clemson Tigers Odds at +6.5For me, the very best reason to back the Clemson Tigers in this affair is the same reason I picked the Tigers to get back to the national championship – athletically-gifted dual-threat signal-caller DeShaun Watson. Clemson’s superstar quarterback has completed a blistering 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,173 yards with 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while adding 581 rushing yards and eight scores for good measure.
The Tigers also have elite, if underrated, running back in Wayne Gallman and future NFL star in wide receiver Mike Williams that I believe could come up big in this contest, if the Tide overplay on Watson. Clemson’s defense is another big reason why Clemson could stun Alabama, even if they don’t get the same amount of national attention as their defensive counterparts in this contest.
This season, Clemson Tigers ranked eighth in total defense (306.9 ypg), 16th against the pass (183.8 ypg), 19th against the run (123.1 ypg) and a stellar seventh in points allowed (17.1 ppg). Not only that, but the Tigers also have a couple of sure-fire future NFL performers on the defensive side of the ball, including junior linebacker Ben Boulware and powerful freshman defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell.
Why Bet The Alabama Crimson Tide Odds at -6.5By now, you probably know that the best reason to back Alabama (14-0 SU, 10-4 ATS) to win the national championship is a defense that is so tight, it makes Fort Knox look like a piggy bank.
The Crimson Tide are ranked first nationally in total defense (244.4 ypg), first against the run (62.4 ypg) and first in points allowed (11.4 ppg). The Tide have held a whopping nine opponents to 10 points or less this season, including No. 4 Washington in their convincing 24-7 Peach Bowl semifinal showdown last weekend. The Tide are led by superstar defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, but have several other standout defensive stars that can and make plays all over the field.
Alabama has also found out they have a seriously gifted young quarterback in Jalen Hurts. The freshman signal-caller has completed an impressive 64.6 percent of his passes this season while throwing for 2,620 yards with 21 TD passes and a manageable nine interceptions. Hurts has also rushed for 891 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging over five yards per carry. Alabama is ranked 15th in scoring nationally (39.4 ppg) this season – and a lot of that is because of the stellar play of Hurts.
Last but not least, I’ve got to say that running back Bo Scarborough looks like he could be a load to handle in the championship game after rushing for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries against No. 4 Washington last weekend.
Expert Pick & Final Score PredictionLast year, Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 but narrowly failed to cover the spread as a 6.5-point favorite while the game’s 85 combined points played well over the 53.5-point O/U Total. This time, Alabama is still a 6.5-point favorite, but now, a convincing 61 percent of public bettors likes Clemson to cover the CFP national championship spread and I say that’s the right call!
Before this season started, I picked Clemson to get back to the national championship and win it all behind a great effort from Deshaun Watson and I believe that’s exactly what’s going to happen, although right now I’m thinking the Tigers’ underrated, but impressive defense will have as much to do with their championship game outcome as Deshaun Watson will.
If Clemson could contain Ohio State’s dual-threat superstar quarterback J.T. Barrett a week ago, I believe they’ll do the same to Alabama’s Jalen Hurts while forcing the young signal-caller into at least one costly mistake and possibly two. I also think Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams could beat the Tide’s defensive backs for at least one and probably two huge deep balls that could seriously alter the outcome of the championship game.
While Alabama has gone 4-1 ATS in their last five non-conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall, the Tigers have put together a perfect 6-0 ATS mark in their last six bowl games while also going a robust 8-1 ATS in their last nine neutral site games and a solid 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. Deshaun Watson leads the Clemson Tigers to the outright ‘upset’ victory!