Alabama - Clemson
|Date & Time||Monday January 7, 2019, 8:00 PM (EST)|
Santa Clara, CA
Alabama Crimson Tide -5 -- Over/Under: 58
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers meet in the College Football National Championship game from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Monday night.
The Alabama Crimson Tide enter this game at 14-0 as the #1 ranked team in the country after taking down Oklahoma in the national semifinal by a final score of 45-34. Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for 3,671 yards, 41 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while Damien Harris leads Alabama in rushing with 819 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. Najee Harris has 724 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns while Josh Jacobs has 593 rushing yards and 11 TDs on the ground this season. Jerry Jeudy leada Alabama with 63 catches for 1,176 yards and 13 touchdowns while Jaylen Waddle has 823 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns and Henry Ruggs III has 738 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. As a team, Alabama is averaging the 4th-most total offense per game with 527.6 yards per game to go along with the 2nd-highest scoring offense in the country, putting up 47.7 points per game this season. The Tide are also tough defensively, giving up just 16.2 points per game this season, good for the 5th-lowest mark in FBS.
The Clemson Tigers also enter this game with a record of 14-0 after taking down Notre Dame in their national semifinal by a final score of 30-3. Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 2,933 yards, 27 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while Travis Etienne has rushed for 1,573 yards and 22 touchdowns. Tee Higgins leads Clemson’s receiving corps with 56 catches for 855 yards and 11 touchdowns while Justyn Ross racked up 40 receptions for 847 yards and 8 touchdowns. As a team, Clemson is averaging the 3rd-most total yardage per game with 531.3 yards of total offense and the 4th-highest scoring offense with 44.3 points per game this season. Clemson’s defense is also stifling, giving up the 5th-fewest yards of total offense with 280.7 yards per game against, including 98.6 yards per game against on the ground, the 4th-lowest rushing defense this season. The Tigers are also giving up the fewest points per game in the country, allowing just 12.9 points per game this season.
Alabama is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games against the ACC and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in January while the over is 20-6-2 in their last 28 neutral site games. Clemson is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 bowl games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.
Two of the top 4 scoring offenses go head-to-head in this one, but both have been solid on defense this season, ranking top-5 in scoring defense with Bama giving up just 16.2 points per game and Clemson allowing the fewest points per game in the country, allowing just 12.9 points per game. With that said, it sounds weird but you could argue that Clemson has been the better team defensively this season, as the Tigers have held their opponent to 10 points or less in 9 of their 14 games this season, and in 4 of their last 5, including their national semifinal where the Tigers held Notre Dame to just 3 points. Furthermore, all 3 national championship games that Alabama has been involved in have been decided by 5 points or less, 2 of which came against Clemson. I think this is a game that comes down to the final possession, so I’ll take the points with Clemson in this one. Enjoy the game and see you next season!