What do Sportsbooks Think of This Year’s Title Game?

Posted by: Mike Davis
Alabama vs Clemson Betting Odds Preview

Second chances are hard to come by. Generally people associate the New Year with new opportunities, but it it’s very hard to get another crack at a missed possibility, especially with college football betting lines. But by the stroke of a miracle, or divine intervention itself, that is exactly what sportsbooks fans, and the Clemson Tigers, are facing on Monday, January 9th.

As improbable as it may seem, 2016’s FBS season has produced the same title contenders as the previous year. Of course, most NCAAF betting fans will remember the thrilling contest that we witnessed on January 11th, 2016 between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers. In what turned out to be a shootout, Deshaun Watson nearly lead the Tigers to a last second comeback but was denied the opportunity due to a failed onside kick. The final score read 45-40 Alabama, sealing the Crimson Tide’s 4th national title in 7 years, first of the College football playoff era, and Nick Saban’s 5th overall. Now Bama has an opportunity to add to that stellar resume while Watson has a rare chance at revenge. Who do the sportsbooks think will come out on top?

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME – (Full Limits Available on Game Day)

Clemson Tigers           +7 (-125) 50 ½ (-110) +210

Alabama Crimson Tide -7 (+105) 50 ½ (-110) -250

It seems that college football betting lines are favoring the Crimson Tide and the nation’s best defense. After delivering an unblemished season, Alabama will come into this game with their heads held high at 14-0. However, most sportsbook critics would agree that it is Clemson who is coming into this contest with more momentum, despite having a 13-1 record. Ironically enough, last season it was Clemson that came into the national title game with a 14-0 record. Facing them was 13-1 Alabama, who as we all know, ended up getting the upper hand. Will history repeat itself this Monday night?

If the Tigers are looking to give Bama a taste of their own medicine then the first thing they have to worry about is ball possession. Alabama’s defense isn’t just the best in the nation at defending; it’s also the best at scoring. The Crimson Tide have allowed just 15 touchdowns in 14 games and that same foreboding defense has scored 11 touchdowns in that tenure. Trying to outscore Alabama’s offense is one thing, but trying to outscore both their offense and defense is a much more arduous affair.

Granted, the Tigers do have Watson who threw for 4,173 yards, 38 scores and just 17 interceptions this season. Additionally, Watson is Clemson’s second-leading rusher with 586 yards on the ground and 8 rushing touchdowns.

Opposite of Watson will be defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, arguably one of Alabama’s most electrifying players. Fitzpatrick leads the team with 6 interceptions, 7 pass breakups, one forced fumble, and 62 tackles. Fitzpatrick is coming into this contest with interceptions in his last two games and will be looking to keep that streak alive. Needless to say, Fitzpatrick is one of the many reasons that the college football betting lines are favoring the Crimson Tide so heavily.