Deshaun Watson and the third-ranked Clemson Tigers will look finish off the goal they fell agonizingly short of completing a year ago when they take on the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship on Monday night.
The last time Clemson beat Alabama?
The same year that Albert Einstein published the Theory of Relativity. 😳 pic.twitter.com/0BAQjVj6qr
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 5, 2017
The Tigers are identical 6.5-point favorites against the Tide just like they were in last season’s championship showdown. This game gets underway live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida at 8:00 PM ET and will air live on ESPN. Now, let’s find out which title hopeful is offering the most value.
Clemson Tigers Vs Alabama Crimson Tide Spread & ATS Pick
What: NCAA Football National Title Game
Who: No. 2 Clemson Tigers (13-1) at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (14-0)
When: Monday, January 9, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Where: Tampa, FL
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
Spread: Alabama -6.5
Moneyline: Clemson +205 vs Alabama -255
Game Total: 51.5
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: Clemson vs Alabama
Why Bet The Clemson Tigers To Beat The Crimson Tide
The Tigers (13-1 SU, 7-7 ATS) have won four straight games and looked absolutely phenomenal in shutting out No. 3 Ohio State 31-0 in their Fiesta Bowl national semifinal matchup last weekend to easily cover the spread as a 1-point underdog.
For me, the best reasons to bet on the Tigers to pull off the championship upset is that Clemson has a player that I believe is the best in the nation at his position. While Louisville’s Lamar Jackson won the Heisman trophy this season, I maintain that it is Clemson superstar Deshaun Watson that is the best quarterback in all of college football.
The composed Watson has completed a blistering 67.3 percent of his passes this season while throwing for a stellar 4,173 yards with 38 touchdowns, even though he has tossed a high, 17 interceptions.
The fleet-footed, dual-threat future NFL performer has also rushed for 581 yards and eight touchdowns while helping Clemson to put up a whopping 39.5 points per game to rank 13th nationally in scoring.
Another great reason to back the underdog Tigers in this matchup is Clemson’s outstanding, but underrated defense. This season, Clemson 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 To Beat The Tigers
Look, by 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.
Seriously though, 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.
Clemson Vs Alabama ATS Pick & Final Score Prediction
Last 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 rightfully so.
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 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!