Last Updated: 2019-01-07
The College Football Playoff National Championship literally is the Super Bowl of college football. We all know that it decides the champion, but the game also mirrors the Super Bowl in terms of the betting markets. A large collection of prop betting options can be found on this big game and this year’s matchup features far and away the two best teams in CFB as Clemson faces Alabama for the third time in four years.
The game preview for this one was written last week, but as we get ready for the big event tonight, we’ve got a plethora of prop betting options to consider. With the tightest line of the season on this game, using the prop market to your advantage is going to be the best way to attack this game.
We’ll look at a sample of the market with BetOnline, 5Dimes, and DSI Sportsbook so that we can shop around for the best betting odds.
With that, let’s look at some player and game prop bets for Clemson vs. Alabama Part Three:
Offense Scores All TDs (-180) (5Dimes) – These are two excellent defenses, as we know, but turnovers could be hard to come by in this game. Trevor Lawrence posted a 24/4 TD/INT ratio in his 326 pass attempts and was only sacked eight times. Tua Tagovailoa posted a 37/4 TD/INT ratio in his 294 pass attempts and was only sacked 11 times.
Clemson kicker BT Potter had 72 touchbacks on 106 kickoffs and only 30 kicks were returned. Forty of Joseph Bulovas’s 116 kicks were returned. While these two teams certainly have a lot of special teams skill, it is tough to see a kick return touchdown. After all, across all college games this season, there were only 33 kick return TDs. Judging by the total on the game, the punters shouldn’t be used a whole lot.
You can find this line -210 at DSI if you don’t have access to 5Dimes, but there is a lot less value with 30 cents of juice.
No 1-Yard TD Score (+130) (5Dimes) – I really wish I had a better way of quantifying something like this, but it is so specific that I feel like the No has value here. These are two excellent offenses full of explosive players and play calls. Alabama was second in yards per play and Clemson was third. Both teams were top 20 in red zone efficiency. It just feels like these teams are going to have more success from further out, rather than a one-yard pile-up at the goal line.
Points Scored in Clemson vs. Alabama (-125) vs. Points Scored in Super Bowl LIII (+105) (BetOnline)
I don’t have a strong play one way or another here, but this is a fascinating prop bet. It is a lot more fascinating today because Baltimore and Chicago had the two best defenses in the playoffs are both are now out. The total on the National Championship Game is in the 58 range, which is higher than what we’ll see for the Super Bowl in all likelihood, unless we get Chiefs vs. Rams. Then it’ll be close.
This is a really intriguing prop bet to consider. While last year’s 41-33 result seems unlikely, five of the last six Super Bowls have gone over 50 points and three of the last six have gone over 60 points.
Perhaps coincidentally, the only Super Bowl to stay under 50 points was played at Levi’s Stadium, the venue for the Clemson vs. Alabama game. That had more to do with Peyton Manning’s rag arm and two terrific defenses with the Broncos and the Panthers, but the playing surface has been a concern here before. Food for thought with everything else that we have to consider for this game.
Tua Tagovailoa Pass Completions Over 21.5 (-115) (5Dimes) – As discussed last week on BangTheBook Radio with Brad Powers, the Crimson Tide ran with a little bit of tempo against Oklahoma and had a lot of success with it. Also, it’s really hard to run on this Clemson defensive front. That means Tua Tagovailoa. A lot of college teams use the swing pass or pop pass as an extension of the run to stretch the defense sideline to sideline and I would expect some of that from Alabama tonight, to go along with their usual RPO hallmarks.
Tua only went over this number three times in the regular season and then in the semifinal against Oklahoma, but he also didn’t have to play the second half or fourth quarter very much. That has kept this line down a little bit and I’m happy to take the value.
For what it’s worth, DSI has the over at -125 and BOL has 22.5 completions with the over at -103.
Trevor Lawrence Rushing Yards Over 14.5 (-114) (BetOnline) – You have to do some digging to find this on the site, but it’s in the Player Props interface when you select a specific player. This is just the straight over/under line. You can switch to “At Least” and then bet 15 all the way on up with varying juice.
To me, Clemson has to run Trevor Lawrence a little bit here. The zone-read should open up rushing lanes for Trevor Etienne and the threat of Lawrence scrambling around should help in the play-action game. Dabo Swinney has played Alabama three times in the last three seasons and he knows what a mobile QB can do. The difference last year was that the Tide had no worries about Kelly Bryant’s throwing ability and crowded the line of scrimmage and filled the box. They’ll be more spread out this time against a passer like Lawrence.
I’d expect Lawrence to have some designed QB runs and also to have to scramble around a little bit.
Damien Harris Under 50.5 Rushing Yards (-130) (5Dimes) – You can find under 49.5 at BetOnline at -120 here, but Damien Harris isn’t the right type of running back against this Clemson scheme. Josh Jacobs is the faster back and the one more likely to find some holes. Harris had less than 10 carries in each of the last three regular season games, but he did have 13 carries against Oklahoma, whose defensive front is much weaker than Clemson’s. He still only had 48 yards. This isn’t a great matchup for him and he is unlikely to be a big part of the scheme.
Isaiah Simmons Solo+Ast’d Tackles Over 5.5 (+100) (5Dimes) – Individual defensive player props aren’t out there everywhere, but 5Dimes has a handful. Isaiah Simmons should be plenty active in this game. Alabama loves to use the middle of the field with slants and drags, which will force Simmons to make tackles in the open field. He should be busy and at 6-foot-3, he covers some ground.
Enjoy the game and look for player prop betting opportunities as an alternative to what is the tightest side and total of the season.
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