Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
Date & Time: Monday, January 1, 2018 at 8:45 PM ET
Spread: Alabama -3
Over/Under Total: 47
Quick Pick: Clemson +3
The Allstate Sugar Bowl this year will be played on Monday, January 1, 2018 at 8:45 PM ET at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will serve as the semifinals for the NCAA College Football Playoffs. The winner of this game will face the winner of the Rose Bowl, which will be played earlier in the day, in the National Championship game on Monday, January 8.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
The Allstate Sugar Bowl is an annual football game that is played during the NCAA’s College Football Bowl season.
The Sugar Bowl is part of the College Football Playoff structure and serves as the semifinal matchup between two of the four teams. The Sugar Bowl has been played since 1935.
The Sugar Bowl has been called a few different names since its induction with such sponsorships coming on board with the Sugar Bowl. Those names consist of the USF&G Sugar Bowl, the Nokia Sugar Bowl and of course, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl.
This year, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers will match up in the Sugar Bowl. Both of these teams have already played in at least 1 Sugar Bowl. The Alabama Crimson Tide have appeared in the Sugar Bowl more than any other team with this year being their 16th appearance in the Sugar Bowl. They have gone 8-7 in the 15 previous Sugar Bowl matchups and will be looking to stay above .500 with a win here to advance to the National Championship. The Clemson Tigers lost their only appearance in the Sugar Bowl back in 1959.
Previous Matchup History
The Crimson Tide and the Tigers have played each other 17 times throughout the history of the two programs with the latest being in the past 2 National Championship games. Both of the squads recorded a win and a National Title by defeating the other but the Crimson Tide have a decisive advantage over the Tigers going 13-4 against Clemson in their 17 game history.
Alabama Crimson Tide 11-1 (SEC)
The Alabama Crimson Tide will come into this game looking to win and get their chance at their 17th National Championship. The Tide are 11-1 on the year and have covered the spread in only 5 of their 11 games. Alabama won their first 12 games of the regular season but fell short at an undefeated season by losing the final game of the year to Auburn.
The Crimson Tide had one of the top defenses in the NCAA this year and are only allowing opponents to score an average of 11.5 points per game. They held 9 of their 12 opponents under 19 points and 6 of those opponents were held to single digits.
The Crimson Tide are getting healthy with the extra time off. The Crimson Tide haven’t played since the Iron Bowl, when they lost to Auburn, which was on November 25. That extra time has allowed the Tide to get some players, especially their linebacking core, healthy and able to play without injury in the Sugar Bowl.
The Crimson Tide have appeared in 65 bowl games, which is the most of any FBS College Football Team. They have a record of 38-25-3 in those 65 bowl games and this will be there 14th consecutive bowl game. The Crimson Tide have gone 3-1 in their last 4 bowl games overall and are winners of 7 of he last 10 bowl games.
Clemson Tigers 12-1 (ACC)
The Clemson Tigers come into this game with the hopes of defending their National Title that they won last year. The Tigers are 12-1 overall and have covered the spread in 8 of their 13 games. The Tigers only loss came in upset fashion as they dropped a mid-week game to the Syracuse Orange.
The Tigers also had a very good defense this year, ranking 2nd in points allowed, only behind the Crimson Tide, with 12.8 points per game allowed. Clemson’s defense held the opponents to under 280 yards per game in each game this year. Clemson held 12 of their 14 opponents
Brent Venables will strategically come up with a defensive game plan to stop the Bama offense. This is where Venables shines! If you take a look at Clemson’s recent history in bowl games and look at how the Tigers have fared in weeks where the Tigers had a bye, you will see that they are very tough and their defense shines. Venables is a planner and constructs defenses that can cause headaches for opposing offenses.
The Clemson Tigers have appeared in 41 bowl games in the history of the program and have gone 22-19 in those bowl games. The Tigers have won their last 2 bowl games and 6 of their last 7 bowl games overall.
Sugar Bowl Handicapping
Round III of the Clemson vs. Alabama saga takes place and this one may be the most even game of the 3. If you think these two don’t play close games, you need to know that the 2 prior games scores added up to 76-75. Sure, Alabama has dominated the series but you have to consider the over recent matchups vs. 20-30 years ago. Things are different now and this should be a very competitive game!
Spooky is going with Clemson in the game but it is still too early to weight how much he like them. We will wait to see what happens between now and game day. Please make sure you check back to find out what our final play will be. Spooky Express Pick: Clemson Tigers +3
Note: This bowl game is being handicapped and broken down weeks in advance of the game being played. Please be sure to check back periodically to determine if any changes have been made and be sure to check the day of the game, to receive and over/under plays that we may provide.
The line moved in our favor on this one. When we first released the Tigers, they were +3. The line has since went up a half point and we will buy the extra half point and roll with the Clemson Tigers for 5 STARS! Let’s close our the bowl season with a BANG!
Spooky Express Pick: Clemson Tigers +4 (buy half point) (5 out of 5 Stars)