Betting Preview: National Championship Game
Special to Outkick The Coverage from OddsShark.com
Having survived an early-season stumble, the Alabama Crimson Tide will get a shot at yet another national championship tonight when they take on the undefeated Clemson Tigers as the clear betting favorites.
Alabama was upset by Ole Miss in their third game of the season back on September 19, falling 43-37 at home in that game as a 9-point favorite on the betting lines. That damaged the Crimson Tide's chances of getting selected for a College Football Playoff berth this season.
However, the Crimson Tide responded to that defeat in a big way, rattling off 11 consecutive wins after falling to the Rebels, including victories in the Iron Bowl against rival Auburn, in the SEC Championship Game against Florida, and in the College Football Playoff national semifinal against Michigan State.
The Crimson Tide topped the Tigers 29-13 in the Iron Bowl as 15-point road favorites, got past Florida 29-15 but didn't cover the 16.5-point spread in the conference title game, and then blasted the Spartans 38-0 as a 10.5-point favorite to reach the national championship game tonight.
And that has the Crimson Tide set as 7-point betting favorites at the sportsbooks against the Tigers, who capped off an undefeated regular season with victories over North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game and Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff national semifinal.
Clemson found itself in tough against the Tar Heels, winning just 45-37 but still covering the 6.5-point spread in the contest. The Tigers then had an easier time with the Sooners in their national semifinal matchup on New Year's Eve, winning 37-17 as a 3.5-point underdog.
So the Tigers will be underdogs for the second game in a row on Monday night, and for only the second time this season according to the OddsShark College Football Database. Clemson only covered the posted spread in seven of its 14 games this past season, and had dropped four games in a row ATS before covering against North Carolina and Oklahoma.
The Crimson Tide have fared slightly better ATS at 8-6 on the season, but they're 5-1 ATS over their last six games -- with the lone ATS defeat coming in their game against Florida.