Stop us if you’ve heard this before, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers are meeting in the College Football Playoff.
For the 4th straight season, the two powerhouse programs will meet in the playoffs – third time in the CFP Finals.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) December 30, 2018
Alabama has a 2-1 edge and is 1-1 in the championship game. They defeated Clemson for the title in 2015, before the Tigers returned the favor the following year.
This time around, Alabama (13-0) is favored against Clemson (13-0) at Levi’s Stadium on Monday (January 7, 2019, 20:00ET). The spread opened at -6.0 points for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Tua Tagovailoa drives an Alabama offense that is the best in the Nick Saban era. This season he has an incredible 41 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
The offense averages 47.7 points per game, which gives a little room for error to a defense allowing only 16.2 points.
Tua Tagovailoa had more TDs than incompletions 😳 pic.twitter.com/yWmeCACnqt
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 30, 2018
There are no shortage of weapons for Tagovailoa to choose from, but Jerry Jeudy appears to be the best of them all. He captured the Biletnikoff award this season as college football’s best receiver and now has 1,176 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 14 games.
Alabama has gone a reassuring 14-0 SU as favorites this year, and 8-6-0 against the spread.
Alabama vs Clemson Statistical Comparison
|47.7 (2nd)||PPG||44.4 (4th)|
|527.6 (5th)||YPG||531.3 (4th)|
|202.0 (35th)||Rushing YPG||257.5 (10th)|
|325.6 (7th)||Passing YPG||273.8 (24th)|
|16.2 (7th)||PPG Allowed||12.9 (2nd)|
|308.7 (12th)||YPG Allowed||280.7 (6th)|
|121.1 (20th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||98.6 (3rd)|
|187.6 (23rd)||Passing YPG Allowed||182.1 (16)|
Tua Tagovailoa is great, but it isn’t crazy to suggest Clemson may actually have the edge at quarterback.
Trevor Lawrence was the highest rated QB recruit in history and has done nothing to disappoint since taking the job from Kelly Bryant.
If @Trevorlawrencee could come out for the #NFL draft this year he would be the #1 pick easily and teams would be trying to trade up for him. What a ball on the seam TD! #CFBPlayoff #ClemsonFB #CottonBowl2018
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) December 29, 2018
Lawrence is 10-0 as starter, including a dominant win over Notre Dame to set up another date with Alabama. Over the 10 games he’s been QB1, Lawrence has 18 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.
Trevor Lawrence is good at this football thing 🙌
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 29, 2018
As impressive as he has been, this isn’t a one man team. The Tigers rank top 5 in points per game, yards per game, points per game allowed, and rushing yards per game allowed.
This does mark unfamiliar territory for Clemson, though, entering the game as underdogs. They have not been underdogs so far this season, so they have no record in this position.
It’s a classic match up between two juggernaut programs.
Both coaches have National Championships, and both teams are quarterbacked by superstars.
Alabama won their 14 games by an average margin of 31.5 points; Clemson was also 14-0, winning by 31.4 points per game.
Alabama won their 14 games by an average margin of 31.5 points; Clemson was also 14-0, winning by 31.4 points per game
Dabo Swinney joked earlier this year there was Alabama and there was everyone else on the “rest of y’all bus”.
Don’t listen to Dabo; this isn’t David vs Goliath. This is two top teams ready to battle in Part 4 of what has become one of college football’s top rivalries.
It’s a coin flip, where one side of the coin is offering you a 6.0 point edge. Take the “underdog” in Clemson with the points.
Pick: Clemson +6.0