NCAAF Betting Odds: 7 Things to Know Before Betting on Clemson
The Clemson Tigers finished the regular season with an undefeated 12-0 record, and went on to win the ACC championship and the Orange Bowl semifinal against Oklahoma to enter the CFP championship with a 14-0 record. However, they are seven-point underdogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1). Here are some things to know before you take Clemson (and those points). Click here for our NCAAF betting lines!
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) January 11, 2016
Alabama is Not Good at Converting Third Downs
It’s true that Alabama tends to run roughshod over the opposition. However, if you can get them to third down, you have an excellent chance of getting the ball back. They only rank #96 in the nation when it comes to converting third downs (36.2 percent). The average FBS rate is just under 40 percent. Given that Alabama faces an average of 14 third downs per game, they have to punt (or kick a field goal or go for it) on nine of those occasions. That means that the Crimson Tide are surrendering at least two more drives per game than they did last year.
History Does Not Mean Anything
It’s true that Alabama has not lost to Clemson since 1905. However, the players are kids who don’t have much of a sense of what happened in the past — instead, once the game starts, they are focused heavily on the present now. So forget that Alabama won their last meeting back in 2008, because the kids on the field couldn’t even drive back then.
NCAAF Betting: Bank on Mackensie Alexander
One of the best cornerbacks in the nation, Alexander held OU receiver Sterling Shepard in check during the Orange Bowl semifinal. He will be guarding Calvin Ridley in tonight’s game, and expect his smack-talking and defensive acumen to be on full display once again.
Hope that Clemson Punts Toward the Sidelines
Clemson had a difficult time containing punt returns this year, and they are facing a dandy of a returner in Cyrus Jones, who already scored on a return against Michigan State. However, Clemson also showed some courage and creativity on special teams when they converted a fake punt pass in the Orange Bowl semifinal.
Watch out for Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams
These Crimson Tide linebackers are fearsome pass rushers, combining for 24 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks. Look for them to try to contain and pressure Deshaun Watson.
Keep an Eye on Jordan Leggett
The tricky Clemson tight end ranks third on the team in catches (35) and fourth in receiving yards (447), but no one has caught more touchdown passes from Deshaun Watson this year than he has, with seven.
Believe in Deshaun
The Tide have not faced a quarterback who combines a running threat with such a strong arm this year. If Alabama commits hard to pressure, he can use his feet to build space and then find an open receiver deep down the field against an Alabama secondary that is their weak link on defense.