NCAAF Betting Odds: 7 Things to Know Before Betting on Alabama

Written by on January 11, 2016

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to beat the Clemson Tigers by a touchdown in tonight’s CFP championship game. Before you put your money down on Alabama, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding their NCAAF betting odds.

It’s Been 111 Years Since Clemson Beat Alabama

The two teams have met 15 times, and Alabama has won 12 of them. Clemson did win the first three, but those were back when John Heisman (yes, THAT Heisman) was coaching Clemson, and they last beat the Tide in 1905. Not only has Alabama dominated the series, but they’ve dominated the individual games, winning the last three meetings by 128-23 combined. Alabama has shut out Clemson seven times in those 15 meetings. The last time they met was in Week 1 of 2008, when Alabama routed Clemson 34-10, limiting the Tigers to zero rushing yards.

Look for Calvin Ridley to Have a Big Day

When Amari Cooper left Alabama to head for the NFL, he left a huge hole behind him. Calvin Ridley has filled that hole quite nicely, though, hauling in 83 catches for 1,031 yards and scoring seven times.

Watch Out for That Defensive Line

Yes, Alabama has a vaunted front seven. However, Clemson has a stout defensive line as well. Carlos Watkins (3.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss), Kevin Dodd (9 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss) and All-America end Shaq Lawson (10.5 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss) will give Derrick Henry and Jake Coker all they can handle in the title game.
Alabama only permitted 25 drives into the red zone all season.
The Crimson Tide only permitted 25 drives into the red zone all season.

Clemson Will Have Special Teams Problems

This is a team that ranked #126 out of 127 FBS teams in expected points added through special teams (-45.31) because of the problems they have had covering kicks. Cyrus Jones averages 12.6 yards per punt return, and he took one all the way back against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl semifinal.

Deshaun Watson is Better Than you Think

Watson can pull the ball down and run — and he can throw the deep ball too. Alabama’s secondary has been their only defensive weakness this season.

Relax in the Red Zone

Alabama only permitted 25 drives into the red zone all season — and they only allowed 11 red zone touchdowns. Clemson is only #65 in the nation in red zone touchdown percentage (60.7 percent).

Check Out Richard Mullaney

He doesn’t get the press of Calvin Ridley, but he was second on the team in touchdown catches with five and third in total catches with 37. He caught three balls for 53 yards against Michigan State.