Alabama-Clemson National Championship Game Predictions

And then there were two.  There were no surprises in this year’s final four of the College Football Playoffs.  Clemson took care of business against Notre Dame  as an 11 point dog at and won the game 30-3.  IN the other game, Alabama, who at one point in the first quarter was beating Oklahoma 28-0, ended up winning 45-34 and surprisingly not covering the 14 point spread.   It was just one of many big favorite heartbreaks this Bowl Season.   Now let’s take a closer look at the matchup between Alabama and Clemson in the national championship game and give you my prediction.

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Alabama – 5 v Clemson (O/U 59.5)

Alabama’s defense ranks as one of the best, but it has struggled with explosiveness at times and ranked 46th and 35th in defending rush and pass explosiveness, respectively, entering the Orange Bowl.   This doesn’t bode well for a game against a powerhouse like Clemson.  Oklahoma’s No. 1 offense proceeded to total 471 yards, 308 of which came from Kyler Murray through the air. It’s the second straight game Alabama has allowed over 300 yards passing.   In the SEC title game, Georgia rushed the ball for 153 yards on 3.9 yards per carry.  So clearly, they are not getting to the quarterback or stopping the run very well against good teams and that could spell trouble on Monday night.

And Bama will see a heavy dose of Clemson RB Travis Etienne and his 8.3 yards per carry in Monday’s game.  And just like in the Notre Dame game, Etienne’s threat should open up the passing game for Trevor Lawrence if he can avoid the Tide’s NCAA-leading sack rate.  Although that sack rate may be skewed against lesser quality teams as the above stats show what they did against quality opponents like Oklahoma and Georgia.

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Like in the 2017 championship won by Clemson, vertical plays could be the difference and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa has shown his ability to throw the deep ball as evidenced by his 11.4 yards per passing attempt.  But Clemson might not be as vulnerable to big plays through the air as the Tide secondary.  TheTigers haven’t faced a top-15 offense all season. We know all about Clemson’s stout defensive line but I think the secondary will make or break the Tigers’ chances of pulling the outright upset in this game.

The critics will highlight Clemson’s poor pass defense against Texas A&M and South Carolina when the Aggies’ Kellen Mond and the Gamecocks’ Jake Bentley combined to pass for 940 yards and eight touchdowns. Notre Dame QB Ian Book threw for just 160 and no TDs in the Cotton Bowl.   And they never really tested the Tigers’ secondary like Tagovailoa will right out the gate.


I’m betting Clemson in this game.  They have proven they can score on anybody and I think the Alabama pass rush will struggle to stop this high potent offense.  My earlier point about Clemson’s secondary having to play great will be the key to them winning the game outright, although I think a moneyline play is worth a shot.   But I like the 5 or 6 points that I’m getting as I think it will be that close when we come down to the final minutes of the game.  I give Bama the edge in being able to seal the deal and get the win, but there is no value in betting the moneyline here on Bama.  If anything, I like Clemson with a protective teaser with the over.

That’s my Alabama-Clemson National Championship Game Prediction.  It’s been a great year here at and I look forward to covering college football again in about six months time.  Good luck with your selections and don’t forget to join the site and play in any of our leagues.

Alabama football betting records, stats

2018 SU record: 14-0 2018 ATS record: 8-6 2018 O/U record: 8-5-1

Clemson football betting records, stats

2018 SU record: 14-0 2018 ATS record: 8-6 2018 O/U record: 6-8

Morris Chambers is a senior College Football analyst for


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