CFP National Championship Betting – Clemson Tigers vs. LSU Tigers

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

In the five previous years of the College Football Playoff there has never been a back-to-back champion. And the No. 1 seed has never won a title. That will change on Monday night when one of these cats will emerge with a victory. The defending champion Clemson Tigers are making their fourth title game appearance in five years and put their 29-game winning streak on the line against the LSU Tigers, who entered the CFP as the top dog, or cat. After seeing what Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow did during the season and in the semifinal win over Oklahoma, there is a lot of action on the Bayou Bengals, who make the short trip for this de facto home game. LSU opened -3 on the college football betting line.

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Clemson Tigers vs. LSU Tigers

Date and Time: Monday, January 13, 2020, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Opening CFB Odds: LSU -3, O/U 68.5

Clemson vs. LSU TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

As mentioned above the LSU Tigers are getting plenty of support with the line spiking as high as -6 before settling to its current -5.5. LSU roared through an undefeated season beating six top-10 teams along the way, including a 63-28 drubbing of OU in the Peach Bowl semifinal. LSU went 4-2 ATS in those games and is 9-5 ATS overall. Clemson has been a good bet all season, but these Tigers are playing as an underdog for the first time all year. They covered -2.5 in their 29-23 semifinal win over Ohio State for their fifth straight ATS victory. Clemson is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games and 11-3 ATS overall. After a slight uptick, the total was wagered back to its opening of 68.5.

Clemson Tigers

Clemson will battle the top offense in the country with the best defensive unit in hopes of securing a second straight national championship. At this game last year they were a 5.5-point underdog to Alabama and handed the Tide its worst loss under Nick Saban, 44-16. That’s the last time the Tigers were getting points on the college football betting line. Clemson might have the defense to slow Burrow and LSU down. They have the second best total defense allowing 264.1 yards per game and lead the nation in scoring defense with an average of 11.6 points yielded per contest.

The unit went 13 games without surrendering more than 300 total yards until Virginia topped that mark in the ACC Championship. Ohio State amassed 516 total yards in the Fiesta Bowl, but Clemson tightened the screws in the red zone allowing three field goals on drives that could have put the game out of reach. Still, giving up that yardage was a sign that the defense could be had.

Feeling a level of disrespect has motivated Clemson. There were questions mid-season when they eked out a 21-20 win over North Carolina. A few weeks later the Tigers weren’t among the top four on the initial CFP rankings. Since that UNC game Clemson outscored opponents 444-101 going 8-1 ATS. They held Ohio State to its lowest point total of the season in the 29-23 Fiesta Bowl victory. And they got a stellar game from Trevor Lawrence, who has never lost as Clemson’s starter. He directed the game-winning touchdown drive and created opportunities with his legs, giving LSU defenders another thing to be wary of.

LSU Tigers

Making their first CFP appearance, LSU wasn’t fazed by the big stage. In fact, Burrow and his mates seem to be made for this exact moment. Throwing for 403 yards and seven touchdowns in the first half, the Tigers cruised over Oklahoma and will try to become the first No. 1 seed to win a national championship. And the Sooners got an up close and personal look at the most electric offense in the country. “We have five NFL guys in routes every single snap and it’s tough to cover. We’re a tough matchup for a lot of people,” Burrow said.

You can’t argue with him. LSU is averaging 48.9 points per game after their outburst against OU, their third game this season with more than 60 points. For an offense to average over 564 yards per game there has to be a lot of talent on the field. Burrow is the ringleader throwing for 5,208 yards with 55 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He gives his receivers a chance every time by completing 77.6 percent of his throws. It helps to have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Ja’Marr Chase (1,559) and Justin Jefferson (1,434), who each have 18 touchdown receptions. And a healthy Clyde Edwards-Helaire will help the run game.

If there is a weakness it’s on defense, but we’re reaching. LSU allowed 402 rushing yards and 614 total yards to Ole Miss earlier in the season, but they’ve been stingy since. “I think after the Ole Miss game it was kind of a turnaround for us. We started playing LSU football after that,” safety Grant Delpit said.

Bet Clemson vs. LSU at BookMaker.eu

LSU’s lowest scoring game of the season was against a good Auburn defense, so there is hope for Clemson. I’m leaning toward the under on the total with 35 points being enough to win this game. And with LSU having the home state advantage, that will push them over the top, ending Clemson’s long ride.

National Championship Score Prediction: LSU 35, Clemson 30

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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