National Championship Odds – Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The stage is set with the CFP national championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Alabama Crimson set to bring a close to the chaotic 2020 college football season. Both teams rolled to easy wins in the semifinals setting up a rematch of a first round game from the 2014 season, which the Buckeyes won on their way to the first-ever CFP title. Alabama appeared in four straight title games after that loss winning a pair, and the Tide makes a return after missing the playoff last season for the first time. And this might be Nick Saban’s best team yet. Alabama hit the board as a 7.5-point favorite to claim yet another national championship.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date and Time: Monday, January 11, 2021, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
CFB Odds: Alabama -8, O/U 74.5
Ohio State vs. Alabama TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The opening line was influenced by Ohio State’s 49-28 pounding of Clemson in the semifinals. The Buckeyes were a converted touchdown underdog in that one and looked like a different team than the one that narrowly got by Northwestern, 22-10, in the Big Ten Championship. OSU won every regular season game, though they played just five times before the conference title tilt. The Buckeyes looked the part of a championship game participant against Clemson and face an even bigger spread at -8 on the current line. Nick Saban isn’t supplying any bulletin board material and instead will let his team do the talking on the field. Alabama has faced large spreads all season and its closest game was a 6-point win over Florida in the SEC Championship. Notre Dame got a backdoor cover in the semis giving the Tide back-to-back cover losses for the first time. They ended with an 8-4 ATS record sporting an average winning margin of 30.2 points.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes aren’t going to stop Alabama’s lethal offense so it’s up to Justin Fields to work his magic. That might be more difficult after he was injured in the Clemson game after taking a mid-body hit. The play actually turned out to be winner since it got the Tigers top defender James Skalski off the field with a targeting call. After being evaluated by medical personnel, Fields returned to complete what he started.

With Fields throwing for 385 yards and six touchdowns, and Trey Sermon rushing for 193 yards, the Buckeyes couldn’t be stopped, shredding a good Clemson defense for 639 total yards. They scored on five consecutive possessions in the first half using a 28-0 run to put the game away in a display that was missing during the regular season. The Buckeyes felt they let one slip away in last season’s playoff loss to Clemson and were not going to let that happen again.

One area that has me worried for Ohio State is its pass defense. The Buckeyes were last in the Big Ten in that department and Trevor Lawrence completed nearly 69 percent of his throws for 400 yards in the semifinals. Those numbers were skewed a bit since the Tigers were playing catch up, but still it’s an alarming stat against one of the most prolific offenses in the game.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The offense has to be good to produce two Heisman Trophy finalists and the eventual winner. There could and probably should have been a third finalist off the team, but the optics wouldn’t have been good. DeVonta Smith became the first receiver to win the Heisman since 1991 putting up startling numbers for the second-best scoring offense in the FBS. Smith has 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns heading into Monday’s tilt. Alabama had its streak of consecutive games scoring at least 35 points end against Notre Dame in the semis, but they still put up 31 in a game that was never in doubt.

Stopping Alabama is something no team has been able to do. Mac Jones has expertly distributed the football completing 77 percent of his passes for 4,036 yards and 36 touchdowns. He’s thrown just four interceptions in 357 attempts. And there’s a possibility he has another weapon. Jaylen Waddle, who went down with an ankle injury early in the season, could return. Waddle averaged 22.3 yards per catch before going down in the fifth game of the season.

The defense was overshadowed by all the exploits on the other side of the football, but that group has been solid. There was a hiccup against Florida in the SEC Championship when the Gators scored 46 points. But Bama was back at it against Notre Dame harassing Ian Book and holding the Irish to just one touchdown until the final minute. It was the seventh time in the last eight games the Tide allowed 17 points or less in a game.

Bet Ohio State vs. Alabama at BookMaker.eu

I can’t see Ohio State getting enough stops to win this game. Alabama is absolutely loaded and we didn’t even mention Najee Harris, who rushed for over 1,300 yards and a FBS high 24 touchdowns. The well-being of Fields is a concern as is Ohio State’s continuing battle with COVID. Bama is on a quest after missing the playoff last year and they finish things off with a win on Monday.

CFB Score Prediction: Alabama 42, Ohio State 32

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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