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Crimson Tide-Tigers Championship Game Point Spread at Alabama -7

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jan/08/2016
Crimson Tide-Tigers Championship Game Point Spread at Alabama -7

Carrie Stroup here with your Crimson Tide-Tigers Championship game point spread where the Tide were coming at a -7.  The total was set at 51.

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (13-1) vs. CLEMSON TIGERS (14-0)

The top two teams in the country will play for the national championship on Monday night in Arizona when No. 2 Alabama collides with unbeaten No. 1 Clemson.

Both schools are sizzling hot, as the Crimson Tide (13-1 SU, 8-6 ATS) have ripped off 11 straight wins by an average of 23.2 PPG, while the Tigers (14-0 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) have beaten their past nine opponents by 18.1 PPG. Both teams had little problems in the national semifinals, as Alabama held a 440-239 total yards advantage in a 38-0 pounding of Michigan State, while Clemson rolled up 530 total yards in an easy 37-17 win over Oklahoma.

The last time the Tigers won in this series was 1905, as the Crimson Tide have prevailed in each of the past 12 meetings, including seven by shutout. However, the only matchup to take place in the past 40 years occurred on Aug. 30, 2008 when Alabama beat Clemson 34-10.

There are plenty of reasons for bettors to place a wager on either team Monday, as the Crimson Tide are 26-12 under head coach Nick Saban after allowing less than 750 total yards in a three-game stretch, and excellent offensive teams (34+ PPG) facing good defensive teams (16 to 21 PPG allowed) after a win by 35+ points after 7+ games are a hefty 39-12 ATS (77%) in the past 10 seasons.

However, the Tigers are 30-14 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992, and are a perfect 6-0 ATS away from home under head coach Dabo Swinney when facing excellent teams outscoring their opponents by at least 17 PPG.

With Clemson star DL Shaq Lawson (knee) upgraded to probable for this contest, the only absences are all suspension related. Alabama DB Tony Brown is out after violating team rules, while the Tigers trio of WR Deon Cain, TE Jay Jay McCullough and K Ammon Lakip all remain suspended after failing drug tests before the semifinals.

Alabama has nearly identical offensive numbers both overall (34.4 PPG, 424 total YPG) and away from home (34.4 PPG, 428 total YPG), where the team is a perfect 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS. This is a run-heavy offense with 59% of the plays coming on the ground, leading to 204 YPG on 4.8 YPC. The play selection has also resulted in a whopping 33:48 average time of possession this season. The Tide have also been strong through the air with 219 passing YPG on 7.3 YPA.

Heisman Trophy-winning RB Derrick Henry is the main engine of this offense with an eye-popping 2,061 rushing yards on 5.7 YPC and 25 touchdowns. In his past seven games versus FBS opponents (Michigan State and six SEC teams), Henry has carried the football 230 times (33 per game) for 1,328 yards (190 YPG) on 5.8 YPC with 13 touchdowns.

Senior QB Jake Coker (67% completions, 2,775 pass yds, 7.5 YPA, 19 TD, 8 INT) isn't flashy, but he has thrown just two interceptions in his past eight games combined. In his past four games, Coker has connected on 71-of-95 throws (75%) for 206 YPG (8.7 YPA), 7 TD and 0 INT, and is coming off a season-high 286 passing yards in the win over Michigan State. WR Calvin Ridley caught eight of those passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 1,031 receiving yards and 7 TD in his freshman season.

Alabama's defense continues to stifle opponents, allowing a paltry 13.4 PPG on 257 total YPG this season, including 9.3 PPG and 226 total YPG over the past three games. While opposing rushers gain only 71 YPG on 2.3 YPC, opposing quarterbacks don't fare much better with 186 YPG on a mere 5.8 YPA and 49% completion rate. The Crimson Tide have not had a negative turnover margin in any of their past eight games where they have 14 takeaways and only five giveaways. This could be problematic for a Tigers offense that has committed multiple turnovers in eight games this season.

Clemson's offense has been rolling all year with 38.4 PPG on 512 total YPG, and those numbers jump to 41.4 PPG on 544 total YPG away from home. The team keeps the ball on the ground 58% of the time this season, which leads to a hefty 228 rushing YPG on 5.0 YPC. In the two December postseason games (ACC Championship vs. North Carolina and national semifinals vs. Oklahoma), the Tigers have topped 310 rushing yards both times, totaling 631 yards on 114 carries (5.5 YPC). Despite the rushing prowess, the air attack has also produced at least 215 yards in seven straight games, which runs its season averages to 284 passing YPG on 8.3 YPA.

Sophomore QB Deshaun Watson is having a sensational year with 3,699 passing yards (8.3 YPA), 31 TD and 12 INT. Four different Clemson receivers have at least 34 catches and five touchdown grabs, led by sophomore WR Artavis Scott (89 rec, 868 yds, 5 TD), who has racked up a hefty 49 receptions over the past seven games. Watson has also run for 1,032 yards (5.5 YPC) and 12 TD this year, which includes five 100-yard efforts in the past six contests.

The team's top ground gainer is RB Wayne Gallman, who has picked up 1,482 rushing yards (5.5 YPC) and 12 touchdowns this year. Gallman has topped the 100-yard mark in nine of his past 11 games, including 187 yards in the ACC title game and 150 yards versus Oklahoma.

The Tigers defense often gets overshadowed by the explosive offense, but this unit has been solid all season in holding opponents to 20.0 PPG on 302 total YPG. The run-stop unit limits teams to a meager 125 YPG on 3.6 YPC while opposing quarterbacks are throwing for only 177 YPG on 6.0 YPA and 48% completions. The Clemson defense has also generated a respectable 25 turnovers this season, but is facing an Alabama offense with only one turnover in the past four games combined.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911 Senior Reporter

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