Clemson vs. Alabama Total Prediction
The Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide racked up plenty of points against their respective competition this season but will defense rule Monday night’s national championship game?
151 Clemson Tigers vs. 152 Alabama Crimson Tide
8:00 p.m. ET, Monday, January 7, 2019
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Crimson Tide are currently 5.5-point favorites to beat the Tigers. The total, meanwhile, sits at 58 points. These have been the betting odds for the national championship game for the last few days, with little to no movement at Vegas and online sportsbooks.
Clemson's appeals on behalf of suspended junior DT Dexter Lawrence, OL Zach Giella and TE Braden Galloway have been denied by the NCAA. That trio was suspended for Clemson's Cotton Bowl semifinal win over Notre Dame after testing positive for banned substance ostrarine. While the school appealed in an attempt to allow them to play in the National Championship Game against Alabama on Monday, those appeals have fallen in vain. The big loss, here, is Lawrence, one of the best defenders on the team -- and in the nation. The 6-foot-4, 350-pound junior ends his 2018 season having recorded 36 tackles (7.0 for loss), 1.5 sacks and three passes defended across 13 games played. We could potentially be seeing a draft declaration from Lawrence -- Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranks him as the No. 20 draft-eligible player for the spring -- in the coming days. Should he declare, he would have to answer to the NFL on his suspension.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa was not wearing a walking boot during Saturday's Media Day ahead of Monday's game against Clemson. Not only was Tagovailoa not wearing the boot, the star sophomore signal-caller also told reporters that he's not feeling any pain in the ankle. There were moments that the southpaw quarterback appeared to be favoring the ankle as a runner against Oklahoma last Saturday, but it clearly didn't hurt him as a passer. Expect more brilliance from Tagovailoa on Monday.
The under is 4-1 in the Tigers’ last five games overall and is 5-2 in their last seven non-conference matchups.
The over is 20-6-2 in the Crimson Tide’s last 28 neutral site games and is 5-2-1 in their last eight matchups with the ACC.
Despite the line movement supporting the under, the latest installment of Clemson-Alabama has more potential for points than the previous three meetings. Tua Tagovailoa isn’t the game manager at quarterback that Nick Saban prefers to run his offense and this is one of the most talented and deepest receiver corps that Alabama has boasted under Saban as well. On the other side, Dabo Swinney doesn’t have Deshaun Watson but Trevor Lawrence has rewarded his coach’s risk to put him under center when Kelly Bryant led Clemson to the semi-finals a year ago. The Tigers are one of the only teams in the nation to rival what the Tide bring to the field from a receiver standpoint so assuming the moment isn’t too big for Lawrence, Clemson should rack up plenty of points.
While Bama’s defense has shown dominance at times this year (see the back-to-back shutouts of LSU and Mississippi State in November), this doesn’t feel like the same dominating defensive unit that Saban has rolled out in previous seasons. No Lawrence means Clemson’s outstanding defensive line loses one of its biggest impact players as well. The final score should reach the 60s tonight.
National Championship Game Prediction: Clemson/Alabama over 58