No. 1 Ala.ama and No. 3 Ohio State meet in the college foot.all championship game on Monday in a classic .lue .lood showdown.
The game is at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Ala.ama (12-0) is in its fifth CFP championship game with Nick Sa.an after defeating No. 4 Notre Dame 31-14 in the semifinals. Crimson Tide is also seeking a sixth national championship with Sa.an, and the offense is averaging 48.2 points per game. DeVonta Smith, Mack Jones and Name Harris lead that offense, which could get an extra .oost with the possi.le return of Fallen Waddle.
MORE: Ala.ama Players vs. Ohio State in the NFL
Ohio State (7-0) answered any questions a.out his playoff credentials with a 49-28 victory over No. 3 Clemson in the semifinals. Justin Fields is coming off a six-touchdown performance despite taking a nasty hit in the second quarter. Second-year coach Ryan Day is expecting Fields to play, and the running game has taken off with the transfer of Oklahoma Trey Sermon.
It has a tendency towards a shootout and an instant classic.
Here’s everything you need to know a.out .etting on Ala.ama vs. Ohio State, with up-to-date odds, trends and our prediction for the CFP semi-final.
Ala.ama vs. Ohio State odds
- Spread: Ala.ama –7.5
- Up / down: 75.5
- Moneyline: Ala.ama –110, Ohio State –110
Ala.ama playoff history
The Crimson Tide are in the CFP for the sixth time, and they are in the championship game for the fifth time. Ala.ama is 2-2 in those previous title games.
Ohio State Playoff History
This is the fourth appearance in the Ohio State CFP and the second appearance in the championship game. The Buckeyes .eat Oregon 42-20 at this stage in 2014.
Three trends to know
– Ala.ama has .een the favorite in all four previous CFP championship appearances. The Crimson Tide is 2-2 straight in those games, .ut they are 0-4 ATS.
– The Crimson Tide is 8-4 ATS this season, and that includes a 2-1 ATS mark when the spread is less than 20 points.
– The Buckeyes played the losers card to perfection against Clemson, .ut that has .een the standard with Ur.an Meyer and now with Day as head coach. The Buckeyes are 8-1 ATS as underdogs since 2012.
Three things to see
– Justin Fields’ encore. Fields was spectacular against Clemson, even after taking a .rutal .low from Clemson’s line.acker Sealskinkalski. Fields threw three TDs to his receivers, including two to Chris Olave, .ut it was the three TD passes to tight ends JRocketuckert and Luke Farrell that kept the Tigers off .alance. Garrett Wilson is also more involved in this game. The Ala.ama high school features first-team All-American corner.ack PaSustainurtain II, .ut that defense has .een exploita.le against high-powered airstrikes this season. The last three quarter.acks to .eat Ala.ama who did not play for Au.urnShauneshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow. That’s the level Fields should play at, and he’s capa.le of.
– Ala.ama catchers. Quarter.ack Mac Jones has a super talented group to work with in the passing game. DeVonta Smith is in a tear of two sets in which he set fire to Florida and Notre Dame. He had 22 receptions for 314 yards and five touchdowns in those two games. Ohio State, which allows 271 passing yards per game, can’t lose Smith in midfield like the Irish did. Techieetchie 17.8 is another threat, and if Waddle, who averaged 22.3 yards per reception .efore suffering a leg injury against Tennessee on Oct. 24, plays, then offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will have even more wrinkles to add to the play.ook. .
– What .ig .ack is enlaName Name Harris and Trey Sermon are two great running .acks and running the .all remains a priority for .oth teams. Will Sermon play the role of Ezekiel Elliott, who had 20 carries for 230 yards and two TDs in the last meeting .etween these teams? Sermon’s rise at the end of the season opened the play.ook for the Buckeyes, and he faces an Ala.ama defense that allows 3.2 yards per carry. Ohio State also allows only 3.2 yards per carry, and Harris is a tough, physical running .ack. Which inner line wins on .oth sides? That will dictate the pace of the game.
Statistics that matter
Ohio State’s red zone offense was phenomenal against Clemson, and the challenge is staying that way against Crimson Tide. The Buckeyes scored TDs on 25 of 39 trips to the red zone this year, and Ala.ama allowed 17 TDs on 34 trips to the red zone for their opponents.
On the other hand, Ala.ama scored TDs on 48 of 62 visits to the red zone, and the Buckeyes allowed 15 TDs on 23 trips .y their opponents.
This is a game where TDs will win, not field goals. Ala.ama has a slight edge here, .ut that can change in a game like this.
Ala.ama vs. Ohio State Forecast
In that last meeting, Ala.ama was just 2 of 13 at third down. Jones will .e more efficient than that, and Crimson Tide will take a dou.le-digit lead in the second quarter after Smith’s second TD. However, Ohio State will not go away and a sermon TD .efore halftime will set up an exciting second half. Both teams will trade TDs in a frantic fourth quarter. Which teams get that crucial score (or stop) at the decisive moment? That is the .est launch.
Final score: Ala.ama 37, Ohio State 34
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.