College football is so competitive these days that it is almost inconceivable that one program would build itself to the point where it could become a “dynasty” (as we use the term somewhat loosely). But that’s where it may have gotten with the Alabama Crimson Tide, which will go after their fifth national title under the reign of Nick Saban when they square off against the Clemson Tigers in a rematch of last year’s title game, which they won 45-40 in a thriller.
They will kick it off on Monday night at 8 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and VietBet customers, who can enjoy reduced juice to give them better odds, have a chance to place wagers even after the opening whistle, as they involve themselves with the software provided by Live Betting Ultra.
Alabama vs Clemson – Vietbet NCAAF Betting Line:
In the betting odds posted on the College Football National Championship game by the folks at VietBet, the Crimson Tide are laying points:
Alabama Crimson Tide -7 (+100)
Clemson Tigers +7 (-120)
Over 50.5 points -110
Under 50.5 points -110
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Alabama vs Clemson – Why Alabama Can Win Again:
Alabama lost to Ole Miss last season, but ran the table the rest of the way en route to the championship game. This year they got a scare from the Rebels, who burned them for even more yardage (522) before they blew a lead and lost 48-43. And Clemson had 550 total yards against them last January. Why would things be any different, providing the atmosphere for the Tide to not only win, but cover the spread?
We are going to make the case for that here.
Alabama obviously learned some lessons from that game – namely, how to put a better plan together to combat Deshaun Watson, Clemson’s dual threat quarterback, who went over the 400-yard mark passing in that game and has had more than 4000 yards through the air this season. And you can make a rather substantial argument that ‘Bama is even better on defense than it was last season. After all, they are first in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense, allowing just 62 yards a game. And they completely shut down Washington in that area last week, holding them to 44 net yards after keeping Florida at ZERO yards in the SEC title game.
Sure, Alabama had great success with limited teams like Auburn (allowed 182 yards), LSU (125) and Florida (261). But Washington was supposed to have a dynamic, well-rounded offense, and the Tide snuffed them out, holding one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams (44.5 ppg) to 194 yards and seven points. They also registered five sacks, bringing their total up to 50 on the season. Can they sack Deshaun Watson? Maybe, maybe not. Can they hurry him into some ill-advised passes. They probably can.
And let’s not forget that Watson is hardly error-free; he has been intercepted 17 times. Don’t forget what Alabama does with other team’s mistakes. We’ll get to that in a minute.
VietBet patrons have seen that Clemson is not exactly airtight against the run either. Well, let’s put it this way – against a quarterback like Lamar Jackson, who is adequate throwing the ball but very adept at making things happen with his feet, they allowed 568 yards – 273 of them on the ground. Six teams rushed for at least 120 yards against the Tigers, and ‘Bama not only has Jalen Hurts, who should have been a Heisman candidate and who ran for 891 yards, they also have a potent duo of backs in Bo Scarbrough (6.6 ypc) and Damien Harris (7.2 ypc). They’ll move it.
In last year’s dramatic win, Alabama recovered an onside kick at a key moment, leading to a touchdown, and also got a 95-yard kickoff return from Kenyan Drake. Should we consider those to be aberrations? Well, we might, except that Nick Saban’s team scored no less than FIFTEEN TD’s between the defense and special teams. So now the 17 interceptions by Watson is very much a factor. It is almost uncanny how these guys can make big plays that way.
Having Hurts in the lineup adds a dimension that wasn’t there last year with Jake Coker. That is something that could conceivably mitigate the effects of the Clemson pass rush (49 sacks) and give the Tigers’ defensive coordinator, Brett Venables, something extra to think about. This edition of the Tide could be better in all three phases, even after having lost Heisman winner Derrick Henry (as well as Drake), and may in fact be head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd for this season.
By Charles Jay
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