Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide CFP Title Game

Date: 
January 11, 8:00 PM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
OSU +8.5/ALA -8.5
Total: 
74.5

The Ohio State Buckeyes received a lot of criticism when the College Football Playoffs committee selected them at the no. Three spot despite playing just six games this season against inferior competition. However, the Buckeyes silenced all critics in the College Football Playoffs Semifinal with a blowout victory over the 2nd ranked Clemson Tigers. The Buckeyes entered the semifinal as 7 point underdogs before delivering one of the biggest upsets in playoff history in a 49-28 shellacking over Clemson, who was attempting to make their 3rd straight National Championship appearance. Now the Buckeyes will get another underdog opportunity when they meet the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium with college football's grandest prize on the line.

While the Buckeyes are hoping for a Cinderella storyline, Alabama continues to set the standard as college football's premier program. Head Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are looking to secure their 3rd national title in the last six years and the 6th of the Saban era in Tuscaloosa. Like the Buckeyes, the Crimson Tide also looked strong in their semifinal match-up against no. 4 Notre Dame. QB Mac Jones threw for four touchdowns, and the Crimson Tide defense overwhelmed the Fighting Irish in a 31-14 outcome. Now for the 80th consecutive game, dating back to the 2015 season, Alabama will enter as the betting favorite when they meet the Buckeyes at Hard Rock Stadium.

National Championship Game in jeopardy of being postponed due to COVID-19

On Tuesday, Ohio State released a notice that members within the program had tested positive for COVID-19. The Buckeyes have already had three games canceled this season due to COVID-19 related issues, and while the National Championship will definitely not be canceled, the Buckeyes lingering COVID-19 issues could cause the title game to be postponed. Currently, the game is on schedule to be played this Monday, January 11th. However, both SEC and Big Ten officials have discussed the possibility of pushing the game back one week to January 18th if any conditions worsen. While the timing of the game does not have any foreseeable betting impact, it may be something to keep track of throughout the rest of the week.

Historic over/under total posted for National Championship Game

Whenever both teams do take the field, we could be on the verge of a historic over/under total. The over/under is currently listed at 75 points, which is tied for the highest total in National Championship Game history along with the 2014 title game between Ohio State and Oregon. Some books are already showing totals of 75.5 and 76, meaning by kick-off time, bettors could be witnessing a historic number between two dynamic offenses. Alabama had been among the elite scoring offenses all season, averaging 48 points per game. The Crimson Tide produced two Heisman Trophy Finalists in QB Mac Jones and Heisman Trophy winner WR Devonta Smith who reeled in 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season.

While Alabama's offense is loaded with superstar talent, the Buckeyes also proved their offense is just as capable as any team in the country. In the semifinal blowout against Clemson, Ohio State QB Justin Fields delivered one of the best performances of any player of the entire season. Fields completed 22 of 28 passing for 385 yards with six touchdowns and one pick. Previously thought to be a bigger running threat than a passing threat, Fields proved he is capable of producing huge numbers on the biggest stage. The Buckeyes also have received tremendous performances from RB Trey Sermon in the last three games. Sermon has rushed for totals of 112, 331, and 193 yards in the previous three games to ignite a Buckeyes offense that is producing big numbers. Needless to say, bettors should expect a lot of fireworks when both offenses meet in Miami.

Ohio State vs. Alabama Betting Analysis

I will give Ohio State a lot of credit because I think everyone in the nation expected Clemson to win their semifinal match-up. The Buckeyes were able to establish the run, which provided bigger opportunities in the passing game. Against Alabama, I don't believe they are going to be able to repeat the process. The Crimson Tide have held opponents to just 107 yards per game on the ground, which is pretty strong considering some of the elite rushing offenses the team has faced. If you are very familiar with Ohio State's offense, you know that everything starts and stops with their running attack.

The Buckeyes have an underrated offensive line that deserves some credit, and perhaps they can prove their value again. However, I just don't believe the Buckeyes will be able to gash the Crimson Tide up the middle, which means instead of taking opportunistic passing opportunities, QB Justin Fields will be forced into more obvious passing situations, which is not ideal for Ohio State's offense. On the other side of the ball, Alabama simply has too many weapons and a QB that is far too efficient throwing the football. Unless we see Mac Jones fold in the biggest game of his career, I think this match-up heavily favors the Crimson Tide.

Ohio State vs. Alabama Betting Trends

  • Ohio State is 13-7 ATS in the last 20 games.
  • Ohio State has hit the "over" in four of the last five games.
  • Ohio State is 8-1 ATS in the last nine games as a betting underdog.
  • Ohio State is 2-5 ATS in the last seven games against SEC opponents.
  • Alabama is 7-2 ATS in the last nine games.
  • Alabama is 7-1 ATS in the last eight games against Big Ten opponents.
  • Alabama has hit the "under" in four of their last five post-New Year's games.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Alabama Crimson TidePredictions

Free Pick: 
Take Alabama -8.5 and I would also suggest consideration towards the under 74.5!