The Clemson Tigers have been the best team in the country this season, but they are significant underdogs in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. The No.2 Alabama Crimson Tide are giving the No.1 ranked team seven points in their meeting on Jan 11.
Clemson was an underdog in the CFP semifinal, despite entering the contest at 13-0. But the Tigers beat Oklahoma handily, winning 37-17 and claiming their fourth victory over a top-10 team.
Alabama had an even easier time reaching the national title game, shutting out Michigan State, 38-0. It was the 11th consecutive victory for the Crimson Tide, whose only loss this season came against Ole Miss on Sept. 19. Alabama was nearly a double-digit favorite over Michigan State, and they have five wins over teams in the top 25 CFP rankings.
According to vegasinsider.com, Alabama opened as six-point favorites at Las Vegas casinos. The betting public is backing the Crimson Tide, who have been favored in almost every game in the last several years. When Alabama was given points in their Oct. 3 matchup against Georgia, it marked the first time that Nick Saban’s team was an underdog at kickoff since 2009.
MGM sports book took a six-figure bet on Alabama -7. As of today, 10 times more money has been bet on Alabama than Clemson, per Jay Rood.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) January 4, 2016
Not only has Alabama not lost since September, but they’ve been winning by large margins. Only one of their victories has come by less than 13 points, and they have beaten their last six opponents by an average of 26.2 points per game.
The over/under for the national title game is 51 points. Alabama has the nation’s No.3 ranked defense, and they haven’t allowed more than 16 points in their last six games. All but one of those contests have totaled 46 points or fewer.
Clemson has scored at least 33 points in five consecutive games. The final score in six of the Tigers’ last eight games has featured at least 54 total points.
Alabama is looking to win their fourth national title under Saban since the 2009 season. The Crimson Tide are 3-0 in national championship games under the head coach, and they won back-to-back championships in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
It’s been 24 years since Clemson won their only national title. The Tigers have won bowl games in four straight seasons.