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Thread: Cnotes 2018 College Football Thru The Bowl Games News- Trends-Stats-Best Bets !

  1. #876  
    RX Semi-God
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    Wednesday’s 6-pack

    NBA’s top six players free throw shooters (min 50 att):

    6) JJ Redick, 76ers 109-120, 90.8%

    5) Kevin Durant, Warriors 269-295, 91.2%

    4) Stephen Curry, Warriors 130-142, 91.5%

    3) Lou Williams, Clippers 169-184, 91.8%

    2) Danilo Gallinari, Clippers 191-207, 92.3%

    1) Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks 56-57, 98.2%

    Quote of the Day
    “We felt it important to extend and amend Lincoln’s contract at this time as we want him at the University of Oklahoma for a long time. He is a great coach and role model for our student-athletes. His record of success speaks for itself. Lincoln is also the right representative for our university in such a high-profile position. I am proud to work with him and anxious to support him as he takes our program into the future.”
    Oklahoma president James Gallogly; lets see the Sooners go 7-5 a couple years in a row and see what a great role model they think Riley is.

    Wednesday’s quiz
    Who was the only NFL QB to take every offensive snap for his team this season?

    Tuesday’s quiz
    Shaquille O’Neal played his college basketball at LSU.

    Monday’s quiz
    Fred Dalton Thompson played a DA on Law and Order for five years, then later ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2008.


    Wednesday’s List of 13: Wrapping up the first day of 2019

    13) Forgot to mention this Monday, but NFL gets the Week 17 thing right; every game is a divisional rivalry game, and the most meaningful games are stuffed into the 4:25 window of games, to maximize drama. Makes handicapping more difficult, but so be it.

    12) There are rumors going around Las Vegas these days that UNLV is going to have a new basketball coach next year, and that guy is coaching in Greece right now— Rick Pitino.

    11) Kentucky 27, Penn State 24— Wildcats win 10+ games in same football season for first time since 1977. Kentucky led 27-7, were outgained 407-297, but hung on for the win- they ran a punt back for a touchdown, the first punt return Penn State allowed for a TD since 2012.

    10) Houston snags football coach Dana Holgorsen away from West Virginia, giving him $20M over five years; not often a guy voluntarily leaves a Big X program for an AAC team, but money talks……

    9) Of the 12 teams who made NFL playoffs this year, Rams played most games (4-3) against them this season. Bears (2-1), Ravens (1-2) played the fewest.

    8) Jets could be a good over bet for wins next season; since 2000, here are the Jet head coaches, 1st year and then after……

    2000 Al Groh First year: 9-7 Replaced after one year
    2001 Herm Edwards: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 29-35
    2006: Eric Mangini: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 13-19
    2008: Rex Ryan: First year: 9-7 Rest of time: 37-43
    2015: Todd Bowles: First year: 10-6 Rest of time: 14-34

    7) Speaking of the Jets, how does the coach at Iowa Freakin’ State turn down an interview with an NFL team? Matt Campbell doesn’t want to coach in the NFL? Fine, but interviewing with an NFL team wouldn’t at least be a good experience for him? I laughed when I saw this note.

    6) Agreed that Steve Alford/UCLA was an odd fit, but here is the list of coaches who made 3+ Sweet 16’s in the last five years:
    Alford, Beilein, Calipari, Few, Huggins, Krzyzewski, Sean MIller, Self, Williams.

    Firing Alford before conference play was insulting, and probably done to placate a big-money donor. Wonder if it’ll hurt them in finding a high-profile replacement.

    5) Gambling is difficult: Monday, Weber State (-6.5) won 93-87 at Idaho. Weber was up 41-16 with 5:49 left in first half, led by 22 at the half, but didn’t cover. Idaho made 10-19 3-pointers but covered by only a half-point. Weber was the right side in the game, but not the winning side.

    4) Ohio State 28, Washington 23— I wonder if Urban Meyer will ever coach again; hopefully he will never be on TV again, just a totally humorless, serious person who was a great coach but for Pete’s sake, tell a joke or say something sarcastic now and then- its not that hard.

    3) LSU 40, Central Florida 32— Tigers’ QB Joe Burrow was 21-34 for 394 yards and four TD’s as LSU ended UCF’s 25-game winning streak. Burrow led LSU to a 10-3 record this season; he was the 3rd-string QB at Ohio State before this year. Think about that for a second.

    2) Lions fired OC Jim Bob Cooter Tuesday; officially it is a “mutual parting of ways” which is a nice way of Matt Patricia saying, “Take a hike!!!!”

    Jets/Cardinals need to look at Cooter to help develop their young QB’s.

    1) Tuesday is usually garbage day in my neighborhood, but because of New Year’s Day, it got pushed back a day this week. Lot of my neighbors didn’t get the memo and put their garbage out Monday night, and it was really windy Tuesday morning, so the neighborhood was a mess Tuesday morning, lot of stuff everywhere. Not a great way to start 2019.
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  2. #877  
    RX Semi-God
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    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    Alabama-Clemson Part IV matchups
    January 4, 2019
    By The Associated Press

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Clemson and Alabama are playing in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight season, and the third time for the national championship.

    The winner Monday will become the first 15-0 FBS champion.

    With the help of SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic, a former Auburn offensive lineman, a breakdown of some of the key matchups that could decide Tide-Tigers Part IV.



    There are few one-on-one matchups where Alabama is ever going to be at a disadvantage. Clemson's defensive line might be good enough to capitalize on some small vulnerability even without suspended 340-pound run stuffer Dexter Lawrence.

    Tigers All-America defensive tackle Christian Wilkins against Alabama left guard Lester Cotton is a place where the Tigers can win one-on-one.

    ''Wilkins is a player who has really good quickness inside. Could be very disruptive against a player who was benched in the middle of the season for a younger player that came in and sort of took his spot and is now suspended and not going to play,'' Cubelic said.

    Deonte Brown was suspended for an undisclosed NCAA violation, Alabama coach Nick Saban has said.

    Alabama right tackle Jedrick Wills has occasionally had some problems in pass protection. The Tide might need to provide some help for the sophomore to deal with Clemson's defensive ends, whether it's All-American Clelin Ferrell, Cotton Bowl defensive MVP Austin Bryant or freshman Xavier Thomas, who looks like Clemson's next great pass rusher.

    Clemson leads the nation with 52 sacks, led by Ferrell with 11+ and Bryant with eight, including two against Notre Dame. The Tigers also lead the nation in yards per play allowed at 4.05.

    Cubelic said he would expect Clemson to rely on the defensive line to hold its own against the run and commit more players to coverage. It sounds weird to say of Alabama, but challenging this Tide team to run the ball is probably the way to go.

    ''They're kind of greedy,'' Cubelic said of Alabama's offense, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. ''They know they're really good throwing the ball. They know they have an elite quarterback and elite wide receivers. Why not go out there and pitch it around?''

    Tagovailoa, the Heisman runner-up, has a 205.19 passer efficiency rating, which would break Baker Mayfield's single-season record from last year.

    Senior Albert Huggins played well filling in for Lawrence against Notre Dame, but the junior is more likely to be missed this week.

    ''He's probably one of the best linemen in college football, no doubt, in terms of his production and his performance,'' Saban said. ''He's played really well against us in the past.''



    If there was a defensive player with a case to the win the Heisman Trophy this season, Alabama's Quinnen Williams was the guy. He has hardly been slowed down and it's doubtful Clemson center Justin Falcinelli, an All-ACC player, and guards John Simpson, Gage Cervenka and Sean Pollard will be a physical match for the future top-five NFL draft pick.

    Williams, an All-American and Outland Trophy winner, plays differently than the recent dominant Tide nose guards such as Terrence Cody and Daron Payne. Williams often lines up in one gap, and then shoots into another gap or works his way from one shoulder of a blocker to the other. Clemson uses a lot of zone- and gap-blocking schemes, where its linemen are assigned to block a particular space rather than a man.

    ''The scheme is not very friendly to handle not only a guy as talented as Quinnen Williams, but the way he plays,'' Cubelic said.

    The 295-pound Williams had 18 tackles for loss, including eight sacks.



    Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence has all the physical gifts. From that standpoint, he is ready for Alabama. The challenge against the Tide for Lawrence will be as much mental as physical.

    Alabama's overwhelming talent sometimes overshadows just how well-coached the players are. The Tide doesn't make many mistakes and Saban's defenses throw a lot at quarterbacks.

    ''The windows are going to close faster,'' Cubelic said. ''The pressure is going to be applied more quickly. The decisions are going to have to be made faster.''

    Lawrence has completed 65.5 percent of his passes, with 27 touchdown passes and only four interceptions.

    An underrated part of Lawrence's game is his mobility, but he hasn't used it much until late in the season. He has 86 yards on 10 carries in the last three regular-season games. Swinney said he'd like to see Lawrence take off more.

    ''Sometimes people will drop and play coverage and receivers will have to work and work and work to try to get open and he's confident he can rip it there,'' Swinney said.

    Because Alabama is so good up front with Williams, Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs (team-high 9.5 sacks), it is likely Lawrence will see a lot of seven- and eight-man coverage and get some opportunities to run.

    ''If Alabama is going to give you anything, you damn well better take it,'' Cubelic said.

    Alabama's excellent pass rush has helped bring along a secondary that relies on talented but inexperienced corners such as freshman Patrick Surtain.

    ''I don't know how good the Alabama secondary is,'' Cubelic said. ''And I don't think anybody else really knows.''

    Clemson has a versatile group of receivers with Tee Higgins (11 touchdowns) and Justyn Ross (eight touchdowns) both checking in at 6-foot-4, Amari Rogers (four touchdowns), who is built like a running back, and senior Hunter Renfrow, who has scored four touchdowns in two previous championship games against Alabama.
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  3. #878  
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    Las Vegas
    *Clemson vs. Alabama*
    Brian Edwards

    *Matchup: Clemson vs. Alabama
    Venue: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
    Time/TV: ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET*

    This rivalry started in 1900 when Clemson beat Alabama 35-0 in Birmingham. Clemson won the first three meetings by a combined score of 78-0 with shutout victories in 1904 and 1905. From 1909 to 1975, Alabama put it on the Tigers 11 consecutive times, dealing out cream-cheese treatment in seven of those encounters, including a 56-0 win in ’75.

    But these storied programs wouldn’t collide again until the 2008 season opener, and that’s when the modern-day version of this rivalry began. I was at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on that Saturday afternoon, the lid-lifter for Alabama in its second season under Nick Saban and the last year that Tommy Bowden would roam the sidelines at Clemson.

    As a five-point underdog, Saban’s Alabama team took the Tigers behind the woodshed in a 34-10 blowout that wasn’t even that close. Bowden would take a lot of criticism after media reports got out that Bowden had called Saban seeking advice after taking that pimpslap.

    Six weeks later after a loss at Wake Forest in ESPN’s featured Thursday night game, Bowden was handed his pink slip. Some dude named Dabo Swinney was named the interim head coach. Alabama would remain unbeaten until going back to the Georgia Dome, where Tim Tebow led the Gators past the Tide in the SEC Championship Game.

    That loss was the turning point for Alabama in its dynastic 12-year run under Saban. Since that defeat to UF, Alabama is 6-0 in SEC Championship Games, including this year’s 35-28 come-from-behind victory over Georgia.

    The turning point for Clemson during Swinney’s 11 years on the job? That’s easy. It came at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 of 2012 when QB Geno Smith led West Virginia to a 70-33 win over the Tigers.

    After serving as defensive coordinator under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma from 1999-2011, Brent Venables was hired away by Swinney to take the same gig at Clemson. Since then, the Tigers have an 86-11 record. They’ve posted double-digit win totals for eight consecutive years, winning 14 times in three of the past four seasons.

    These teams are facing each other in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year and the third time in the CFP finals. In the first meeting, Alabama won 45-40 in a thriller, but Clemson took the cash as a six-point underdog thanks to a Deshaun Watson touchdown pass with 12 ticks remaining.

    One year later, Watson found Hunter Renfrow for a two-yard TD pass with one second left to lift Clemson, a 6.5-point underdog, to a 35-31 win and the school’s first national title since 1981. Then in the CFP semifinals at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans last season, Alabama won 24-6 behind a sensational defensive effort.

    Maybe Monday’s game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is just Chapter 4 of a novel in its infancy? Perhaps Clemson and Alabama will meet in the College Football Playoff for three or four more seasons in a row? Maybe Saban's run at The Capstone has 3-4, maybe even five, years left in it?

    With Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailo and Clemson signal caller Trevor Lawrence both returning in 2019, there’s a strong chance these schools will meet again next year.

    But you never know with these things. Maybe Saban wins his seventh career national title and his sixth at Alabama and then decides he wants to go out on top? Perhaps the competitive urge to try it again in the NFL will emerge and, with the chance to coach Aaron Rodgers, he won’t be able to turn down a lucrative offer from the Green Bay Packers?

    In that scenario, Swinney would instantly become Alabama’s top candidate to replace Saban. Remember, Swinney was born and raised on the color crimson and played at Alabama under Gene Stallings. Maybe Swinney would return home, or perhaps he’d elect to stay put because it rarely works out when you replace The Legend (ask Ray Perkins about that one.)?

    When I was making my weekly appearance on The Out of Bounds Show with Qualk and Kelly this past Thursday on 105.1 The Roar in Clemson, Qualk posed this question (or something very close to it) to me: “Are you tired of the Clemson-Alabama matchup? Is it a bad thing for college football when two teams meet in the playoffs four years in a row?”

    I was borderline shocked. Is that some sort of theme across the country? If so, it’s nothing but bitterness and spilled milk from fan bases of schools consistently failing to make the CFP. Don’t like it? Do something about it. Beat Alabama when you have a 14-point lead in the second half. Seal the deal when you’re up 10 early in the fourth quarter at Death Valley with Clemson playing a third-string redshirt freshman at QB.

    If anything, this showdown between the nation’s premier programs should be coveted by college football fans. Again, it might be Chapter 4 with many more remaining, or this could be it. Whatever the case, it’s likely the defining game for this rivalry and for Swinney, who with a win could claim his second national title and a 2-2 record against Saban (only Steve Spurrier has been better vs. Saban).

    With an Alabama win, it would make Clemson the Joe Frazier of his rivalry with Muhammad Ali – the runner-up compared to the champion. It would further establish that there’s not a program on the Tide’s level these days (only Clemson is worthy of being in that conversation, anyway).

    So no, hell no I’m not tired of these teams squaring off in the CFP. Why would anyone dread watching two unbeaten heavyweights slug it out with everything on the line?

    As of Sunday afternoon, most betting shops had Alabama (14-0 straight up, 8-6 against the spread) installed as a five-point favorite with a total of 58 or 58.5. The Tigers were +180 on the money line (risk $100 to win $180). For first half-wagers, most spots had the Crimson Tide listed as a three-point favorite (with a -120 price tag) with the total anywhere from 28.5 to 29.5. Clemson had +160 odds to be leading at intermission.

    Bettors can get down on the first quarter as well. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook had ‘Bama as a one-point ‘chalk’ in the opening stanza, but most books had the Tide at minus one-half point (with -120 to -130 juice). The Tigers were +135 to go into the second quarter with the lead.

    Remember, Alabama went 10-0 ATS for first-half bets until failing to cover in its last two regular-season games and against Georgia in Atlanta. However, it bounced back to improve to 11-3 ATS in the first half when it took a 21-point advantage into intermission vs. OU.

    Saban’s team raced out to a 28-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter of last Saturday’s CFP semifinal showdown vs. Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl in Miami. From there, all that was in doubt was the spread cover and whether the game would go ‘over’ or ‘under’ the closing total of 80.5 points.

    OU didn’t fade away into the South Florida night, however. The Tide had surged into a lopsided lead with a flurry of haymakers that started with Damien Harris’s one-yard plunge into the end zone with 11:54 remaining in the first quarter. Before ‘Bama was done with its early onslaught, Harris had found paydirt again from one yard out and sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa had hit Henry Ruggs III and Josh Jacobs on scoring strikes of 10 and 27 yards, respectively.

    Finally, the Sooners stopped the bleeding on Trey Sermon’s two-yard TD run with 11:48 left in the second quarter. They added a 26-yard field goal from Austin Seibert midway through the second to get within 28-10, but it was a red-zone trip that was in dire need of a TD. With 25 ticks remaining until intermission, Alabama countered with a 38-yard FG from Joseph Bulovas to get the lead back to 21.

    Lincoln Riley’s team once again settled for three with 9:42 left in the third on Seibert’s 26-yard FG. But with 3:03 left in the third stanza, OU’s Kyler Murray evaded Alabama’s pass rush and got out of the pocket. He spotted a streaking WR and launched a perfectly-thrown 49-yard TD pass to Charleston Ramo. Suddenly, the score was 31-20 and we had a two-possession football game with more than 18 minutes left. Most important for our purposes, the Sooners were back ahead of the number for the first time since late in the opening quarter, and the ‘over’ had a pulse once again.

    Alabama would answer, however, as Tagovailoa found Devonta Smith for a 10-yard TD pass with 13:08 remaining. Again, OU would counter with Murray connecting with CeeDee Lamb for a 10-yard scoring strike with 8:31 left to make it 38-27. (My gosh, how good was Lamb in that game?!)

    Alabama surged back ahead of the number again on Tagovailoa’s 13-yard TD pass to Jerry Jeudy at the 6:08 mark. Barring a turnover or successful onside kick, Tagovailoa-to-Jeudy basically ended all hopes of an epic comeback win from OU. But there was still plenty of business left to take care of.

    The backdoor was wide open and a TD and FG could hook up ‘over’ supporters or burn bettors supporting the ‘under.’ When Murray scored on an eight-yard TD run with 4:23 remaining, the Sooners were back in front of the number again as 14.5-point underdogs. The ensuing onside kick had a chance but an OU player touched the ball just before it went 10 yards.

    This gave Alabama great field position and time to get a front door cover, and it nearly did just that. In fact, it could’ve but once a first down set the Tide up with first and goal with just under two minutes remaining, Saban opted to go into Victory Formation. In doing so, OU backers got paid and the 79 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 80.5-point total.

    On Dec. 28 the day before the game, most books had the total in the 77-78 range so for those who bought ‘over’ tickets at that time, they were also rewarded with greenbacks. Even though Alabama led by double digits nearly the entire game, this was a 60-minute battle and the Tide had scars to prove it.

    Senior LB Christian Miller sustained a hamstring that has his status (officially listed ‘questionable) vs. Clemson in major doubt. Miller has produced 36 tackles, 12 QB hurries, 8.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and one pass broken up.

    One concern Alabama fans don’t have to fret about is the health of Tagovailoa, who was brilliant in the victory against the Sooners. Despite undergoing ankle surgery in early December, Tagovailoa looked sharp from start to finish, completing 24-of-27 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. The Heisman Trophy runner-up has now connected on 69.5 percent of his throws for 3,671 yards with a 41/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

    Clemson (14-0 SU, 8-6 ATS) has been an underdog eight times since Week 4 of the 2014 campaign. On that weekend in Tallahassee when reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was suspended, the Tigers took the cash as 10-point underdogs in a 23-17 overtime loss at FSU. Since then, they’ve produced a 7-1 spread record with five outright victories when listed as underdogs.

    Swinney’s squad advanced to this year’s CFP finals by trouncing Notre Dame 30-3 as an 11-point favorite at Jerry World last Saturday night. The 33 combined points ducked ‘under’ the 58-point total.

    After trading field goal in the first quarter, Clemson took over in the second quarter with three TD passes from Lawrence, who first found Justyn Ross for a 52-yard scoring strike with 12:50 left in the stanza. Then with 1:44 left until halftime, Lawrence hit Ross against for a 42-yard TD connection. With two ticks left in the first half, Lawrence threw 19 yards into the end zone to Tee Higgins. Travis Etienne’s 62-yard TD dash late in the third quarter closed out the scoring.

    Clemson enjoyed a 538-248 advantage over the Fighting Irish in total offense. Lawrence completed 27-of-39 passes for 327 yards and three TDs without an interception. Etienne rushed for 109 yards and one TD on 14 attempts, while Ross had six catches for 148 yards and two TDs. Renfrow had four receptions for 62 yards.

    For the season, Lawrence has a 65.3 completion percentage, 2,933 passing yards and a 27/4 TD-INT ratio. The true freshman has also rushed for 157 yards and one TD. Etienne has 1,573 rushing yards, 22 TDs and an 8.3 yards-per-carry average.

    Clemson has won 12 games by margins of at least 20 points. The Tigers had just two close games, winning 28-26 at Texas A&M (before Lawrence was the starter) and rallying to nip Syracuse by a 27-23 count (after trailing by 10 early in the fourth quarter and with Lawrence out of the game injured) at home. Meanwhile, Alabama won its first 12 games by at least 22 points before beating UGA and Oklahoma by seven and 11 points, respectively.

    The Aggies and Louisville represent the only common opponents for these schools. Alabama dusted U of L 51-14 in the season opener in Orlando and dropped Texas A&M 45-23 as a 24-point home ‘chalk.’ Clemson blasted the Cardinals 77-16 as a 38-point home favorite.

    If there’s a bone to pick with Clemson’s resume, it would be its strength of schedule (No. 59 compared to No. 6 for 'Bama). The Tigers faced Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game and won 42-10, but the Panthers finished the season with a 7-7 record. Only The ‘Cuse (10-3) and N.C. State (9-4) had quality seasons out of the ACC, but the Wolfpack got smoked 52-13 by Texas A&M at the Gator Bowl.

    Clemson is ranked third in the nation in total offense, 24th in passing yards, 10th in rushing yards and fourth in scoring with its 44.3 points-per-game average. The Tigers are ranked fifth in the country in total defense, 16th at defending the pass, fourth in run defense and first in scoring ‘D’ (12.9 PPG).

    With the exception of a 35-point outburst by South Carolina in the regular-season finale, Clemson has held eight straight opponents to 16 points or fewer and seven have been limited to 10 points or less. However, junior DT Dexter Lawrence won’t be in uniform vs. ‘Bama due to a suspension. Lawrence recorded 37 tackles, six TFL’s, seven QB hurries, 1.5 sacks and three PBU.

    Clemson leads the nation in sacks with 52. Clelin Ferrell paces the Tigers with 11.5, followed by Austin Bryant (eight) and Christian Wilkins (5.5). Alabama’s offensive line has given up just 14 sacks this year (to rank 10th in the country) but it won’t have starting sophomore OG Deonte Brown, who is also suspended along with two other reserves.

    Alabama is ranked fourth in the nation in total offense, sixth in passing yards, 35th in rushing yards and second in scoring with its 47.7 PPG average. The Tide is ranked 13th in the country in total defense, 22nd in pass defense, 19th at defending the run and fifth in scoring ‘D’ (16.2 PPG). They are fifth in the nation in sacks with 45.

    The ‘over’ is 8-5-1 overall for Alabama with its games averaging combined scores of 63.9 PPG. The ‘under’ is 3-2-1 in its past six outings. The ‘over’ went 4-2 in the Tide’s six games that had totals closing in the 50s.

    After going 4-1 in its last five games, the ‘under’ is 8-6 overall for Clemson. The Tigers have seen their games average combined scores of 57.2 PPG.

    Kickoff is scheduled for Monday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

    ***B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets***

    -- Sportsbook has the following adjusted lines: Alabama -13.5 for a +220 payout, Clemson -3.5 for a +250 return, ‘over’ 68.5 for a +220 payout and ‘under’ 52.5 for a +210 return.

    -- In four games against Alabama, Renfrow has 22 receptions for 211 yards and four TDs, including the game winner two years ago.

    -- How many times has Clemson lost by more than five points in the last 61 games? Once, by a 24-6 count against ‘Bama last year in The Big Easy.

    -- Alabama is +8 in turnover margin, while Clemson is +5.

    -- Since clubbing Michigan by a 41-15 count at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 29, four additional UF players have joined safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft early. Those players include OT Jawaan Taylor, LB Vosean Joseph, RB Jordan Scarlett and DE Jachai Polite. On the bright side, WR Van Jefferson, RB Lamical Perine, LB David Reese, WR Tyrie Cleveland and DE Jabari Zuniga have announced they’re returning to school. Also, the Gators landed a huge commitment Saturday from Long Beach, Calif., CB Chris Steele, who chose UF over Southern Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Steele is a 5-star at and a high four-star at the other recruiting publications. UF opens the 2019 campaign against Miami in Orlando at Camping World Stadium.

    -- Former Georgia QB and 5-star recruit Justin Fields has elected to transfer to Ohio State. Four other UGA players have announced they’re heading to the NFL Draft early, including RB Elijah Holyfield, WR Riley Ridley, TE Isaac Nauta and WR Mecole Hardman.

    -- West Virginia has hired Troy head coach Neal Brown to replace Dana Holgorsen, who chose to leave WVU for a pay raise at Houston. When Bleacher Report first indicated that Houston was making a move on Major Applewhite in order to hire ‘Holgo,’ I tweeted that he was doing the Mountaineers a favor by leaving. And with Brown now hired, I think WVU is the big winner with a solid upgrade in the head-coaching department (Disagree? See ‘Holgo’s clock management on the final drive in this year’s loss at Oklahoma State)

    -- Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson made news by placing his name in the transfer portal a week ago. He would’ve been a good get for a Power Five program. However, Jackson announced Sunday that he’s headed to the 2019 NFL Draft.

    -- South Carolina QB Jake Bentley has announced he’s coming back for his senior season. The Gamecocks are still awaiting word on WR Bryan Edwards.

    -- Auburn DT Derrick Brown announced he’s returning to school on Sunday. Brown garnered second-team All-SEC honors this season.
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  4. #879  
    RX Semi-God
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    Monday's Best Bet
    January 5, 2019

    College Football National Championship Betting Preview

    Clemson vs. Alabama

    The national title matchup that you know pleased the mainstream media for all the various story lines and narratives they could draw up for another Clemson/Alabama game is the one we are getting on Monday night. Whether you're highly intrigued with another Clemson/Alabama game, or feeling a little disappointed/resentful that we don't have any “fresh blood” playing for a title, this appears to be a game where we do have the two best teams in college football this year squaring off for all the marbles.

    Each program has one upped the other for a national title during recent years, but Alabama does own the edge in the rivalry having blown out the Tigers in the semi-final a year ago. Yet, none of those previous meetings featured the two QB's in Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa and it's those two guys that have really allowed both programs to take it to the next level offensively.

    So it's Clemson/Alabama IV. Who do I have? Odds: Alabama (-5); Total set at 58.5

    In the week or so that this matchup has been officially known, the market has already taken a liking to Clemson ATS and the 'under'. Both spread and total opened up a few points higher than where they currently sit, and both moves had to be expected. A game of this magnitude featuring this caliber of teams was always going to see some underdog support on the whole, and liking the 'under' in any sport where a championship trophy is on the line is quite common place. I would not be surprised to see some bettors go with the buyback angle as we get closer to kickoff by backing Alabama and the 'over', but the numbers aren't going to get beyond the openers of Alabama -6.5 and 60.5 for the total.

    And while the first national championship game between these two – Alabama 45-40 win – was the only meeting between these two in the rivalry where the SU winner didn't cover the spread, that's still something to consider happening here. Both of Alabama's national titles during the CFB playoff era have come with them winning the game but not covering the point spread, so you can see why there was that early surge to at least get Clemson at +6.

    Furthermore, what makes things a little stickier for Alabama in this game, is the fact that during the CFB playoff era, the team that had the bigger margin of victory in the semi-finals has gone on to win the title three of the four times, including three straight. Clemson's 30-3 win over Notre Dame in the semis puts the Tigers in that favorable role for this contest.

    Secondly, we can't forget about the fact that while four years of past playoff experience isn't the biggest of samples, through those four years it's been the program that's been ranked worse coming into the playoffs that has gone on to win the title every single time. Both of Alabama's wins came when they were #2 or #4 in the eyes of the selection committee, while Clemson's national title came as the #2 (over #1 Alabama) and #4 Ohio State were the first winners of this format. Again, history is on the side of the Tigers for Monday, and while scenarios like that are bound to be broken eventually, going against history too often will likely put your bankroll in a tough spot.

    Statistically on the field, it's easy to make a case for either side to win SU and/or ATS in this game, as both teams are the class of this sport. Clemson's defensive numbers of allowing just 3.9 yards per play this year (#1 in the country) is really quite impressive, but those stats also came against an overall easier schedule than the one 'Bama has faced, and the loss of DL Dexter Lawrence for Clemson should be felt more against Alabama than it was against Notre Dame. But even still, that Clemson pass rush will find success at getting to the QB, and won't be shy at all about testing that surgically repaired foot QB Tua Tagovailoa has under center. Chances are, which ever defense can hold up for the longest and get that key stop late, will be the one that decides this game in their favor, and weaker schedule overall or not, Clemson's got the edge there too in my mind.

    Put it all together and I believe you've got to take the points with Clemson here (if you're more risk adverse), and strongly consider the ML option as well. All year, Clemson HC Dabo Swinney has been playing up the narrative that “it's Alabama and then the rest of y'all” and whether or not that's true in actuality (it's not), Swinney's got his players believing in that underdog mindset and I'm sure he's made the entire team aware of the point spread the oddsmakers have put out for this game too.

    That underdog mindset, when fully embraced by a team, is one that can accomplish great things in these one-off games – just ask anyone who faced the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoff a year ago. The fact that Dabo has been planting this seed of Clemson being a part of “the rest of y'all” since the beginning was not by accident, and this is Clemson's opportunity to prove it to the world.

    I believe the Clemson Tigers will take full advantage of this opportunity against Alabama and win the game outright. After all, that way, the mainstream media can go on for another full year hyping up a potential Clemson/Alabama V when the series is tied 2-2.

    Narratives or not, Clemson has been clamoring for another opportunity at Alabama all year long, and on the biggest stage, they aren't going to miss their shot at getting off Dabo's “Rest of Y'all” bus once and for all this year.

    Odds per -

    Best Bets:
    Clemson +5
    Clemson ML +180
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  5. #880  
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    Top Props - Tide vs. Tigers
    January 5, 2019
    By Bookmaker

    By Kyle Markus

    NCAA Football Props - Clemson Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

    The Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide were considered the two best teams in college football all season long, and they proved it with impressive wins in the national semifinals. All eyes will be on these two juggernauts when they face off for the national title on Monday.

    Alabama is a solid favorite as the oddsmakers have been very impressed by this team all season long. However, Clemson’s odds are good enough that an upset win isn’t out of the question. In addition to the standard wagers on this game, there are plenty of prop bets to spice up the action.

    It is an interesting showdown because both defenses are strong but the offenses have also dominated often this season. The gambler that correctly forecasts the way this game plays out will be rewarded handsomely in prop bet gambling.

    This NCAA football game between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will be held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, January 7th, 2018. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

    We'll have football odds at available for every game of the NCAA football season in 2019 as well.

    Odds Analysis

    Alabama is listed as a 5-point favorite, which is a much lower spread than it has been used to this season. It is a testament to Clemson’s talent as these two programs have become the class of the country. The Crimson Tide is the -205 favorite on the moneyline while the Tigers check in as +172 underdogs. The scoring total is listed at 59 points, a middle of the road offering because the teams have premier talent on both sides of the ball,

    Alabama is the favorite to score first in this game, getting -150 odds to do so. The Crimson Tide has the more explosive offense, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but there is danger in this wager if Clemson gets the ball first. The Tigers are +120 underdogs to score first.

    One of the more interesting prop bets asks if there will be a score in the first 5˝ minutes of the contest. The defenses figure to settle in eventually, but look for these teams to script out some effective plays early on. The “yes” is the slight underdog at -110 odds and it is the right choice.

    Clemson’s total points is listed at 26.5 points. The Tigers are averaging 44.3 points per contest but facing off against an Alabama defense which is allowing only 14.8 per contest. The “over” is the slight favorite at -120.

    Alabama’s total points is listed at 32.5 points. The Crimson Tide have been more explosive than usual this season but must face an elite Clemson defense. The total looks a little high for Alabama.

    Free NCAA Football ATS Picks

    It is tough to forecast an exact margin of a game, but when it happens, there is a fantastic payout. Alabama is a 5-point favorite, but many outcomes tend to finish around a field goal or a touchdown margin if the game is close. The Crimson Tide is so talented that it should cover the spread against Clemson, but this game will remain close.

    There is a prop bet that pays out at +600 odds if Alabama wins by a margin between 7-10 points, and that covers a lot of different scenarios. This is more of a longshot bet but that’s what props are for. It makes a lot of sense because no matter if the game is tight or if Clemson is down by two touchdowns late, this margin will be in play in myriad scenarios.

    Take the Crimson Tide to win this game by a margin of 7-10 points as it would pay off much more handsomely than a standard cover in NCAA football gambling.

    NCAA Football ATS Pick: Crimson Tide to win by 7-10 Points
    NCAA Football Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide 31, Clemson Tigers 24
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  6. #881  
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    Can Saban's dynasty reach new heights?
    January 6, 2019
    By The Associated Press

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Alabama coach Nick Saban and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney went through the familiar routine Sunday.

    Joint news conference, during which Swinney does most of the talking. Saban compliments Swinney's Tigers. Swinney compliments Saban's unprecedented run with the Crimson Tide. Handshake. Pose for a picture with a trophy. They have done this drill four straight seasons in the College Football Playoff.

    Alabama-Clemson IV, the third meeting with the national championship on the line, will be played Monday night at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Tide vs. Tigers might be getting old for some fans, but the latest chapter is a feature not a bug in the five-year-old playoff to Swinney.

    ''I think the objective is to get the two best teams,'' Swinney said. ''If that's not best for college football, then why did we even do it?''

    For the first time the College Football Playoff championship game features two unbeaten teams. The top-ranked Tide (14-0) or No. 2 Tigers (14-0) will become the first 15-0 FBS champion in college football's poll era, dating back to the first AP rankings in 1936.

    Saban and Alabama are already in the midst of the most impressive run in the college football history, with five national championships since 2009. If not for a last-second loss to Clemson in the 2016 championship game, the Tide would be shooting for four straight playoff titles. Alabama won a thriller against Clemson for the 2015 title.

    Saban has six national championships total, including a BCS crown with LSU in 2003. One more breaks a tie with Alabama great Bear Bryant for the most by any coach.

    ''I don't ever even think about that at all,'' said Saban, who is in his 12th season at Alabama and 23rd overall as a college head coach. ''I do think a lot about trying to make and help this team to be the best possible - and to put them in the best possible position to have a chance to be successful.''

    A case can be made that Saban has already surpassed Bryant, who was at Alabama for 25 years. The current Alabama dynasty is stacking up championships despite the constraints of scholarship limits and against competition bolstered by a deeper talent pool and more national exposure.

    ''You're talking about a program that I have a deep love and respect for, always have, always will, and a coach that's - I mean, he's won six national championships and the level of consistency is a model and an aspiration for every program,'' said Swinney, who was a walk-on receiver for Alabama's 1992 national title team coached by Gene Stallings.

    Swinney and Clemson have come closest to reaching the Alabama standard. A second national championship in three seasons would give Clemson three overall (1981, 2016) and put Swinney in prestigious company. Among the Hall of Fame coaches with two national championships are Bobby Bowden of Florida State and Joe Paterno of Penn State.

    Saban's accomplishments have pretty much settled the question of greatest college football coach. He might be better compared to coaches in other sports such as UCLA's John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA men's basketball championships; Pat Summitt, who won eight NCAA women's basketball titles with Tennessee; Geno Auriemma, who has 11 women's basketball championships at Connecticut; and Dan Gable, who led Iowa wrestling to 17 NCAA championships.

    Alabama's dominance has been defined by almost monotonous excellence. None of Saban's teams stand out. They are similarly stellar, machine-like in their efficiency. This team has a chance to separate from the rest. Alabama can become just the third wire-to-wire No. 1 in the AP poll, joining 1999 Florida State and 2004 Southern California.

    The biggest difference in this Tide team is Tua Tagovailoa, who came off the bench as a freshman to beat Georgia in last season's championship game. For the first time, Saban has a star quarterback. Alabama has rolled through its opponents by an average of 31 points.

    ''His accuracy, his athletic ability, his ability to improvise,'' Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said of Tagovailoa. ''He's got the best players on the planet around him at every position, and they're two and three deep.''

    Clemson has been almost as impressive, winning by an average of 29, led by a defensive line that features All-Americans Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins.

    ''They have so many disruptive plays,'' Alabama running back Damien Harris said. ''They cause so much havoc for the offense that they're playing.''


    Plenty of attention has been focused on Tagovailoa's sprained left ankle, but Alabama linebacker Christian Miller (hamstring) is questionable. Miller has 8 + sacks this season.

    On the Clemson side, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence will sit out a second playoff game after being suspended by the NCAA for a failed performance-enhancing drug test. Lawrence is a junior and possible first-round draft pick who has likely played his last game for the Tigers. Senior Albert Huggins will start for the second straight week for Clemson in Lawrence's spot.


    Clemson's Trevor Lawrence would be the first starting freshman quarterback since Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway in 1985 to lead his team to a national championship. Lawrence took over as the starter four games into the season and has thrown for 2,933 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions.

    ''If anybody ever watched him, they wouldn't think he was a freshman,'' Saban said.
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  7. #882  
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    Dabo: DT Lawrence will be missed
    January 6, 2019
    By The Associated Press

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said suspended starting defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence will be missed against top-ranked Alabama on Monday night.

    Swinney said Sunday that Lawrence has been a difference-maker in the middle of the line all season and would've been that against the Crimson Tide in the national championship game in Santa Clara.

    Lawrence and offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway tested positive for ostarine in NCAA drug testing. The three missed Clemson's 30-3 victory over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl last week.

    Earlier this week, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said the school filed appeals for the three players.

    Lawrence is a 350-pound junior who has started the past three seasons. He's also part of Clemson's short-yardage ''Fridge Package'' on offense.
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  8. #883  
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    Running games overshadowed Monday
    January 6, 2019
    By The Associated Press

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) In four years at Alabama, Damien Harris has shared the backfield with several runners who either have or will play in the NFL.

    From Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake in 2015, to Bo Scarbrough the next two years, to his current running mates Najee Harris and Joshua Jacobs, the top-ranked Crimson Tide (14-0) have always had a variety of running threats to fuel their offense.

    It's been a constant of Nick Saban's tenure at Alabama with Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon among the other runners who helped build a dynasty on their way to the NFL.

    ''Being a running back at the university is something that we take a lot of pride in,'' Damien Harris said. ''So every day, every guy in that room goes in with the mentality of upholding the standard that guys before us have set. ... All those guys that laid the foundation for us and built a legacy within that room. Every day it's our job to uphold to that standard. Every day we just go in with the mentality we're going to be the best players we can be, be the best unit we can be.''

    With talented passer Tua Tagovailoa leading the offense this season, the running backs have gotten overshadowed at times despite some impressive accomplishments.

    All three backs have topped 1,000 yards rushing in their careers, with Damien Harris' 6.47 yards per carry in his career ranking third all-time among SEC backs with at least 400 attempts.

    Jacobs was the MVP in the SEC title game win over Georgia after rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while Najee Harris is averaging 6.5 yards per carry in two seasons.

    ''We always like to have two or three guys at that position that can play,'' Saban said. ''I think it keeps everybody fresh. It keeps everybody healthy rather than having one guy that's carrying the ball maybe a lot of turns every game and they get wore down as the season goes on. We've been fortunate to have three guys that have made a real impact at that position, different guys in different games.''

    Having three capable backs keeps all of them fresh late in the game when Alabama relies more heavily on the run to close out victories.

    That was the case in the semifinal against Oklahoma when the Tide ended the game with nine straight runs that ran out the clock and prevented any comeback attempt by the Sooners.

    ''I think the drive we had against Oklahoma last week to kind of finish out the game on the ground with the ball in our hands and a victory formation, that's the best formation in football,'' Damien Harris said. ''For us to be able to do that I think it shows we improved a lot on offense and an area we're able to get better at.''

    Clemson has its own dangerous running game led by Travis Etienne, who has rushed for 1,573 yards at an average of 8.3 yards per clip. Etienne has scored 23 touchdowns, providing a capable complement to the passing game led by freshman Trevor Lawrence.

    Etienne preserved the Tigers' perfect season when he ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 2-yard run, in a 27-23 come-from-behind victory over Syracuse in September.

    ''He's a really great running back,'' Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses said. ''He's fast, efficient, good body movement. He's a really great running back. He really could fit in as an SEC running back if he wanted to. For him to be over there at Clemson, that's a blessing for him. He's going to be a real challenge for us.''

    Etienne knows he's in for a challenge as well against Alabama's always stout defense led by All-American defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. The Tide have held five opponents under 100 yards in the game and are giving up just 3.5 yards per carry.

    The Tigers ran for just 63 yards on 33 carries in last year's loss to Alabama in the CFP semifinals, their lowest rushing total in their past 33 games.

    ''It is the best defense I've played this season,'' Etienne said. ''It presents a huge challenge for me and the offensive line. We're excited for the challenge. You don't want to go against lesser competition, you want to go against the best and Alabama is the best so we're going to have to come out and play our A game and try to establish the run.''
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  9. #884  
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    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Bowl Season

    Monday, January 7

    Clemson @ Alabama

    Game 151-152
    January 7, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    by 2
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    by 6 1/2
    59 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    (+6 1/2); Over

    Long Sheet

    Monday, January 7


    CLEMSON (14 - 0) vs. ALABAMA (14 - 0) - 1/7/2019, 8:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    ALABAMA is 58-35 ATS (+19.5 Units) in road games after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins since 1992.
    CLEMSON is 32-15 ATS (+15.5 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992.
    CLEMSON is 60-36 ATS (+20.4 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
    CLEMSON is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in road games after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins this season.
    CLEMSON is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ALABAMA is 1-1 against the spread versus CLEMSON over the last 3 seasons
    ALABAMA is 1-1 straight up against CLEMSON over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Bowl Season

    Monday, January 7

    National title game, Santa Clara, CA

    — Underdogs covered last five national title games.

    — Alabama (2-1) is in its 4th straight national title game; Clemson (1-1) its third in four years.

    — Crimson Tide is 2-1 vs Clemson last three years in bowls.

    — Since 2012, Tigers are 4-3 as an underdog; last time they were an underdog was national title game vs Alabama, two years ago.

    — Since 2012, Alabama is 8-12 as a single digit favorite (0-0 this year).

    — Average total in last five national title game is 65.4.

    — Both teams were favored by 10+ points in every game this season.

    — Four of last five Clemson games stayed under; over is 8-5-1 in Alabama games.


    Bowl Season

    Trend Report

    Clemson Tigers
    Clemson is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games
    Clemson is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Clemson's last 5 games
    Alabama Crimson Tide
    Alabama is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    The total has gone OVER in 10 of Alabama's last 15 games

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  10. #885  
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    Jun 2009
    Three reasons to bet big on Clemson
    Jason Logan

    Despite not playing in the same conference, nor holding any long-running non-conference series, the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide have a classic college football rivalry brewing. These high-power programs meet in the CFP Playoffs for the fourth straight season, and play for the CFP National Championship for the third time in those four years.

    Oddsmakers opened Alabama as a 6.5-point favorite for Monday’s matchup with Clemson in Atlanta, and money on the Tigers has dropped this pointspread as low as Bama -4.5. It would seem plenty of the college football betting action likes Clemson’s chances of keeping this game close – especially after covering as underdogs in the previous two national title meetings with the Crimson Tide.

    If you’re on the fence about who to bet in the CFP Championship betting odds, here are three reasons to side with the underdog Tigers Monday night.

    Reason No. 1: No Fear

    Big bad Alabama has a psychological edge over most opponents before the whistle even blows. The program’s storied history, talent-rich roster, and imposing head coach Nick Saban can weaken the knees of just about any opponent. Except for Clemson.

    This is the fourth straight year Clemson has taken on the Tide, and if anyone knows how to tame an elephant, it’s Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. The Tigers covered as underdogs of similar size in both national title appearance – defeating Alabama for the championship in 2017 – and even have a measure of revenge sprinkled into this contest after getting rolled 24-6 by Alabama in last year’s Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal.

    The Tigers enter Monday’s matchup undefeated with an average margin of victory of more than 31 points per game. Clemson has covered in eight of its 14 games, including a 7-2 ATS run in its last nine games. If anything, the Tigers look more like an “Alabama” team than the Tide do at this point – even more so after locking down Notre Dame during a 30-3 victory in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

    Reason No. 2: Dominant Defense

    In a reversal of roles, compared to the past three meetings between these teams, Clemson enters this clash with Alabama as the dominant defense. The Tigers topped the college ranks in terms of points allowed per game, at just 12.9, and budged for just under 281 yards against an outing.

    Some would argue that Alabama’s stop unit is superior – having played a tough slate of opponents in the SEC – but the Tide have shown cracks in their last three games against top-tier competition, most notably allowing 24 second-half points to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

    Clemson has gotten better as the season has trekked on, holding seven of its last nine foes to 10 points or less. The Tigers have an incredible blend of size, speed and athleticism – especially in the front seven – which matches up well against an up-tempo Alabama offense, allowing them to close in on runners and limit yards after contact and after the catch.

    That will be key to shutting down Alabama and getting them off the field on third downs. The Crimson Tide are among the top offenses in keeping the chains moving, picking up the first almost 54 percent of the time on third down. However, the Tigers allow opponents to convert on third down at just under a 28 percent clip and will bring the heat on third down blitz opportunities, boasting a pass rush that recorded 52 sacks on the season – No. 1 in the country. It had six sacks in the Cotton Bowl blasting of the Fighting Irish.

    Reason No. 3: The Future Is Here

    "Freshman" used to be a bad word when it came to big games, but as we’ve seen in the past six years and with Tua Tagovailoa’s arrival in last year’s title game, talent is talent. And the Tigers have talent oozing from their roster.

    Of course, first-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the first name to come to mind when talking fabulous frosh. Since taking over the top spot, and chasing Kelly Bryant out of Clemson, Lawrence has played beyond his years. The stoic 6-foot-5 blonde bombshell has injected this offense with life, passing for 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions. While he’s key to Clemson covering this spread, it’s not all on his broad shoulders.

    Lawrence is supported by a talented (and towering) group of receivers – including fellow freshman standout Justyn Ross, who has emerged as a big weapon with 148 yards versus Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl – as well as a tricky spread option rushing attack, anchored by RB Travis Etienne.

    He’s a back-breaker with a nose for the end zone and will decimate this Alabama defense with a handful of big plays Monday night – thanks in large part to one of the best offensive lines in the country. The pass protection is elite and this o-line paves the way with massive gaps in run blocking, setting up 98 plays of 20-plus yards (second most in the country). Clemson is tops in the FBS in plays of 50 or more yards, with 21 and we’ll see at least one of those home runs Monday night.

    Three reasons to bet big on Bama
    Andrew Caley

    If you’re on the fence about who to bet in the CFP Championship betting odds, here are three reasons to roll with the Crimson Tide Monday night.

    Reason No. 1: Tua Tagovailoa

    Realistically, Tua could be the only reason you need to bet Alabama in the National Championship Game. The Heisman winner, wait. What? He didn’t win the Heisman? There must be some mistake. No? Well, those who voted for the award got this one wrong. Very wrong.

    All Tagovailoa did this year was throw for 3,671 yards with 41 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions while completing almost 70 percent of his passes. He also added another five scores on the ground. Oh, and he barely played a fourth quarter. He faced much tough competition than Kyler Murray. Sorry, Heisman rant over.

    The point is, Tua is the best quarterback in the country. His detractors will say he struggled against better teams, but his knee had been bothering him since before the LSU game and was clearly affecting his performance. Now, he's fully healthy as you could see in the Orange Bowl versus Oklahoma, where he went a ho-hum 24-for-27 passing for 318 yards and four touchdowns with no picks.

    On top of everything else, Tua has the experience on college football’s biggest stage. For those who don’t remember, Tagovailoa came it at halftime of last year’s national title game after starter Jalen Hurts was proving ineffective. All he did was throw for 166 yards and three touchdowns, including the walk-off winner on a beautiful 41-yard bomb to Devonta Smith. The bright lights of this game aren’t too much for Tua.

    Reason No. 2: Underrated Defense

    Everyone is going to tell you (my counterpart in this task, Jason Logan, included) that Clemson actually has the better defense in this time around. That the Tigers have the “Alabama-type" defense and that they will ride that dominant defense to a victory (or at least a cover) in the national championship. That’s all well and good. But let me let you in on a little secret: Alabama still has an “Alabama-type" defense.

    This has been a different type of season for Crimson Tide. Obviously, they were going to have another strong recruiting class per usual, but the special quarterback, Tagovailoa, and the offense was supposed to carry the Tide for once. Heck, the defense was welcoming in yet another coordinator and had to replace last year’s top six tacklers in the secondary, plus three of five at linebacker and three of six on the line. So, a drop off wouldn’t be shocking.

    But, what happened? Well, Alabama ranks in the Top 10 in just about every major category you could think of, including scoring defense (16.2 points allowed per game), opponents red zone scoring percentage, opponent’s yards per rush (3.3), and opponent’s completion percentage (51.9). And it’s sounding like as many as three members of the Tide’s defense will be going in the first round of the NFL draft - led by breakout defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who could go No. 1 overall.

    Also, don’t tell me Alabama had a soft schedule this year. They Tide have beaten the No. 4, No.5, No. 11, No. 18, No. 19 and No. 23 teams according to the final CFP rankings. Clemson beat only three in the Top 25 and just one in the Top 18.

    Clemson’s offense is good. But they haven’t faced anything as good as this Bama defense. And don’t say Notre Dame. They didn’t play anyone good either.

    Reason No. 3: Gluttony of Talent

    The old Alabama formula was this: an almost pro-level defense with usually a game-changer or two on offense. A Julio Jones, Amari Cooper or Derrick Henry. But this season it isn’t just one or two guys. There are potential pros all over the offense.

    The Tide will not be deterred by the fact that the Tigers boast one of the best run defenses in the nation. They will attack you with their three-headed monster of RBs Damien Harris, Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs. All three had over 100 carries, averaged over five yards per run and had nine, four and 11 touchdowns respectively.

    But where the Tide can really attack the Tigers is on the outside. Alabama is legit five deep at wide receiver. Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle, Henry Ruggs III, Irv Smith Jr., and Devonta Smith can all hurt you. They all have at least 36 catches and 600 yards, six touchdowns and average over 16 yards per catch.

    If Clemson does have a relative weakness, it’s in the secondary. That unit ranks 23rd in opponent’s passing yards per game and yards per attempt. And that has come against a lot of bad teams. The Tigers’ secondary hasn’t face a quarterback like Tua. And they certainly haven’t faced a quarterback like Tua with an abundance of weapons like this in both the pass and run game.
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  11. #886  
    RX Semi-God
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas

    CLEM at ALA 08:00 PM

    CLEM +5.5

    O 56.5

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  12. #887  
    RX Semi-God
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    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    B]No. 2 Clemson uses big moments to topple top-ranked Alabama
    January 8, 2019
    By The Associated Press

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Clemson needed a big performance to unseat defending champion Alabama. The Tigers got plenty of them from start to finish.

    Cornerback A.J. Terrell got it rolling with a 44-yard pick six on Tua Tagovailoa's third pass of the game, Justyn Ross had a stunning display of acrobatic catches and Clemson's defense shut down hopes of a Crimson Tide rally with three unlikely stops on downs in the second half of a 44-16 victory Monday night to win its second national title in three seasons - both over powerhouse Alabama.

    It was an unexpected `Bama beatdown by the Tigers (15-0), who showed poise, strength on the offensive line and speed on defense to manhandle Nick Saban's Crimson Tide (14-1).

    ''We came in with the mindset that we were going to play on the balls of our feet and we were going to attack. And we did. We attacked the whole night,'' coach Dabo Swinney said.

    It began almost immediately as Terrell stepped in front of Tagovailoa's throw and ran untouched into the end zone to put Alabama on its heels, down 7-0. It wouldn't be the last big play surrendered by the Crimson Tide.

    Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence hit Tee Higgins with a 62-yard pass on third-and-14 deep in Tiger territory and Travis Etienne followed with a 17-yard TD run through Alabama vaunted defense. Tagovailoa's second interception in the first half, this one by Trayvon Mullen, led to another Clemson score and a 28-16 lead.

    In the second half, the 6-foot-4 freshman Ross and the Tigers defense took over.

    Ross, an Alabama native who spurned his home state school for Clemson, made several outstanding and timely grabs. He broke free for a 74-yard TD catch and run that put the Tigers ahead 37-16. On a third-and-12, Ross grabbed the ball with just his right hand for a 37-yard gain with the Tide desperate to regain possession.

    Alabama was going nowhere against Clemson when it mattered most. Backup defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney stuffed Alabama holder Mac Jones on a fake field goal try that ended far short of its goal.

    Clemson linebacker Tre Lamar and safety Tanner Muse stopped Tagovailoa a yard short on fourth-and-3 on Clemson's 14. And with Alabama hoping for any sort of momentum swing, All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell stopped Tagovailoa for a 7-yard loss on fourth down near the goal line.

    By then, the Crimson Tide had little left to give.

    Lawrence, a freshman, was supposed to be rattled by Alabama's fearsome defensive front. Instead, he threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, looking as calm and cool has he has since winning the job in late September. He was named the offensive player of the game.

    ''It's been an awesome journey. It's really unbelievable,'' Lawrence said.

    Ross finished with six catches for 153 yards and his game-changing touchdown.
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  13. #888  
    RX Semi-God
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    2018-2019 College Bowl Record - Opinions and Best Bets !


    01/07/2019 2-0-0 100.00% +10.00
    01/01/2019 3-7-0 30.00% -23.50
    12/31/2018 7-4-1 63.64% +13.00
    12/29/2018 5-4-1 55.56% +3.00
    12/28/2018 2-4-0 33.33% -12.00
    12/27/2018 5-1-0 83.33% +19.50
    12/26/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50
    12/22/2018 4-4-0 50.00% -2.00
    12/21/2018 2-2-0 50.00% -1.00
    12/20/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    12/19/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    12/18/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    12/15/2018 4-6-0 40.00% -13.00



    DATE........................ATS................... UNITS..................O/U....................UNITS.................TOTAL

    01/07/2019.............1 - 0..................+5.00..................1 - 0.....................+5.00..............+10.00
    01/01/2019.............2 - 2..................-1.00...................0 - 3.....................-16.50...............-17.50
    12/31/2018.............5 - 1.................+14.50.................2 - 1.....................+4.50...............+19.00
    12/29/2018.............2 - 2.................-1.00....................1 - 1.....................-0.50................-1.50
    12/28/2018.............2 - 1.................+4.50...................0 - 3.....................-16.50..............-12.00
    12/27/2018.............2 - 1.................+4.50...................3 - 0....................+15.00..............+19.50
    12/26/2018.............0 - 2..................-11.00..................1 - 2....................-6.00.................-17.00
    12/22/2018.............2 - 2..................-1.00....................2 - 2....................-1.00.................-2.00
    12/21/2018.............1 - 1..................-0.50....................1 - 1....................-0.50.................-1.00
    12/20/2018.............1 - 0.................+5.00....................0 - 1....................-5.50.................-0.50
    12/19/2018.............0 - 1..................-5.50....................0 - 1....................-5.50.................-11.00
    12/18/2018.............0 - 1..................-5.50....................0 - 1....................-5.50.................-11.00
    12/15/2018.............0 - 4..................-22.00..................3 - 2....................+4.00................-18.00

    TOTAL...................18 - 18................-14.00.................14 - 18..................-29.00...............-43.00
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  14. #889  
    RX Semi-God
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Las Vegas
    GREAT WAY TO END THE SEASON.....................SEE YOU ALL NEXT SEASON........


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