Last year, the Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Clemson Tigers 45-40 to win the National Championship, but the Tigers beat the spread as 6-point underdogs. That’s the same spread at press time for Monday’s title rematch (8 PM ET, ESPN) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Alabama opened at –7 before the money started pouring in; the total has also dipped from 52 points to 51.
The Crimson Tide could be –7 again by kick-off. They’re one of the most popular teams in college football, and they’ve been immensely profitable this year at 14-0 SU and 10-4 ATS. But there’s been some palace intrigue in Tuscaloosa, as offensive co-ordinator Lane Kiffin has already left the team after accepting the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. Steve Sarkisian will take his place a little earlier than expected.
Clemson (13-1 SU, 7-7 ATS) looks better than last year’s squad, especially after blanking the Ohio State Buckeyes (–1.5) 31-0 in the College Football Playoff semi-finals. The Tigers haven’t won the National Championship since 1981; Alabama has claimed four titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015) since Nick Saban took over the program 10 years ago.