One of the wildest college football seasons ever is set to conclude on Monday evening with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. After winning their respective semifinal matchups, Ohio State and Alabama will face off for the right to be called the sport’s 2020-21 champion. The Buckeyes managed to beat the Crimson Tide as an underdog back when the two teams met in the 2015 CFP semifinals. Oddly enough, the spread for this year’s championship is eerily similar, once again favoring the team from the Heart of Dixie.
The betting odds for the title game are also suggesting plenty of offense, which makes for an intriguing list of player and game prop bets. Prop bets are synonymous with the NFL Super Bowl every year, but there is a hefty list of which to choose from for college football’s championship game as well. Read on for the vital information, betting odds, and some prop bets to consider for the Ohio State vs Alabama title game collision.
CFP National Championship Game Info
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0)
- Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
- Date: Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
- Start Time: 8 p.m. EST
- Television: ESPN
- Last Meeting: January 1, 2015 – Ohio State defeated Alabama 42-35 in a College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
CFP National Championship Game Betting Odds
- Opening Lines: Alabama -6.5; O/U 75.5
- Moneyline: OSU: (+240) | ALA: (-315)
- Spread: OSU: +9 (-112) | ALA: -9 (-109)
- Total: 75.5 – Over: (-113) | Under: (-108)
All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Best CFP National Championship Game Player Props
Running back Trey Sermon has been a major bright spot for Ohio State in each of their last two games. His 254 total yards in the Sugar Bowl win over Clemson followed up a monstrous 335-yard effort in the Big Ten Championship Game against Northwestern. Sermon has accounted for three touchdowns in the two games combined, seeing a total of 67 touches (60 carries, 7 receptions). A healthy number of touches will be vital if Sermon is to go over this yardage prop line in the title game. The Crimson Tide defense has only allowed 110.2 rushing yards per game to opponents.
Which of these two is going to have the bigger CFP Championship Game performance? pic.twitter.com/nrYOgGAWQ7
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) January 4, 2021
Where things potentially get interesting for Sermon and the Buckeyes backfield on Monday night is with the looming return of Master Teague. For as well as Sermon has played in the last two games, he was only the second option prior to Teague suffering an injury in the Big Ten title game. What’s more, the Sugar Bowl was a revelation for Sermon as a receiver. He only had 34 receiving yards all season before that game. One has to believe that a sudden 61-yard effort is an outlier. While it’s anyone’s guess as to exactly how the backfield touches will shake out, Sermon’s total yardage line is inflated if Teague is to have any sort of impact in his return.
Sophomore Alabama wideout John Metchie came into the year as the third option at wide receiver for Alabama. His role behind Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle changed when the latter suffered a dislocated ankle in October. Waddle is yet to get back on the field since. Although considered a game-time decision for the championship battle on Monday, it’s hard to believe he will play a full complement of snaps if he’s active at all.
Metchie has the speed and elusiveness to give Ohio State trouble defensively. The Buckeyes have been solid against the run but have allowed an ugly 280.7 passing yards per game to opponents on the season. One has to believe that the defensive game plan will be heavily focused on Smith and tailback Najee Harris. This could open the door for Metchie (835 yards, 6 touchdowns this season) to be the surprise championship game hero for the Tide.
The Sugar Bowl semifinal was easily Justin Fields’ best game in the recent past. While star junior wideout Chris Olave led Ohio State pass-catchers with six receptions, tight ends Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert also combined for five catches. With Fields not shying away from slinging it to his tight ends, the volume for other Buckeyes wideouts hasn’t been there in recent weeks. One of those players is sophomore slot receiver Garrett Wilson, who only caught two passes in the win over Clemson. In fact, Wilson has not had more than four catches in any game since a November win over Indiana.
A dominant run-blocking offensive line has also affected the stats for Ohio State receivers. With Trey Sermon being so effective in each of the last two games, much of the burden has been taken off of Fields. Even though he threw for 385 yards in the semifinal, he only completed 22 of 28 pass attempts. I don’t see Wilson getting enough looks to exceed his receptions over/under total in the CFP National Championship Game.
Best CFP National Championship Game Prop
Alabama has successfully exceeded this first quarter total line by themselves in the majority of their games this season. They may be undefeated Big Ten champs and now national finalists, but Ohio State’s defensive play has been very lackluster this season. I do not expect Mac Jones and the Crimson Tide aerial attack to have too much trouble getting off the ground on Monday night.
In its last 33 1st half drives excluding kneel-downs, Alabama has 25 TD, 2 FG, 1 TO, 4 Punts and 1 Loss on Downs.
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) January 5, 2021
What the Buckeyes do have that a handful of Alabama’s SEC opponents this season did not is a viable offensive counterattack of their own. Do I think they can keep pace with the Tide on the scoreboard over a full four quarters? No. Do I think they are capable of reaching paydirt once in the first quarter? Absolutely.
Both Ohio State and Alabama ranked in the top-10 in all of FBS in first-quarter scoring this season, combining to average over 22 points in opening frames. Based on the averages alone, we are getting more than a six-point edge on the title game total. A first-quarter Over play could also set up as a nice little indirect hedge bet for my favorite game pick. Read more about that HERE!
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