The 2020-21 college football season will go down in history as one of a kind. Despite all of the turmoil and chaos that players, coaches and staff had to endure, it was a great season on the football field with many memories being made. It all culminates on Monday night with the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The Big Ten and SEC conferences will match up one more time this bowl season, as 3-seed Ohio State takes on the nation’s top team, Alabama. Betting odds and expert picks ahead of the title game favor the team that hails from the Heart of Dixie.
This betting preview contains the odds, key betting trends, prop bets, and predictions for the Ohio State vs Alabama College Football Playoff National Championship Game game on Monday night.CFP National Championship Game Odds, Picks and Props | Ohio State vs Alabama
Ohio State vs Alabama Game Info
Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0)
Date: Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Venue : Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Coverage : 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.
Ohio State vs Alabama CFP National Championship Game Odds and Picks
All odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Opening Lines: Alabama -6.5; O/U 75.5
Moneyline: OSU: (+250) | ALA: (-300)
Spread: OSU: +8.5 (-110) | ALA: -8.5 (-110)
Total: 75 – Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
Ohio State Buckeyes Overview
Despite being roughly a full touchdown underdog in their Sugar Bowl semifinal game against Clemson, Ryan Day’s Ohio State team took care of business in emphatic fashion. Many have argued that Clemson’s defense was not as polished this season as in years prior. While this does hold some merit, let’s not take away from the huge game that Justin Fields and the entire Buckeyes offense had. One would have to go back quite a long way to find the last time a team hung 49 points or more on the Tigers. Is Ohio State actually capable of putting up that kind of offensive performance against another top tier opponent?
While the answer to that question remains a mystery, one can almost guarantee that the Buckeyes will need to score a good amount if they hope to win. Running backTrey Sermon followed up his massive 331-yard effort in the Big Ten Championship Game with another 193 yards in the Sugar Bowl. In an uncharacteristic twist on typical Nick Saban-coached Alabama defenses, the Tide allowed over 100 yards on the ground per game this season. Sermon will undoubtedly figure into the Buckeyes game plan in a big way.
Alabama Crimson Tide Overview
For as good as Ohio State has been offensively this season, Alabama has been even better. With an average of 48.2 points and 535.2 yards per contest, Alabama has been virtually unstoppable. Keep in mind that they managed those numbers playing primarily against SEC competition. There was no drop-off with Mac Jones taking over at quarterback for Tua Tagovailoa. If anything, the Crimson Tide offense only got better. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith is now a household name far beyond Tuscaloosa after winning the Heisman Trophy this past week.
Alabama was without No. 2 wideout Jaylyn Waddle against Notre Dame in the semifinal and the casual fan likely wouldn’t have even known. Sophomore John Metchie is capable of stepping up and playing a big role against a Buckeyes secondary that has leaked passing yards at an unfamiliar rate for a team playing in the national title game. Of course, Ohio State will also have their own hands full trying to stop running back Najee Harris. His 125 yards in the Rose Bowl semifinal against Notre Dame marked the sixth time he eclipsed the century mark on the ground this season.Ohio State vs Alabama Betting Trends
- Ohio State 2020 Betting Trends: 4-3 ATS; 4-2-1 to the Over
- Alabama 2020 Betting Trends: 8-4 ATS; 7-5 to the Over
- Since the year 2000, Ohio State is 24-11-1 ATS as an underdog.
- Alabama is 1-9 ATS in their last ten games against opponents with an active winning streak of four games or more.
- Alabama is 7-1 both straight up and ATS in its last eight games against Big Ten opponents. The only loss was in the 2015 Sugar Bowl to Ohio State, a game the Buckeyes won outright as 7.5-point underdogs.
- Ohio State is averaging 43.4 points per game this season (No. 3 in FBs and No. 1 in the Big Ten)
- Ohio State is surrendering 22.0 points per game this season (No. 29 in FBS and No. 4 in the Big Ten)
- Alabama is averaging 48.2 points per game this season (No. 2 in FBS and No. 1 in the SEC)
- Alabama is surrendering 19.0 points per game this season (No. 13 in FBS and No. 1 in the SEC)
Garrett Wilson Total Receptions: Under 5.5 (+100 at Bovada Sportsbook )
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.Ohio State vs Alabama CFP National Championship Game Prediction
If Ohio State proved anything against Clemson, it’s that they certainly belonged in the College Football Playoff from a talent point of view. The criticisms of their inclusion despite playing half the number of games as the other three teams remain fair. Nonetheless, the Buckeyes are one game away from being an 8-0 national champ. While my own handicap and analysis leave me with no choice but to lay the points with Alabama, I can’t say it’s my favorite play for this game. Beware of an underdog that feels disrespected!
Now, getting around to that favorite game pick. Believe it or not, I like playing the total Under. We saw the line take sharp action shortly after opening, initially dropping the number down a full point. While it has since ticked back upward, 75 is a high total for any football game. I believe Alabama will push the 40-point threshold in this game, but I don’t see Ohio State staying close enough to reach the over/under line. This game can still be a shootout while staying under the lofty total. I like the value in this contrarian play.
Ohio State vs Alabama Prediction
Final Score Prediction: Alabama 41, Ohio State 31
Betting Picks: Alabama -8.5 and Under 75 (-110 and -105 respectively at Bovada Sportsbook )