2017-18 College Football Playoffs Preview and Predictions
Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Alabama Crimson Tide (+190) vs. Clemson Tigers (+250)
The College Football Playoff selection committee gave the final spot in the four-team championship bracket to the Alabama Crimson Tide in what turned out to be a controversial decision.
While many football pundits believed Ohio State should have been granted the final spot — solely on having defeated higher-ranked teams — the Crimson Tide advanced and are the favorites heading into their semifinal.
Alabama will face the defending champion Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. The Crimson Tide head to New Orleans as the +190 favorites, having finished the season with an 11-1 record. The money may be rolling in on the Crimson Tide, but don’t count out the Tigers, who a year ago defeated Alabama to capture the national title.
Clemson are enticing +250 underdogs to win the national title for a second straight year after losing in the final to Alabama in 2015. The Tigers are also 4-1-1 against the spread in its last six games. In comparison, the Crimson Tide are 11-1 straight up in its last 12 games after a defeat.
So, who will come out on top in the Sugar Bowl? This is a see-saw battle, which means it may be Alabama that gets redemption for its loss in the championship a year ago.
Oklahoma Sooners (+333) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (+333)
Star quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners’ high-powered offense will be in tough against the Georgia Bulldogs’ world-class secondary when the two college football giants meet in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Mayfield, who is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy as college football’s most valuable player, has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the last four games heading into the Rose Bowl. Mayfield has built a strong connection on the field with tight end Mark Andrews, who is leads the club in receiving touchdowns. Oklahoma has the fourth-ranked offense, which is averaging 45.25 points per game.
Don’t expect the field to be as wide open for Andrews and the other Sooner receivers, as the Bulldogs boast one of the best secondary units in the country — led by safety Dominick Sanders.
This is really a pick ‘em game, with both teams entering the matchup at +333. However, the Sooners opened as the 1½ Rose Bowl favorites
This is going to be a close matchup that may even be decided by a late field goal, but put your money on Oklahoma to come out on top in the end.
Pick: Oklahoma Sooners (+333)
National Championship Prediction
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners
There could be a Southern feel to this year’s national championship, with Alabama and Oklahoma on a collision course to meet in the final. Both programs boast strong offensive units. Both teams finished with identical 12-1 records, but the Sooners have the early advantage as the No. 2 seeds.
Put your money on the Sooners to win its first national crown in 18 years.
Championship Pick: Oklahoma Sooners
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