Alabama Odds To Win The National Football Championship
Analyzing Alabama's Stock
The brand name in the modern era of college football, the University of Alabama and head coach Nick Saban are synonymous with the words dynasty and championship.
Since arriving at Alabama in 2007, Saban has won four championships and played for another in 2017 despite falling to Clemson. The Crimson Tide are perennial favorites to win the national title and that was the case once again entering the 2017-18 season.
Alabama opened the year in a marquee game against Florida State, billed as a matchup of leading national title contenders. The Tide rolled the Seminoles 24-7 and quickly resumed its usual assault on the SEC, destroying all opposition by at least two TD's until surviving a scare November 11 against Mississippi State. The game proved a premonition as Alabama suffered its first and only loss of the season two weeks later against archrival Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Suddenly Bama found itself in the most precarious of positions, having to watch the SEC Championship Game from home, its fate dependent on the performances of other teams. Despite some speculation that Alabama would miss the playoffs for the first time in the history of the event, the committee made Alabama the four-seed over a two-loss Ohio State setting up a rematch of last year's national championship game against top-seeded Clemson.The Tide To Win The Championship (+190)
Is Alabama really the best team in the playoffs and what do we make of their late-season form? These are the two most relevant questions when handicapping the Crimson Tide's national championship hopes, but here are some other angles to consider before dropping the hammer on Bama:
- The Tide rank second in total defense; opening round opponent Clemson ranks sixth in the same category
- Alabama ranks 20th in total offense and scored over 40 points 7 times this season
- Alabama played the 10th strongest schedule in the country according to teamrankings.com; among other playoff teams Georgia is 6th, Clemson 5th and Oklahoma 3rd
- Alabama has not defeated a team ranked in the College Football Playoff Top 10 this year; LSU (17th) is the highest-ranked team it has beaten
Once again Alabama has a great defense and a capable offense. They are led by the best coach in the country and have plenty of playoff experience on the roster. However, this team looks very evenly-matched against Clemson - its primary nemesis over the last two years.
The Tide sputtered in the month of November, looking very human against Mississippi State and validating that form in a loss to Auburn where they were dominated in the fourth quarter.
Physical defenses such as Clemson's can give this Bama offense plenty of problems and blocking the Tigers front will be a huge challenge for the Tide's offensive line. Like Clemson, if Alabama is able to get past the first round, they figure to have an easier challenge in the championship game. +190 is a very small reward considering the hurdles Alabama will have to overcome.
I don't see enough wagering value in this line to make it a viable play. That said, if a handicaper were to love Alabama's chances against Clemson and against the winner of Oklahoma/Georgia, it might make sense to tee it up at +190 given that Alabama will be favored in both games.
Still the pointspread will hover around Alabama -2 in the Clemson game and could shift closer towards the Tigers by kickoff. Laying -110 to cover a very small (if any) spread on one game might be far more appealing than the +190 we're getting to win two very challenging games.
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