Alabama opens as touchdown favorite over Ohio State
The country’s only two undefeated teams will square off for the national championship, but the oddsmakers have a clear favorite.
No. 1 Alabama (12-0) opened as a touchdown favorite over No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) for their Jan. 11 matchup in the College Football Playoff final at Miami Gardens, Fla.
As of late Friday night, the Crimson Tide were favored by seven points at both DraftKings and SportsBetting.com and by 7 1/2 points at FanDuel.
The over-under total for the matchup was 75.5 at SportsBetting.com, 76 at DraftKings, 76.5 at FanDuel.
The seven-point spread would be the highest ever for a CFP final in the seven years the current playoff system has been in place. Three previous finals closed with 6.5-point spreads, per VegasInsider.com.
According to SportsBetting.com, the over-under total is the second-largest for a CFP game. Only the 2018-19 semifinal at the Orange Bowl had a higher total, 80.5 points. The under was a winner in that game, barely, as Alabama beat Oklahoma 45-34.
Only once has a CFP underdog of seven points or more pulled off the upset, per SportsBetting.com. Ohio State will attempt to duplicate its feat from the 2014-15 semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, when it entered a 7.5-point underdog but beat Alabama 42-35.
On Friday, the Crimson Tide cruised past No. 4 Notre Dame 31-14 in the first semifinal, the Rose Bowl held at Arlington, Texas. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns, three of the scores going to DeVonta Smith.
In the nightcap, the Buckeyes blasted No. 2 Clemson 49-28 behind 385 passing yards and six TD tosses from Justin Fields. Chris Olave accounted for 132 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions.
Alabama will be aiming for its third championship in the seven years since the CFP was instituted, having won the title in 2015-16 and 2017-18. Last season, the Crimson Tide failed to make the semifinals for the first time.
Ohio State, a losing semifinalist last season and in 2016-17, is in the final for the first time since 2014-15, when it beat Oregon for the championship.
–Field Level Media