Featured post

Under 21 European Championships and Confederations Cup Picks 2017 (June 16-July 2)

There are a couple of months to go before the return of the Premier League, but that doesn't mean this is a summer without any football ...

Monday, 9 January 2017

College Football National Championship Game Pick 2017 (January 9th)

For the second time in a row, the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide have worked their way through the regular season and the Play Offs to reach the National Championship Game.

Both teams dominated their Play Off Semi Finals and this is the rematch that has really got the casual fans interested to see whether there has been an improvement in the Tigers team to turn things around from last season when they came up just short.


Clemson Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide Pick: The Las Vegas bookmakers have admitted that most of the money has come down on the side of the Clemson Tigers both on the Money Line and Against the Spread which has surprised them. Usually the Alabama Crimson Tide would be a big favourite for the casual fans looking for a weekend flutter, but the performance of the Tigers last season in the National Championship Game as well as the manner in which they blew out the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Semi Final this season.

In saying that, the Tigers have not faced too many teams of the level of the Alabama Crimson Tide who have won their last twenty-six games in a row. That is an incredibly strong run and even the decision to fire Lane Kiffin and replace him with Steve Sarkisian for the National Championship Game is not likely to see a big drop off from the production.

It is the Alabama Defensive unit who have laid the foundations for their successes in the Nick Saban era and this current crop of players have reached the standards set by their predecessors. It all begins up front where the Crimson Tide have shut down the running options for their opponents consistently over the course of the season which may mean Wayne Gallman is not going to have a big game.

Of course it is possible that Deshaun Watson is able to run the ball like he has from the Quarter Back position, but it looks like a game where he will need to be throwing the ball at his very best. Watson was very, very good in the National Championship Game a year ago and threw for over 400 yards in that narrow loss to the Crimson Tide and may need similar numbers again if he is going to lead the Tigers to an upset.

Watson has the Receivers to make big plays against Alabama and I do think he will have some success, but the Quarter Back has to make sure he avoids the Interceptions which have blighted him through the season. He had two Interceptions against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Semi Final which has to be a concern, while Watson could find the backfield flooded by the pass rush Alabama have generated in recent games which will only increase the pressure on the Quarter Back.

Running the ball effectively is how the Alabama Crimson Tide like to lay the foundations for their own success and I think they are going to have a little more joy doing that than the Clemson Tigers. The Alabama Offensive Line has been very strong at paving the way for the Running Backs this season and there have been one or two moments when Clemson's Defensive Line have just had problems closing all of the holes up front.

Being able to establish the run is going to be very important for Alabama to keep the pressure off of Jalen Hurts at Quarter Back. The Freshman only had to throw for 57 yards in the win over the Washington Huskies on New Year's Eve and Hurts might have a few chances to make some plays in the passing game if the run is forcing Clemson to bring more men up to the line of scrimmage to stop Alabama.

Both teams will believe they have every chance of winning this National Championship, but I do give the edge to the Alabama Crimson Tide. I don't think they make the same mistakes as the Ohio State Buckeyes did in their loss to Clemson and the Crimson Tide have been a covering machine this season thanks to their impressive Defensive performances.

Last season it took a score with 12 seconds remaining for the Clemson Tigers to force the cover, but I think they will struggle to stay with Alabama this time around. I expect Watson throws a couple of Interceptions which allows the Crimson Tide to wear down the Tigers and win yet another National Championship.

I expect Watson will have his moments too, but the Alabama juggernaut keeps rolling and I will back them to cover in this one behind a grind it out run game.

MY PICKS: Alabama Crimson Tide - 6.5 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)

No comments:

Post a Comment

cookieassistant.com