It sounds folly to lean on the “better quarterbacks” for our NFL Conference Finals picks when this is one of the most evenly matched games. You’ve got four MVP candidates all posting passer ratings of over 100 and with defenses that can make plays when it matters. From a betting perspective, this is a toughie, but it should be plenty of fun. Let’s check the NFL Conference Finals picks.
NCAAF National Championship Picks: Bama or Bust
Alabama returns to the championship game with red-hot Ohio State in their path. NCAAF National Championship final presents a tight matchup between two powerhouse teams although we’ve got our eyes set on Bama who is better built all-around. Let’s break down the odds and we give you our betting picks.
College football’s biggest game has arrived and NCAAF National Championship odds pits the lively underdogs Ohio State Buckeyes (OSU) against the nigh-indomitable Alabama Crimson Tide. Bama opened as eight-point favourites (1.33 on the money line) while OSU’s comeback is 3.50 (odds via BetOnline).
Here are the full NCAAF betting odds for the championship game:
|Odds to win NCAAF National Championship|
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes
NCAA Football National Championship: Alabama vs Ohio State
This NCAA Football National Championship game is Alabama’s fifth in the last seven seasons while OSU returns for the first time since 2015. Bama last won in 2018 led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa while OSU rode running back Ezekiel Elliott over Oregon.
This will be the first time both teams face each other since the new format.
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #3 Ohio State Buckeyes — Our Pick
Betting against Alabama (1.35) in a championship game is intimidating for the right reasons: they are stacked in most positions and have never lost two straight championship games since the BCS format in 1998.
Alabama opening as eight-point favourites is a testament to how good OSU (3.40) can be. But a quick look at Bama from their frenzied firepower to their depth of talent makes them the rightful favourite. They may not have covered against Notre Dame but they still beat them bell-to-bell.
The Buckeyes, on the flipside, dismantled golden boy Trevor Lawrence’s Tigers to the tune of 21 points. Justin Fields silenced his demons by putting on his best performance going 22 of 28 with six touchdowns to just one pick. OSU dropped 639 total yards against a team that regularly stifled its opponents.
There is plenty of action going for the underdog right now thanks to their recent performance.
But recency bias shouldn’t cloud judgment. OSU will go up against Bama, which features Heisman Finalists in quarterback Mac Jones and wideout Devonta Smith plus at least three bluechip NFL prospects including All-American cornerback Patrick Surtain II on defence.
Both Fields and running back Trey Sermon, who gashed Clemson for 193 rushing yards, can help keep the Buckeyes close. But they’ll have their hands and feet full as the Tide have 33 sacks and allow fewer than 20 points per game.
Additionally, Alabama features one of the best offensive lines that should limit OSU’s ability to pressure. This would give Jones and Smith just enough leeway to score. And as they’ve shown in recent games, they don’t need that much leeway to pile up points.
SBR’s Pick: Alabama (1.35) — Bama is 0-4 against the spread in their last four Bowl Championship games so it’s better to just take them straight here. With the betting public leaning towards OSU, you don’t need to rush betting on Bama. Monitor how the lines go and snipe them when they start to trend toward a better price.
NCAAF National Championship — Best bets and props
IF the matchup is too close for you to bet, you can look for other ways to get in on the action. NCAA football props are plentiful, especially for big games like this. Find these props from your favourite sportsbooks where you can adjust the point spread or bet on specific scoring outcomes.
Let’s look at three that stand out (odds via SportsInteraction (SIA)):
Team with Highest Scoring Quarter: Alabama — 1.37
This is a no-brainer hence the steep price for the prop. Bama can go a scoring craze and drop touchdowns per possession. OSU has a stalwart rushing defence, but they have shown some vulnerability against strong passing attacks in the past.
Leave it to the Jones-Smith connection to go on a big scoring run somewhere. Between OSU and Bama, bet on the Tide to roll and blow up one quarter for some solid side cash.
Team totals: Over 75.0 — 1.91
Seventy-five points is A LOT of points, but take it between two teams that can easily score 20+ in a single quarter. Alabama has gone 4-0 on the over in their last four Bowl Championship games while the Buckeyes’ over is 4-1-1 in their last six.
Alabama has a tough defence that can limit Fields’s effectiveness and if they get on a big lead, they may feature more rushing and less scoring. But OSU can be just as nuclear on offence so expect plenty of scoring coming in here with the totals potentially hitting over 80.
First scoring play: Alabama – Touchdown — 2.18
With a penchant for big plays, the first score of the game will more than likely be a touchdown. OSU’s defence can sometimes get scorched for big throws and it’s something Jones and Smith can exploit.
Add the Tide’s 100% Red Zone efficiency and OSU’s best shot at preventing Bama from scoring a touchdown is to force a turnover on downs or a pick – two uncommon scenarios.
Tip: you will find different betting odds for this NCAA championship game depending on where you look. As the odds we’ve shown here indicate, different books have different odds.
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