The wait is over - The College Football Playoff National Championship is here!
The reigning National Champion the #3 Clemson Tigers defend their title against the #1 LSU looking to finish as the nation’s top team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans.
#3 Clemson Tigers (+5.5) @ #1 LSU Tigers, 8:00 PM:
- Clemson has covered the spread in each of the last eight night games.
- Clemson has a 11-2 ATS record after a win playing as an away team since 2018.
- LSU has a 7-10 ATS record as a home team in night games since 2017. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).
#1 LSU (14-0) had a jaw-dropping 63-28 blow-out win over the #4 Oklahoma Sooners in the Peach Bowl.
Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow continued his historic season with yet another record-breaking performance.
Burrow tied the record for touchdown passes thrown in a bowl game with seven - and did that before halftime.
He totaled 493 passing yards and added a rushing touchdown as well for the cherry on top of his sensational day.
Junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson put on an absolute clinic, torching the Oklahoma secondary with 14 catches for 227 yards and four touchdowns. Jefferson’s four receiving touchdowns also tied a bowl game record.
#3 Clemson (14-0) overcame an early 16-0 deficit and edged out the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes 29-23.
Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence showcased his playmaking abilities with both his arm and legs.
Lawrence threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 107 yards on 16 carries, including a 67-yard rushing touchdown.
Back-to-back ACC Player of the Year running back Travis Etienne totaled three touchdowns - one rushing and two receiving. Etienne rushed 10 times for 36 yards, adding three receptions for 98 yards.
Clemson’s defense was the real MVP, holding the nation’s third highest scoring offense to only seven points in the second half, and picked off Buckeye quarterback Justin Fields twice - including a game-icing interception with under a minute left (Fields had one interception in 13 games prior this season).
My pick is Clemson to cover the spread (+5.5) and the OVER Total of 69.5 points.
The National Championship will provide home field advantage for LSU as it takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans - the site of where the Tigers scored 63 points in the semifinal.
These teams have two of the top four offenses in the FBS - LSU has scored the most points in the nation (48.9 ppg) and Clemson has scored the fourth most (45.3 ppg).
Meanwhile, defensively these teams have been drastically different. Clemson has allowed the fewest points in the nation (10.6 ppg) while LSU sits near the Top-25 allowing 21.2 ppg.
Although I expect LSU to edge out Clemson to win the National Title, I highly doubt they’ll be able to put up another 63-point performance and embarrass the reigning champions - especially with a defense as talented as Clemson’s.
I’m anticipating an instant classic between these two teams and fully expect the five-and-half-point spread to be enough to cover in this matchup.