If you’re a college football betting enthusiast that is looking for reasons why top-ranked and perennially-powerful Alabama won’t win this season’s national championship, the you’re in luck. I’ve got a trio of good reasons why someone other than Alabama will hoist the 2019 CFP championship trophy.
The reigning champs have looked fantastic all season long and look like they’re going to be difficult to dispatch once the playoffs get underway, but I don’t necessarily believe that anyone is unbeatable in today’s upset-happy times. Now, let’s get to my three reasons why you should bet against Alabama in the College Football Playoff.
3 Reasons to Bet Against Alabama in the 2018 Playoffs
Their Pass Defense
I know most teams would be happy to be ranked 23rd against the pass nationally like Alabama (186.5 ypg) , but it’s a bit unusual to see the Tide not ranked inside the Top 10 against the pass. I know Alabama is ranked an impressive eighth against the run, but they’ve been just a bit vulnerable against the pass on a couple of occasions this season. Arkansas’ Ty Storey completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns this season as the Razorbacks put 31 points on the board. Tennessee’s Keller Chryst also tossed two TD passes with no picks against the Tide in Week 6. I know I’m nit-picking a bit, but I’m thinking Alabama’s pass defense could have their hands really full against an elite team with an elite quarterback.
The Tigers Are On the Prowl
While Alabama is looking good as they head into Week 12 with a perfect 10-0 record, there’s a team just a bit to the northeast that has the look of one that could potentially beat anyone. That’s right college football betting buffs, the second-ranked Clemson Tigers (10-0) are looking like a team that could very well take down the Tide to win it all as a value-packed +400 pick.
Clemson ranks fifth nationally in scoring (45.7 ppg)and is tied with Alabama for the top spot in fewest points allowed (12.7 ppg). Not only that, but more importantly, Clemson has the kind of elite talent on both sides of the ball that can compete with Alabama’s haul of elite high school talent. The Tigers have a defensive line that not only features four future NFL performers, but four likely first round picks. Clemson has a star running back in Travis Etienne and an impressive rushing attack that ranks an encouraging 11th nationally.
However, the most important thing that Clemson has going for them is the fact that they now have an elite passer in Trevor Lawrence.
The gifted true freshman has passed for 1,844 yards with 19 TDs and just four interceptions while completing 66.4 percent of his passes.
Let’s not forget…Clemson is now a perennially powerful program that has made three straight appearances in the CFP while making consecutive appearances opposite Alabama in the national championship game in 2016 and 2017 while winning it all in their second trip under former superstar signal-caller Deshaun Watson. Over their last three seasons prior to this one, Clemson has gone 40-4 under head coach Dabo Sweeney. They struggled a bit last season because of their lack of a passing attack under former starter Kelly Bryant, but they’ve looked quite impressive since their prized freshman took over as the full-time starter. If Lawrence doesn’t wilt under the bright lights and big stage of the College Football Playoffs, Clemson looks capable of beating anyone – Alabama included.
I know we’ve got a few more weeks before the start of the annual bowl season and the College Football Playoffs, but right now, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s health is a concern. In Alabama’s 24-0 Week 11 win over Mississippi State, Tagovailoa took a shot to his knee that caused him to miss the last quarter and a half of the game and now, he’s questionable for Alabama’s Week 12 matchup against The Citadel.
Alabama’s sophomore Heisman Trophy contender has completed an incendiary 67.9 percent of his passes this season while throwing for 2,525 yards with 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s given Alabama’s offense an element of flat-out explosiveness that we’ve never seen out of a Nick Saban team. Make no mistake about it, if Tagovailoa isn’t completely healthy, Alabama’s chances of winning it all will definitely be hampered.