CFP National Championship Prediction: Alabama vs. Ohio State Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Jan 11, 2021

devonta smith alabama

DeVonta Smith led the nation in receiving yards (1,641), catches (105) and TD catches (20) to win the Heisman Trophy.

January 11, 2021, 8:00 PM ET
Hard Rock Stadium
Pointspread +9 -110
Moneyline +255
Over / Under o +75
Pointspread -9 -110
Moneyline -309
Over / Under u +75

A most unusual college football season comes to a close on Monday night when No. 3 Ohio State of the Big Ten tangles with No. 1 Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game from Miami. The Crimson Tide are 8.5-point favourites on the NCAAF odds with a whopping total of 75.

NCAA National Championship Betting Analysis

This is the largest spread in any national championship game in the College Football Playoff era. Underdogs are 5-1 against the spread in the previous six CFP national title games, and if Ohio State wins it would be the biggest upset in a championship game the Buckeyes upset Miami as 12-point underdog in the 2002 BCS Championship Game (Fiesta Bowl).

The total is also the highest in the CFP title game era, and the over is 5-1 in the previous six CFP title games.

Alabama is 3-1 all-time vs. Ohio State. The powerhouses last played in the Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal on New Year’s Day 2015 (the first season of the CFP) and No. 4 Ohio State upset the No. 1 Tide 42-35 on the way to the school’s most recent national title. Current OSU coach Ryan Day has never faced Alabama.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes aren’t underdogs very often but also were in the Sugar Bowl semifinal on New Year’s Day at +7 but upset the No. 2 Clemson Tigers 49-28. The best quarterback on the field that day was not Clemson superstar Trevor Lawrence, the sure-fire No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but Ohio State counterpart Justin Fields. He completed 22 of 28 for 385 yards and six touchdowns despite taking a massive (and illegal) hit to the ribs that clearly left Fields in major pain. He will play Monday but probably isn’t 100 per cent.

After missing the Big Ten title game in COVID protocols, top wideout Chris Olave had six catches for 132 yards and two scores. Trey Sermon continued his late season-surge with 193 yards and a TD on 31 carries. Ohio State is 3-2 all-time in its four CFP appearances with that one championship. The Buckeyes are a stellar 8-1 straight up and ATS in their past nine games as underdogs.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide had little trouble in their Rose Bowl semifinal against No. 4 Notre Dame on New Year’s Day, winning 31-14. This is the best offensive team that Nick Saban has ever had with DeVonta Smith leading the nation in receiving yards (1,641), catches (105) and TD catches (20) on the way to becoming the first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since 1991. Quarterback Mac Jones was third in the Heisman voting and is second nationally with 4,036 yards passing and 36 TDs. His rating of 203.0 is first. Running back Najee Harris was fifth in the Heisman voting, leads the country with 24 TD runs and is third in yards with 1,387.

That unit could get even scarier on Monday with the possible return of electric wideout/returner Jaylen Waddle. He was hurt Oct. 24 at Tennessee and is listed as a game-time call. His 25 catches and 557 yards rank fourth on the team despite playing just four games. This will be the final game as Tide offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. He has been hired as the new head coach at Texas. It seems like every time Alabama is in a national title game, Saban has to deal with the distraction of a coordinator being hired as a head coach elsewhere. The Tide are 0-4 ATS in their past four national championship games.

NCAA Prediction: Who Will Win Ohio State vs. Alabama?