The 2019-20 college football season comes to an end Monday from New Orleans when defending champion and third-seeded Clemson faces No. 1 LSU.
It’s a national championship matchup of Tigers who call their home stadiums Death Valley – LSU’s is officially known as Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Clemson’s is Memorial Stadium down in South Carolina. Looks to be a spectacular matchup between the top-scoring offence in college football in SEC champion LSU and the No. 1 scoring defence in ACC champion Clemson.
College Football Playoff National Championship Betting Analysis
Looks to be a spectacular matchup between the top-scoring offence in college football in SEC champion LSU and the No. 1 scoring defence in ACC champion Clemson. The difference could be when the Clemson offence has the ball. It ranks fourth nationally in scoring at 45.3 ppg, while LSU has been a little leaky at times on defence this season – allowing 38 points to both Texas and Vanderbilt and 41 to Alabama — and gives up 21.2 per game. The Sports Interaction total is set at 69.5, with the under a slight favourite.
These schools last played in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2012 with No. 14 Clemson upsetting No. 8 LSU 25-24 on a 37-yard field goal as time expired. Obviously, no players from those teams are still in college. That was really the start of this Clemson dynasty under Coach Dabo Swinney.
This is the first time since last year’s title game that Clemson is a betting underdog; it is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 as a dog. Clemson is 9-1 straight up in its past 10 games against SEC schools and beat two in the regular season in South Carolina (38-3) and Texas A&M (24-10).
LSU didn’t play South Carolina this season but beat A&M handily 50-7. LSU is 9-1 SU & 6-4 ATS in its past 10 vs. the ACC, last playing a team from the conference to open the 2018 season and easily handling Miami (Fla.).
Clemson is in its fourth national championship game in the College Football Playoff era and is 2-1 while looking to become the first school to repeat. It upset No. 1 Alabama 44-16 last year. No third-seeded school has won it all in the CFP era. The Tigers are on a national-best 29-game winning streak. Most of those have been blowouts, but No. 2 Ohio State gave Clemson all it could handle in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal on Dec. 28 before the Tigers prevailed 29-23. The Buckeyes were up 16-0 in the second quarter when a controversial targeting penalty seemed to wake Clemson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence up.
Lawrence led the game-winning 94-yard drive in the fourth quarter, hitting tailback Travis Etienne on the 34-yard go-ahead touchdown with 1:49 left. Ohio State then drove down the field, but Justin Fields was picked off in the Clemson end zone. Clemson and Ohio State almost surely will open 1-2 in the 2020 preseason Top 25 (in whichever order), and Fields and Lawrence are the two clear Heisman favourites next season. Clemson is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 bowl games.
Louisiana State Tigers
It’s LSU’s first national championship game in the CFP era; no top seed has won it. This will be the last NCAA game for quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, who has had arguably the best season by an FBS quarterback ever. The next time he takes the field, it should be for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals next August in a pre-season game as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Burrow was absolutely ridiculous in the Peach Bowl semifinal 63-28 rout of No. 4 Oklahoma, throwing seven first-half touchdown passes and running for another score in the second half. The seven TD throws tied for the most in any bowl game ever and were single-game records for LSU and by any SEC quarterback.
The scary thing about that performance was that Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Ja’Marr Chase was quiet with two catches for 61 yards. Instead, the equally talented Justin Jefferson caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four scores. Top LSU tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire was in question for the game with a hamstring injury. He did play but only had two carries; the two-plus weeks off in between games can only help Edwards-Helaire, who has rushed for 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. LSU is 4-0 ATS in its past four neutral-site games – although this is hardly a neutral-site game with New Orleans about 80 miles from the LSU campus.