It could be a high-scoring affair when the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide face the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 11 in the College Football Playoff National Championship in Miami Gardens, Fla. Both teams are coming off dominant victories in the semifinals, with Alabama (12-0) cruising past Notre Dame, 31-14, and Ohio State (7-0) crushing Clemson, 49-28. Heisman finalists Mac Jones at quarterback and wideout DeVonta Smith lead a Tide offense that averages more than 48 points per game, while quarterback Justin Fields and breakout star Trey Sermon at running back pace a Buckeyes unit that put up 639 yards in the semis.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. The Crimson Tide are eight-point favorites in the latest Alabama vs. Ohio State odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 75.5. Before entering any Ohio State vs. Alabama picks, you’ll want to see the latest college football predictions and betting advice from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It entered the final week of bowl season a sizzling 56-36 on all top-rated picks, returning over $400. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Ohio State vs. Alabama: Crimson Tide -8
- Ohio State vs. Alabama over-under: 75.5
- Ohio State vs. Alabama money line: Buckeyes +250; Crimson Tide -300
- Ohio State: RB Trey Sermon has 636 of his 868 rushing yards over the past three games
- Alabama: WR DeVonta Smith had at least 130 receiving yards eight times this season
Alabama Crimson Tide
Why Alabama can cover
Alabama is 8-4 against the spread this season, and the offense has been nearly impossible to stop. The Tide scored 35 points or more in 23 straight games before it dialed it back late against Notre Dame. Jones leads the nation in completion percentage (77) and threw for 297 yards against the Irish. The junior topped 375 passing yards six times during the regular season and has 36 TDs against four interceptions. Smith, the Heisman favorite, scored three TDs in the semifinal to give him 20 this season and had 105 catches for more than 1,600 yards.
If the Tide, who are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games against the Big Ten, need to turn to the running game, they have Najee Harris running behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines. Harris had 125 yards on just 15 carries in the semifinal, including an electrifying 53-yard jaunt. He has more than 1,700 total yards and has scored 27 times.
Defensively, All-American cornerback Patrick Surtain II takes away half the field, and the Tide have 33 sacks, led by Will Anderson Jr. (seven sacks) and Christian Barmore (six). The unit allows fewer than 20 points per game.
Why Ohio State can cover
The Buckeyes are 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 games as underdogs and are motivated after talk that they shouldn’t have been included in the playoff. Fields put on a show in the semifinal against Clemson despite taking a hard illegal hit in the second quarter. The junior threw for 385 yards and six TDs in the game. He completes more than 73 percent of his throws and will be facing an Alabama defense that ranked 76th in the nation against the pass (243.5 yards per game).
Sermon has broken out, following up a 331-yard effort in the Big Ten title game with 193 in the semifinal. The Buckeyes allow less than 97 yards per game on the ground, and while the team has had issues against the pass, it can apply pressure and take the ball away. Consensus All-American Shaun Wade has two interceptions, and the Buckeyes have recovered 11 fumbles and have 19 sacks in seven games.
How to make Alabama vs. Ohio State picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, suggesting sacks and takeaways will play a major role. It also says one side of the spread is hitting in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick here.
So who wins Ohio State vs. Alabama in the 2021 College Football National Championship Game? And which side of the spread cashes in more than 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Alabama vs. Ohio State spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model on a 56-36 roll on college football picks, and find out.