The Alabama Crimson Tide played in four consecutive College Football Playoff National Championship Games beginning with the 2015 campaign, winning twice. Their streak came to an end last year after they went 10-2 during the regular season and settled for a Citrus Bowl matchup against Michigan, which they won handily. The top-ranked Crimson Tide will return to the spotlight when they face the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes for the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 11. Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Alabama (12-0) is aiming for its 18th national championship and first since 2017 after defeating Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes (7-0), who trounced Clemson by three touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl, appeared in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game following the 2014 season and captured the crown for the eighth time in school history. The Crimson Tide are 7.5-point favorites in the latest Ohio State vs. Alabama odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 75. Before entering any Alabama vs. Ohio State picks, you’ll want to see the latest college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s Emory Hunt, given the success he’s had picking games involving the Crimson Tide.
The founder of Football Gameplan, Hunt played running back at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and coached high-school football before becoming a SportsLine expert and CBS Sports HQ analyst. He enjoyed a dominant 2019 season, going 116-79 against the spread while returning nearly $3,000 to $100 bettors.
Moreover, Hunt has a keen eye for the Crimson Tide’s tendencies. In fact, he’s a stunning 9-2 against the spread in his last 11 college football picks for or against Alabama. Anybody who has been following him has seen some huge returns.
- Alabama vs. Ohio State spread: Crimson Tide -7.5
- Alabama vs. Ohio State over-under: 75 points
- Alabama vs. Ohio State money line: Crimson Tide -275, Buckeyes +235
- ALA: 7-1 against the spread in the last eight games against Big Ten opponents
- OSU: Has a plus-21.4 point differential this season
Alabama Crimson Tide
Why Alabama can cover
The Crimson Tide have been notorious for starting fast this season, outscoring their opponents 146-37 in the first quarter. As a result, they’ve reached the 12-win plateau for the 10th time in 13 seasons. Alabama also is riding a 25-game streak during which it has registered at least 28 points per game.
Mac Jones was superb against Notre Dame, completing 25-of-30 attempts for 297 yards and four touchdowns. The junior quarterback narrowly missed his eighth 300-yard performance of the campaign but recorded at least four TD passes for the seventh time. Jones has set the school record with 4,036 passing yards, eclipsing the mark posted by Tua Tagovailoa in 2018 (3,966) as he became the fifth Alabama signal-caller to amass 3,000 in a season.
Why Ohio State can cover
After being unable to lead the Buckeyes past Clemson in the semifinals last season, Justin Fields put on a display in the rematch. The junior was 22-of-28 for 385 yards and six touchdowns, including perfectly-placed long tosses for 56- and 45-yard scores. It marked the sixth time this season that Fields made multiple TD passes and third occasion he had at least four.
Wide receiver Chris Olave and tight end Jeremy Ruckert each hauled in a pair of touchdown passes in the Sugar Bowl, with the latter finding the end zone for the third consecutive contest. A junior, Olave led the Buckeyes with six catches and 132 yards, his fifth 100-yard performance in six games this season and third in a row. He tops Ohio State with seven TD receptions.
How to make Ohio State vs. Alabama picks
Hunt is leaning over the total, and he’s also found a critical X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Alabama vs. Ohio State in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game? And what crucial X-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over on Monday, all from the Crimson Tide expert who is 9-2 on picks involving Alabama.