The biggest day of the College Football season occurs this Sunday. We have the two Playoff Semi-Finals taking place, in addition to an excellent bowl game between Michigan and Florida. With the four playoff teams combining for a record of 50-1, these two Semi-Finals are sure to be exciting. Are we set for another Alabama vs Clemson national championship? Or can Notre Dame or Oklahoma pull off an upset? Let’s take a look at our best spread bet in each of these 3 intriguing contests.
Led by Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines enter this one as the #7 ranked team in the nation, finishing up 10-2. They had an extremely impressive 10 game winning streak that was ended with a crushing loss at Ohio State last time out. QB Shea Patterson has been effective as a game manager all season, throwing for 2364 yards and 21 touchdowns to just 5 picks. RB Karan Higdon had another solid season with 10 touchdowns but will skip this one to prepare for the draft. The strength of this Michigan side is undoubtedly their defence. Players like Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, and Devin Bush should all prove difficult for Florida to contend with here.
The Gators enter this one at 10-3, good enough for the #10 rank in the country. QB Feleipe Franks has had a solid sophomore campaign, throwing for just under 2300 yards and 23 touchdowns so far. RB duo Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett should provide a nice 1-2 punch in this one. Defensively, the Gators enter this one off two consecutive very strong performances. They completely shut down the Florida State passing attack last time out, allowing just 5.3 yards per attempt and forcing 2 picks. If they can match that level here, they have every chance of staying competitive.
Prediction: Florida +7
Whilst I think Michigan is the better team, I just don’t see them fully motivated for this one. Guys like Higdon are already sitting out, indicating they aren’t taking this completely seriously. Florida are a prideful team that can definitely run on this stout Michigan front. Expect a solid day from Feleipe Franks as the Gators keep this close.
Clemson enter this one as the #2 ranked team in the country, enjoying a perfect 13-0 season so far. QB Trevor Lawrence has been incredibly efficient, throwing for 2600 yards and 24 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. The Clemson rushing attack has also been outstanding, going for over 3300 yards and a whopping 46 touchdowns on their 500 carries. With the offence getting so much attention, it’s gone under the radar how solid the Clemson defence has been. They’ve held 10 of their 13 opponents under 21 points and done an excellent job limiting opposing passing attacks. If they can contain Ian Bok here, they’ll be well on their way to a national title appearance.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame enter this one off one of their best seasons in recent memory, enjoying a perfect 12-0 season to this point. QB Ian Book has been very solid as the starter, completing 70% of his passes and throwing 19 touchdowns to just 6 picks. The Irish rushing attack has been just as good, going over 2200 yards and 27 touchdowns so far. Defensively, Notre Dame have been incredibly consistent all season. They are yet to allow more than 27 points in a game this season. Whilst they face an incredibly tough test here, they have the talent to match up with Clemson.
Prediction: Notre Dame +13
I’ve had a lot of success backing Notre Dame this season and plan to continue to do so here. Their excellent defence will prove difficult for the Clemson offence to negotiate and I think they can contain them here. Ian Book is also an outstanding QB at this level and I expect another solid day from him. Getting a whopping 13 points, I’ve got to support the Irish here.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide enter this Semi Final as the clear best team in the nation, coming off a perfect 13-0 season. QB Tua Tagovailoa has had an outstanding campaign, throwing for over 3300 yards and 37 touchdowns. The Tide rushing attack has also been excellent all year, averaging over 200 yards per game and totalling 31 touchdowns. Alabama has also been phenomenal defensively, holding 10 of their 13 opponents to 21 or less. Their rush defence in particular has been strong all season, making life hell for opposing Backs. If they can contain Kyler Murray, this should be a comfortable win for the Tide.
Oklahoma enter this one as the #4 ranked team in the country, enjoying a big win against Texas last time out. This offence starts and finishes with fantastic QB Kyler Murray, who has thrown for over 4000 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. The rushing attack has also been excellent, totalling over 3300 yards on 6.7 yards per attempt. Defensively, the Sooners have been a mixed bag this season. Playing in a lot of shootouts, they’ve allowed over 20 points in 11 of their 13 outings this season. If they can’t contain this dynamic Alabama offence, it could be a long evening for Oklahoma here.
Prediction: Alabama -13.5
I’ve been riding with Alabama all season long and am confident in their ability to progress to the National Championship here. Nick Saban is an excellent coach that will undoubtedly have his team well prepared after several weeks off. The biggest mismatch in this one is the strong Alabama offence against a struggling Oklahoma defence. I’m expecting another big afternoon from Tua en route to a comfortable win and cover.