It’s a dream matchup for this year's College Football National Championship game. A pair of 14-0 teams will embark in battle tonight when college football heavyweights LSU and Clemson go at it tonight inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome in Atlanta. The opening kickoff is slated for 8:00 PM ET. The college football betting odds at Bovada is presently showing LSU as a 6.5-point favorite and there’s a posted total of 68.0.
Recent Big Game Experience Favors Clemson
Monday will mark the third time in four years that Clemson will be playing in the National Championship Game and its fifth straight appearance in the College Football Playoffs. Additionally, they'll be seeking their 3rd National Championship. Additionally, Clemson also lost in the lost in the 2016 Championship game to Alabama by a score of 45-40 and fell 24-6 to the Crimson Tide during the 2018 National Semifinal.
During the past 5 seasons, Clemson has played in 8 College Football Playoff games and went 6-2. Conversely, this season was the first time ever that LSU has made the 4-Team College Football Playoff. However, on more positive notes, LSU crushed #4 Oklahoma 63-28 in the Semifinal which earned them tonight’s grand opportunity. Furthermore, LSU has gone 6-0 this season when facing teams that were then ranked in the Top 10. In contrast, Monday will be only the 2nd time Clemson will be facing a Top 10 team this season, and their first occurred just 16 days ago during its 29-23 win over Ohio State.
Since the start of last season, Clemson has an unblemished record of 29-0. Their ongoing win streak includes 25-0 from the time that freshmen Trevor Lawrence has taken over as their starting quarterback. Now a sophomore, Lawrence will be making his 4th start in the college football playoff.
Former Ohio State Buckeye backup quarterback Joe Burrow has put together a brilliant season for LSU. Burrow has thrown for an eye-popping 5208 yards in 14 games while recording 55 touchdown passes against only 6 interceptions. That performance line earned him the 2019 Heisman Trophy Award and he’s projected to be an overall #1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Final Analysis and Pick
Here’s the conclusion I arrived at after careful examination. The old football axiom proclaims that "defense wins championships". Clemson has allowed 23 points or fewer in all 14 games this season, and that includes 14 or less on 11 of those occasions. Contrarywise, LSU has given up 37 points or more four times, only to have their prolific offense bail them out in those instances. I firmly believe that Clemson's stop unit will get stops at crucial points of tonight's game, and that will be the deciding difference in covering, winning, or both. My college football championship prediction in on the underdog to cover.
Pick: Clemson +6.5
Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at RBWins.com