Alabama is between a 6- and 7-point favorite against Clemson in Monday’s National Championship (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), with the exact spread depending on where you look. The over/under total for the game is 50.5 or 51, down from an opening figure of 53.5. Those are the highest-profile bets for the biggest game of the year.
But because this is sports, if you go to the right place, you can gamble about a whole bunch of other things. Here are some of those, via the sportsbook Bovada:
How much is someone going to win by, exactly?
Alabama by 1-6 points: 5/4
Alabama by 7-12: 7/2
Alabama by 13-18: 5/1
Alabama by 19-24: 9/1
Alabama by 25-30: 14/1
Alabama by 31-36: 20/1
Alabama by 37-42: 35/1
Alabama by 43-plus: 40/1
Clemson by 1-6: 17/4
Clemson by 7-12: 17/2
Clemson by 13-18: 16/1
Clemson by 19-24: 33/1
Clemson by 25-30: 55/1
Clemson by 31-36: 80/1
Clemson by 37-42: 100/1
Clemson by 43-plus: 125/1
Oddsmakers expect a close game. They think a Clemson blowout is exceptionally unlikely, while an Alabama blowout is merely highly unlikely.
Who scores the first points, how, and does that team ultimately win?
Alabama (5/8) -160
Clemson (6/5) +120
To profit $100 on a bet that Bama scores first, you’d need to gamble $160. But a $100 bet on Clemson striking first would carry a $120 payout, if that were to come true. It all strikes me as pretty difficult to predict, but more power to anyone who can do it.
You can bet really specifically about how those first points come about:
Alabama touchdown: 6/5
Alabama field goal: 11/4
Alabama safety: 50/1
Clemson touchdown: 2/1
Clemson field goal: 11/4
Clemson safety: 50/1
You can also bet on whomever scores first, winning the game or not. The odds are 1/2 (-200) that the first team to score eventually wins, against 3/2 for a comeback (+150).
Who gets more first downs?
The spread here is Alabama -2.5. So if Clemson gets within two first downs of however many first downs Bama gets, hey, that’s a profit.
How good will Deshaun Watson be?
Not as good as he was against Bama in last year’s title game, the oddsmakers don’t think. Some Watson-specific betting options:
Passing yards: over/under 269.5
Passing touchdowns: over/under 2.5
Completions: over/under 42.5
Rushing yards: over/under 45.5
Alabama is probably going to shut down Clemson’s run game, so Watson’s definitely going to have to throw a lot. His line against Bama last year: 30-of-47 for 405 yards and four touchdowns, with 73 rush yards. If he gets close to that, he’ll breeze past all of these. Playing well twice in a row against a Nick Saban defense seems tricky.
How about Jalen Hurts?
Some props on Alabama’s quarterback, who’s looking to become the first true freshman starting QB to win the title since 1985:
Passing yards: over/under 189.5
Completions: over/under 15.5
Rushing yards: over/under 55.5
Over 1.5: 5/8 (-160)
Under 1.5: 6/5 (+120)
If Hurts throws for 190 yards against Clemson, that’ll be interesting. He’s only gotten to that number in five of 14 games. If he’s getting there on Monday, that could mean Alabama’s throwing more than it would prefer. Or it could mean Hurts is playing brilliantly. That’s a hard one to peg.
Here are a bunch of other Clemson player stat bets:
Rushing yards for Wayne Gallman: over/under 54.5
Catches for Gallman: over/under 2
Receiving yards for Mike Williams: over/under 81.5
Catches for Williams: over/under 5.5
Receiving yards for Artavis Scott: over/under 39.5
Catches for Scott: over/under 4
Catches for Ray-Ray McCloud: over/under 3
Williams wasn’t playing in last year’s game, and his return makes Clemson a lot more dangerous. He’s a No. 1 receiver and a real deep threat, and the oddsmakers here think he’s likely to put up pretty big numbers for someone who’s playing Alabama.
And here are a bunch more Bama player bets:
Rushing yards for Bo Scarbrough: over/under 69.5
Rushing yards for Damien Harris: over/under 64.5
Catches for Harris: over/under 1.5
Receiving yards for ArDarius Stewart: over/under 67.5
Catches for Stewart: over/under 4
Receiving yards for O.J. Howard: over/under 35.5
Catches for Howard: over/under 3
Receiving yards for Calvin Ridley: over/under 49.5
Catches for Ridley: over/under 4.5
Betting on any Bama running back seems dangerous to me, because it’s impossible to know who’s going to get the lion’s share of the carries. Before Scarbrough’s 180-yard eruption against Washington in the Peach Bowl, he was the Tide’s fourth-leading rusher. Harris is the technical starter, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot.