Two spots in the National Championship game are up for grabs on Saturday as the Oklahoma Sooners face the LSU Tigers in the Peach Bowl while the Clemson Tigers battle the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl.
Oklahoma Sooners at LSU Tigers (-13.5)
Moneyline: Sooners +405, Tigers -455
Betting Total: 75.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 4 p.m., ESPN
The No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners face their most daunting assignment of the season as they take on the No. 1 team in the nation, the LSU Tigers, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this Saturday.
LSU’s 37-10 victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship game and Oklahoma’s 30-23 overtime victory over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship game say a lot about where these two teams stand. Heisman winner Joe Burrow and the Tigers’ dynamic offense (third in scoring despite playing in the defense-first SEC) should torch the Sooners’ 50th-ranked stoppers in the corresponding category.
Jalen Hurts and the Oklahoma offense were first in yards per play while LSU’s defense was 26th in the equivalent department, but the Sooners had the benefit of beating up on Big 12 defenses all year long and still only went 5-8 against the spread, including a 1-5 mark in the final six tilts of the season (the Tigers were 8-3-2). Bettors should note that the Sooners are 4-11 against the spread in their last 15 neutral site games while LSU has covered in five of their last six at a neutral site. If the Tigers win, it would be their sixth victory over a Top-10 team in 2019.
The play: LSU spread
Clemson Tigers (-2) at Ohio State Buckeyes
Moneyline: Tigers -125, Buckeyes +105
Betting Total: 63.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ is the site for Saturday night’s clash between the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes and the No. 3 Clemson Tigers, last year’s National Champions. Oddsmakers are expecting a close game between these two undefeated programs, which makes sense as the teams profile very similarly. However, the Buckeyes should prove to be the better bet as the more battle-tested squad going into this contest.
Ohio State survived the fifth-toughest schedule in the country and went 9-4 against the spread in the process. That included multi-score victories against Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin over the final three weeks of the season. Junior running back J.K. Dobbins went for 540 yards and seven TDs in that span while sophomore signal caller Justin Fields built on an impeccable campaign in which he completed 67.5 percent of his throws for 9.6 yards per attempt with a 40-1 TD-INT ratio. Clemson boasts the nation’s top scoring defense, but the Buckeyes’ offense seems up to the challenge.
The Tigers, fourth in yards per play on offense, have an equally-dynamic quarterback-running back combo in Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. However, Ohio State’s stoppers were the stingiest in the nation in yards allowed per play against much tougher competition than Clemson faced this year (77th-highest strength of schedule).
The play: Buckeyes spread