The point total for Monday’s national championship game between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes is at 75, and even in a battle of two programs who possess the ability to score at will, there are indeed potential factors where the under could be at play in Miami.
Led by Heisman trophy winner Devonta Smith, the Tide has wielded the nation’s top offense all throughout the 2020 season, averaging 48.2 points per game and 7.9 yards per play. While Nick Saban has embraced the offensive revolution during the second half of his tenure in Tuscaloosa, his team is very well capable of a classic “crock pot” game where they build just enough of a comfortable lead and decided to sit on it while the defense handles the opposing offense. AKA last week’s Notre Dame semifinal. If the Tide builds a large enough lead, one would imagine they wouldn’t want to take too many unnecessary risks against an Ohio State defense that has forced 18 turnovers in just seven games.
Justin Fields and Ohio State looked brilliant in last week’s semifinal win over Clemson but a major question is if he’ll be to keep up against the Crimson Tide. Fields took a big shot to the ribs against Tigers and played in an excruciating amount of pain. And while he managed to still deliver one of the best quarterback performances of the playoff era, there’s a question of whether he’ll be able to duplicate that and keep pace with the Alabama offense.
The Tide is at their most dominant this season when limiting opponents to under 65 percent passing and Fields struggled in games against Indiana and Northwestern where he only completed 65 and 44 percent of his passes, respectively. If they’re not crisp through the air, that puts more pressure on running back Trey Sermon to continue to pick up the slack, definitely putting the under in play as OSU tries to grind their way back into the ballgame.