Crimson Tide Ready for Buckeyes Battle

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Will it be Alabama or Ohio State coming out on top in the College Football Playoff National Championship?

Alabama head coach Nick Saban

Although Wildcard Weekend has come to an end, the American Football action continues with what could be the best game of them all to watch when Alabama Crimson Tide take on Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff National Championship in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The showcase match-up at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami promises lots of points with both sides possessing plenty of offensive threats, although whether the over is covered in the over/under market remains to be seen as that has been set at a remarkable 75.

The Crimson Tide have swept all before them and were convincing once again last week when they took care of Notre Dame to improve their record to 12-0 for the season, and they are understandably strong favourites at 4/13 on the Money Line to come out on top.

The Buckeyes are also unbeaten but have had to contend with as many COVID-19 issues as anyone and have played only seven games, five games fewer than their rivals.

There had been a degree of scepticism about their position in the play-offs but their emphatic win over the number two seeded Clemson Tigers in the Sugar Bowl has perhaps silenced any doubters.

Fields Fitness Key for Buckeyes

As mentioned, Ohio State have had various issues to contend with but they have found a way to get the job done regardless, dispatching the Tigers in ruthless fashion to give themselves a shot at the top seeds.

Quarterback Justin Fields saved his best game of the season for the clash against Trevor Lawrence and co, throwing for as many touchdowns as incompletions, six, in a 385-yard game off 22-28 passes to secure the 49-28 victory.

He did that despite suffering what looked like a rib injury following a hit which led to the ejection of Clemson linebacker James Skalski, and there have been question marks over his capabilities to take on the Crimson Tide, if he is passed fit to play.

The dual-threat playmaker showed against Clemson what he could potentially do and the Buckeyes do have weapons in the shape of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson to cause Alabama plenty of problems.

Throw into the mix the almost ridiculous form of Trey Sermon behind that offensive line, as well as the tight end threat of Jeremy Ruckert and Luke Farrell, and Alabama have got their hands full.

It may be a stretch to think they will outright beat the best team in college football on the night at 5/2, but they can certainly push the Crimson Tide all the way and land the victory with an 8.5 point start on the handicap at 50/59.

Tide in Alabama’s Favour

The problem for the Buckeyes, like all teams that have faced Alabama before, is that Nick Saban’s men have plenty of threats themselves, and they are simply better.

Three of the five Heisman Trophy finalists play for the Crimson Tide with wide receiver Devonta Smith landing the trophy, while quarterback Mac Jones finished a narrow third behind Lawrence with running back Najee Harris in fifth.

The options are there for all to see and they have demonstrated their offensive power throughout the season to establish themselves as the force in college football, with the possibility of the return of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

The 22-year-old was an early Heisman contender with 25 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns before his season was seemingly ended after just four games.

Alabama have shown that they certainly don’t need Waddle back in the squad but his return would only enhance their options with the ball in hand.

Given the occasion, the opposition, as well as Alabama’s 31-14 win over Notre Dame, Alabama might get the job done in a game that perhaps doesn’t quite live up to the shootout of all shootouts billing, with under 75 points the shout at 25/27.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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