NCAA: Championship game

The big game is finally up us, well come Thursday night it will be. Texas is a 4.5-point underdog vs. Alabama according to the NCAA football odds in the much-anticipated championship game. For a straight money line, Texas is at -115 and Ala. is at -105. Will Ala. cover? Will they even win? Let’s break down the match-up and see where the smart money will be wagered on this monster contest.

If there ever were a tale of offense vs. defense, this is it. Let’s start with Alabama. Average points scored against: 11. No. 1 in the league. The rank No. 2 in both total yards allowed and rushing yards allowed, and they ranked seventh in passing yards allowed. They shut teams down, as Florida can attest to. On the other side, Texas is third in the league with points scored per game at just over 40. They come in at 20th in total yardage, and four of their last five games has eclipsed the over/under mark.

In a game of this magnitude, it’s my feeling that the defense fuels more off the emotional charge than the offense. And in that area, it’s clear Alabama has the advantage. Now, Texas’ defense is certainly no slouch. If Alabama was No. 2 in rushing yards allowed, I’ll bet you’re wondering who No. 1 is? That’s right, the Longhorns. And they, themselves, only give up 15.8 points per game. Still, I feel that Alabama has that killer instinct about them. And as for Texas, when it came down to making a big play throughout the year, it always seemed to be McCoy and the offense that stepped up to get it done.

Alabama will need to score, though. They can’t rely of their defense to do all the work. They put up, on average, about 9 points less than Texas during the regular season. And if for some reason the defense doesn’t get off to a hot start, Alabama could be playing from behind from as early as the first quarter.

The weather is expected to be about 70 and partly cloudy, so don’t expect the quarterbacks to be slowed down one bit. That spells good news for McCoy, who should be able to use this as a nice national showcase for his talent – as if another one were needed. Still, after seeing what Alabama did to Florida, it’s hard to believe another team could knock them off if they’re having a good day. So I say bet Alabama on the money line, and cautiously recommend them covering the line. And, even given Texas’ track record here, I’d take a stab and the under – I think it’ll be set a little high and both defenses will step up and keep the score under 30 on either side.