It's time to bet on the final college football game of the year.
By Clay Travis
It's time for the final Outkick the Coverage college football gambling pick of the year.
Seriously, one of the saddest days of the year for me is when I go to check college football gambling lines and there isn't a single game left to bet on. That will happen in a few hours, but until then we still have time to get rich.
This year we've had another very successful year of gambling, finishing off the bowl season at 9-5. That means our entirely free Outkick picks finished the college football season at 101-73, for a 58% win percentage on the year. Combining that with last year's 60% win percentage, everyone who gambles should have won some decent money over the past two years by playing Outkick's free picks.
I have two picks for tonight's game to finish off your 2016 gambling season on a winning streak. Take Alabama -6.5 and the under 51. The Tide has been the most consistently dominant team all season long. What's more, Alabama hasn't just gone 14-0 they've beaten every team this year by double digits except for Ole Miss, whom the Tide led 48-30 with under five minutes to play before two late Rebel touchdowns. Clemson, notwithstanding their destruction of Ohio State last week, has been erratic all season. The Tigers could have lost five games this year. Now they didn't, they've managed to go 13-1 instead, but you can change four plays -- Auburn's hail mary, N.C. State's chipshot field goal that they missed, Louisville running out of bounds just short of the first down, and Florida State getting called for a block on a big gainer late in the fourth quarter and Clemson might well have finished the regular season 7-5 instead of 11-1.
Meanwhile Alabama hasn't been close to losing all season.
So I think you're seeing a great deal of hype off Clemson's last game. And rather than just rate a team on what we've seen most recently I'd prefer to rate a team based on their entire season's work.
And if you do that then Alabama has shown it is most likely to win this game by double digits.
Which is why I'm picking the Tide to win this game 24-14.
Bang, you get the under and the cover.
We're going 2-0, baby!
If you aren't convinced by my prediction here's the OddsShark gambling preview.
The Clemson Tigers (13-1) are arguably a better team than they were a year ago when they squared off against the Alabama Crimson Tide (14-0) in the CFP National Championship Game.
Yet the Tigers are once again listed as 6.5-point underdogs to the defending national champion Crimson Tide at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they square off again for the 2016 national title.
Clemson managed to cover the spread last year on a touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson to tight end Jordan Leggett with 12 seconds remaining in a 45-40 loss that easily surpassed the 50.5-point total thanks to 40 points scored in the fourth quarter alone.
Watson, then a sophomore, threw for 405 yards with four touchdowns and one interception while also rushing 20 times for 73 yards in the matchup.
Despite losing several players to the NFL Draft, Alabama has reloaded again with some of the top pro prospects, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Crimson Tide have won 26 straight games, going 17-9 against the spread during that stretch, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.
The main difference offensively for Nick Saban's team is the lack of experience under center with true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts replacing senior Jake Coker. In addition, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will not be on the sidelines since he took the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic, with Steve Sarkisian taking over as offensive coordinator.
Hurts has not heard plays from anyone other than Kiffin in his college career, giving the Tigers an intriguing advantage defensively.
Hurts was underwhelming in a 24-7 win over the Washington Huskies in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve with only 57 passing yards and 50 more on the ground. Instead, it was running back Bo Scarbrough who looked like last year's Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry with 180 yards on 19 carries, including touchdown runs of 18 and 68 yards.
Later in the Fiesta Bowl, Watson had 259 passing yards and 57 rushing yards to go along with three total touchdowns in a 31-0 rout of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Both defenses were outstanding in victory and figure to determine whether Alabama will win its fifth title in eight years or Clemson will capture its first since 1981. The Tide have rolled to eight wins in their last 10 playoff or bowl games (7-3 ATS) while the Tigers have gone 6-1 straight up the last seven times they have lost the previous game in a matchup.