When it comes to a game with as much significance of Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson, there is no lack of prop bets to choose from.
The key to choosing which prop to go with is to envision how you think the game will go. If you were to ask 10 people their opinion they may give 10 different scenarios on how they think the contest will go.
Vegas thinks that it's going to be around a 28-22 win for Alabama, considering the total and side wager. With regards to the game bets, I like Clemson (+6.5) and the under, as I think the athleticism of Deshaun Watson will give the Crimson Tide fits. I also think that Jake Coker will have to play as well as he did against the Spartans if the Tide hope to win. Now that I've given you my thoughts on the game, let's take a look at some props courtesy of Bovada.
Alabama O/U 29.5 points
As I said above, I'm leaning to the under for the game. The Crimson Tide have fallen under this number in just four games so far this season – Florida (SEC Championship Game), Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas. Despite playing in the SEC, how often can we say that Alabama has played a defense at Clemson’s level? The Tigers have given up 30 or more point three times this, in games against North Carolina (ACC Championship Game), South Carolina and NC State. The common theme for the most part in those contests was a potent passing attack, although the South Carolina game offered a mix of a desperate opponent and a lack of focus on the Tigers’ part. I can see Coker throwing one or two TDs and maybe Derrick Henry gets one as well. SELECTION: Under 29.5 points
First touchdown scorer
I'm a huge fan of this wager because there is always value, plus you can put in as little as a dollar and potentially win $10 if you play your cards right. With regards to Alabama, I think it's going to be Henry (+250) or Calvin Ridley (+700). I know that they are the big favorites, but I just think that Alabama is going to try to pound the ball in and those are the biggest threats. Because Bama is the favorite, you can get good value on Watson (+1000) or Wayne Gallman (+1000). To get those two at 10/1 when each has 12 rushing touchdowns is incredible. The one caution is that seven different Tigers have scored a rushing touchdown, although some of those were backups. SELECTION: Deshaun Watson +1000
Will Wayne Gallman score a TD?
There's a little bit of value here with the yes (+105) and when it comes to props, unless you absolutely have a good feeling, you should wager on plus values. Alabama has allowed just six rushing touchdowns all year, which is tied with Boston College for the fewest in the nation. Gallman did struggle against the Eagles back on Oct. 17, managing just 48 yards on 17 carries. Still, spread offenses have given Alabama fits at times. To me, until this wager falls to -105 or -110, you have to take a shot on the yes. SELECTION: Yes (+105)
Team to score the longest touchdown in the game
To me, this prop encapsulates great value. Once again, we see that Alabama being the favorite is influencing logic here. One look at Clemson's stats and you'll see long TDs of 66 (Gallman), 59 (Kelly Bryant), 57 (Hunter Renfrow), 51 (Artavis Scott) and 35 (Zac Brooks). Big plays aren’t exactly the Crimson Tide’s bread and butter, as evidenced by Henry's 74-yard run and Ridley's 81-yard touchdown catch being two of their longer plays. The value is too good to not take the team out of the ACC. SELECTION: Clemson (+130)
First scoring play
As I said above, I think this game starts slow and it's a field position battle. With that, I think a field goal produces the first points. When looking at the kicking stats, Clemson has attempted 30 FGs this season. Greg Huegel is 25-of-29 with 20 of those attempts coming between 20-39 yards. The problem is that Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney is a bit of a gambler when it comes to fourth down. On the Alabama side, it's Adam Griffith who is 22-of-30 on the year. Griffith has 10 attempts of 40 yards or longer and has connected on seven of them. Nick Saban is a gambler too, but I like the FG/safety value. SELECTION:
Field Goal or Safety +160
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.