As the third annual meeting between Clemson and Alabama in the College Football Playoff approaches, Clemson finds itself in a familiar spot.
Despite being the No. 1 seed in the four-team Playoff, the Tigers are an underdog to No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide opened as 1.5-point favorites, and by Friday morning, that line had grown to 2.5, according to Oddsshark.com. It appears the matchup will be the eighth consecutive bowl or College Football Playoff matchup in which Clemson is an underdog.
That’s not necessarily bad news for the Tigers — they’ve covered the spread in each of the previous seven and have won six of the matchups straight up, the only loss coming to Alabama in the 2016 national title game.
Computer projections seem to side with most gamblers in picking the Crimson Tide. The majority of analysts, however, favor Clemson. Here is a rundown of picks from both human experts and computer projections for the matchup.
Oddshark computer: Alabama, 39.1-28.7
SB Nation’s S&P+ computer projection: Alabama, 26-22
ESPN Football Power Index: Alabama
Yahoo Sports writer Pat Forde: Clemson, 23-21
Bleacher Report analyst Adam Wells: Clemson, 20-10
Sporting News writer Bill Bender: Alabama, 28-24
Sports Illustrated analyst Andy Staples: Clemson
Sports Illustrated analyst Bruce Feldman: Clemson
CBS Sports analyst Dennis Dodd: Clemson
CBS Sports analyst Jerry Palm: Alabama
USA Today analyst Dan Wolken: Clemson
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