The Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes are no strangers to the big stage, as they've combined to appear in 12 national championship games since 1992. Alabama has won six of its eight appearances during that span, while Ohio State has split its four trips to the title game. The No. 1 Crimson Tide will look to make it three wins in the last six years when they battle the third-ranked Buckeyes on Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
Alabama (12-0) defeated Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl to return to the title game after having its four-year streak snapped last season. Ohio State (7-0) is playing for the national championship for the first time since 2014 after trouncing Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide are nine-point favorites in the latest Ohio State vs. Alabama odds from William Hill Sportsbook after the line opened at 7.5, while the over-under is 74.5. Before entering any Alabama vs. Ohio State picks, you'll want to see the latest college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's Emory Hunt, given the success he's had picking games involving the Crimson Tide.
The founder of Football Gameplan, Hunt played running back at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and coached high-school football before becoming a SportsLine expert and CBS Sports HQ analyst. He enjoyed a dominant 2019 season, going 116-79 against the spread while returning nearly $3,000 to $100 bettors.
Moreover, Hunt has a keen eye for the Crimson Tide's tendencies. In fact, he's a stunning 9-2 against the spread in his last 11 college football picks for or against Alabama. Anybody who has been following him has seen some huge returns.
- Alabama vs. Ohio State spread: Crimson Tide -9
- Alabama vs. Ohio State over-under: 74.5 points
- Alabama vs. Ohio State money line: Crimson Tide -330, Buckeyes +270
- ALA: 7-1 against the spread in the last eight games against Big Ten opponents
- OSU: Has a plus-21.4 point differential this season
Why Alabama can cover
DeVonta Smith leads the country with 105 receptions, 19 more than his closest competitor, but Mac Jones has several other viable options at his disposal. John Metchie III is second on the Crimson Tide in catches (47) and receiving yards (835) despite recording only a pair of 100-yard performances.
Najee Harris, who has rushed for a nation-leading 24 touchdowns and ranks third with a career-high 1,387 yards, also is a threat out of the backfield. The senior has 36 catches for 346 yards and three TDs. Jones has three other targets who have amassed more than 250 receiving yards, including tight end Jahleel Billingsley (260, three TDs in six games).
Why Ohio State can cover
Justin Fields took a hard hit to the midsection in the second quarter of the semifinal and favored his side for the remainder of the game. The junior quarterback did not allow the injury to affect his performance, however, as he threw four of his Sugar Bowl-record six touchdown passes afterward, including a pair of deep tosses in the second half.
Fields, who is ninth in the country with an average of 9.9 yards per pass attempt, finished with 385 yards. The Buckeyes amassed 639 total yards, a Sugar Bowl record.
Getting to the Crimson Tide early will be paramount for the Buckeyes' chances to capture their ninth national championship. Ohio State did much of its damage offensively against Clemson in the first half, something that has been a trend this season. In fact, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 181-50 over the first 30 minutes and averaged 294 yards while allowing 129.5 by halftime.
How to make Ohio State vs. Alabama picks
Hunt is leaning over the total, and he's also found a critical X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Alabama vs. Ohio State in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game? And what crucial X-factor causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over on Monday, all from the Crimson Tide expert who is 9-2 on picks involving Alabama.