- BetOnline has LSU (-220) as a 5.5-point favorite over Clemson in the CFP national championship
- Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence project to be the No. 1 picks in the 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts, respectively
- Clemson’s No. 1 defense should keep the game under the 69.5-point total
Who to pick, the quarterback in the midst of the perfect season or the quarterback with the flawless college-football career?
LSU’s Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy after tossing 5,208 passing yards and 55 touchdowns this year, but Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence has a 25-0 record as a starter with one national title already on his resume.
With the College Football Playoff National Championship now just days away, let’s look at the latest odds at BetOnline for Clemson vs LSU, which takes place at the Superdome in New Orleans on Monday, Jan. 13th, at 8:00 PM ET.
2020 CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
Odds as of Friday, Jan. 10.
LINE MOVEMENT IN PAST TWO WEEKS
Despite the painful 16-day wait between the semifinals and Monday’s national title game, there has only been slight line movement over the past two weeks.
After opening at -4.5 on December 29, LSU spiked to six-point favorites before the spread eventually settled in at -5.5. The moneyline has stayed similarly stagnant with the orange Tigers moving from +180 to +190, and the purple Tigers going from -210 to -220 since our last check in.
Travis Etienne returns home: A complicated LSU scenario https://t.co/p6rIUkQqzD pic.twitter.com/ruYRvrQAOp
— New York Post (@nypost) January 10, 2020
The over/under has also jumped a full point (from 68.5 to 69.5) in the past week, which makes sense given that LSU ranks first in the nation in both total offense (564.2 yards) and scoring (48.9 points), and compiled 692 total yards and nine offensive touchdowns in their Peach Bowl beatdown of Oklahoma.
THE CASE FOR THE UNDER
Burrow threw for 493 yards and seven TDs (with another score on the ground) in LSU’s 63-28 victory over the Sooners, but Brent Venables’ Clemson defense will provide a much stiffer test.
While their competition wasn’t exactly fierce, Clemson held all but two of its opponents under 20 points this season.
In addition, their secondary held opposing quarterbacks to just 151 passing yards per game (No. 1 in the country) and picked off Justin Fields twice in the Fiesta Bowl, despite the Buckeyes QB entering the game with just one interception all season.
Joe Burrow’s PFF passing grade to a tight window: 87.3
The next best in college football is 76.4. pic.twitter.com/ycCtZui5Ye
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 7, 2020
Clemson held Ohio State to 23 points in its semifinal win, and Alabama could only muster 16 against the Tigers in last year’s title game (though that defense featured a handful of players now in the NFL).
It would also be fair to expect Dabo Swinney to lean on Louisiana-native Travis Etienne in an effort to slow the game down and take the ball out of Burrow’s hands. Ignored by LSU on the recruiting trail, Etienne has the skills (1,500 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns this season) to get some serious revenge.
TAKE CLEMSON AND THE POINTS
While we like LSU straight-up, the Tigers of South Carolina have covered eight straight games against the spread against FBS opponents.
Don’t forget that, in the CFP semifinal, they were also favored by 2.5 points over a Buckeyes team that the playoff committee had ranked ahead of LSU for much of the year.
It’s also difficult to imagine Lawrence laying an egg after throwing for 347 yards and three scores in last year’s 44-16 title-game triumph over Alabama.
Trevor Lawrence has been collecting victories since high school ? pic.twitter.com/VvURznrw7Y
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 3, 2020
The sophomore stud has now gone 202 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception, and proved against Ohio State that he’s equally capable of beating teams with his legs.
Even with all that said, this season has belonged to Burrow. Protected by the nation’s top offensive line, I expect the senior signal-caller to perform well in front of the home fans in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and win what could be a quarterback duel for the ages.
Prediction: LSU defeats Clemson 32-30