- BetOnline has LSU (-210) as the favorite to win the national championship
- Joe Burrow threw seven first-half touchdowns against Oklahoma to secure a spot in the final
- Clemson (+180) defeated Ohio State 29-23 in a College Football Playoff classic
College football fans are in the midst of a painful 16-day wait between the semifinals and the national championship game, but LSU-Clemson is absolutely a matchup that’s worth waiting for.
When the two undefeated teams meet on Monday, January 13th, in New Orleans, it will mark the first time in the College Football Playoff’s six-year history that the regular season’s best defense and best offense will square off for a national title.
Let’s check the latest odds at BetOnline and pick a winner.
2020 CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
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THE QUARTERBACK BATTLE
Joe Burrow’s magical season just keeps getting better. After winning the Heisman Trophy, the 23-year-old quarterback threw for 493 yards and seven touchdowns (with another score on the ground) in LSU’s 63-28 beatdown of Oklahoma in the CFP semifinals.
Burrow has now thrown for 5,208 passing yards with 55 touchdowns and only six interceptions this year. Before realizing his sad and inevitable fate as a Cincinnati Bengal, he will square off with future shampoo pitchman Trevor Lawrence.
Now 25-0 as a starter after authoring a game-winning drive in Clemson’s 29-23 comeback-win over Ohio State, Lawrence will have a legitimate shot at winning three-straight national titles — given Dabo’s Swinney’s No.1-ranked 2020 recruiting class — if he can score an upset victory over LSU.
CLEMSON OPENS AS UNDERDOGS
Clemson is currently listed as 5.5-point underdogs despite the fact that they have won 29 straight contests and are looking to win their third championship in four seasons.
Derided all year for their soft schedule, Clemson faced the far tougher test in the semifinals, getting some major officiating help to survive a 16-point deficit against the Buckeyes.
The two keys to the victory were Lawrence’s success on the ground (16 rushes for 107 yards, including an epic 67-yard scoring dash before the half) and Brent Venables’ defense, which held Ohio State to field goals on all three of their first-half red zone opportunities.
Clemson’s defense yielded the fewest points (10.6) and yards per game (244.7) during the regular season, but can they stop a LSU attack that has scored at least 42 points against four top-10 teams this season?
LSU HAS HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is about 80 miles from LSU’s Baton Rouge campus, so Ed Oregon’s club will definitely have the crowd on its side.
Interestingly, LSU won its last national title in New Orleans in 2007 when they beat Ohio State. The Big Easy is also the site of Clemson’s last defeat: a 24-6 loss to Alabama in the 2017 CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl.
Aside from enjoying home field, LSU’s biggest advantage can be found in the trenches.
While Clemson’s young pass rush is averaging its fewest sacks per game since 2013, LSU’s offensive line only allowed 30 sacks in a season with 518 pass attempts, winning the Joe Moore Award as the best unit in the sport.
In a battle against two seemingly unbeatable 14-0 teams with quarterbacks who will almost certainly be the No. 1 picks in the 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts, I believe Burrow will complete his storybook season by handing Lawrence the first loss of his college career.
Pick: LSU (-210)