NEW ORLEANS – You probably think the LSU will win the national championship. It's a popular setting. That is a reasonable position. I get it.
However, it is not understandable how, in certain sports betting, more than 80 percent of bettors place points against the undefeated, reigning national champions.
Is this the first title game that so many of them will see?
Since the beginning of the real national championship games with the BCS in 1999, the favorites have only been 11 to 10. Favorites with 5½ points or more (since the LSU is exactly 5½ points) have only covered two of the last 10 times , In the playoff era, each of the five title favorites failed to cover.
Nick Saban was unbeaten in national championship games before competing against Dabo Swinney. USC was set for three goals and was declared the biggest team ever before Vince Young stole his confetti.
But is LSU a barrier? And Clemson – the owner of a winning streak of 29 games and two of the last three national championships, both caught as outsiders – doesn't even have a chance against the spread?
Long live the adversary.
Clemson (+ 5½) via Lsu: Why is the last cloud of clouds covering everyone who came before?
It was only two weeks ago that there was almost universal agreement that a blade of grass separated LSU, Ohio State and Clemson. Then the LSU dominated the fifth best team they had played all season. Clemson needed a comeback to defeat the undefeated Buckeyes. And suddenly LSU and Joe Burrow are no longer the same.
But just a year ago, Clemson met the best player (Tua Tagovailoa) in the country and handed the biggest coach in sports history (Saban) his worst loss ever (44: 16), sending Alabama home with tears Times in three years. A Crimson Tide offensive with an average of 48 points was scored as goalless in the last 44 minutes when Tagovailoa made as many interceptions (two) as he had thrown in the first 12 games of the season.
In the semi-final victory over the US state of Ohio, Clemson had one crime point with an average of 48.7 points to a season low of 23 points. Heisman's finalist Justin Fields threw more interceptions (two) than he had thrown in the first 13 games of the season (one). Meanwhile, the Buckeyes defense, which had allowed 12.5 points per game, posted a seasonal high of 29 points.
LSU can be slowed down. It happened in his 23-point attempt against Auburn. The LSU can be assessed. It happened against Alabama (41 points) and Texas (38) as well as Ole Miss (37) and Vanderbilt (38).
It is time that someone noticed the home advantage of the LSU on Monday evening. Well, Georgia thought it would help in Atlanta two years ago. The LSU had a similar experience when it lost the title game in the Superdome eight years ago.
Despite Burrow's (justified) praise, the quarterback, who is described as the most talented of his generation (Trevor Lawrence), kicks without a loss since graduation (25-0), without interruption in his last 201 passes and with an offense an average more than 45 points per game, a 16-point comeback against a defense that allows fewer yards than anyone else in the nation.
So why is Clemson so undervalued? Because it made the mistake of joining the ACC in 1953 without realizing that it would be weak in 2019.
The No. 1 team dropped to fifth place in the first playoff ranking for the first five weeks of the season. The team, which has taken part in a national title game for the fourth time in five years, is once again an outsider and has set an 8: 2 record in such positions since 2014.
The champion has twice played a title game with a winning streak of at least two seasons in the past two years. The winning streak in Miami with 34 games ended in 2003 in double overtime. The 34-game winning streak in Miami ended in 2006 at the last minute.
This time nobody believes in the undefeated champion. The Clemson money line (+190) calls.