PayPerHead agents have a big start to their week with the College Football National Championship on the horizon. With money pouring in on LSU we have to ask, is that the right side?
The biggest story from a betting perspective in this year’s National Championship game is seriously lopsided action that bookmakers are seeing.
LSU opened at -3.5 on the spread back on the 28th of December but the betting public quickly peppered books with bets and shot the line up to six quickly. That is where we still stand as of Friday afternoon, almost a week and a half later.
Despite money continuing to flood sportsbooks on LSU, the line has not budged off that six-point mark. Some major outlets have reported percentages as high as 85%-90% of the overall action falling on the LSU side of things. One thing is certain, this might be the most bet NCAAF game in history.
But who comes out on top of this historic matchup?
LSU (14-0) marches into this game with the hopes of preventing the reigning champions Clemson (14-0) from a repeat of 2018. LSU punched their ticket to the big show with a blowout win of Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl. Many predicted it to be the biggest lopsided victory in CFP history and they were proven right at the end of the day as the Tigers blew the doors off the Sooners 63-28. Joe Burrow shined in his first official game as a Heisman Trophy winner and played the first half which should be studied in film rooms till the end of time. He threw for 493 yards and seven touchdowns against the team which was supposed to be the fourth-best team in the nation.
It was a truly historic win for LSU, setting CFP records galore in their dismantling of Oklahoma. Some of the more significant records were for most points in a half, most passing touchdowns by an individual player, most receiving touchdowns by an individual player and most receiving yards. It was the type of win that any team wants heading into such a big game in order to gain huge momentum.
Clemson, on the other hand, did not have such a cakewalk in their CFP semifinal matchup against Ohio State. The Fiesta Bowl came down to the wire, but Clemson managed the biggest win of their season, earning their spot in the finals. Many prognosticators had OSU as the team to beat this year and we’re proven wrong with Clemson’s late-game heroics. Even more impressive was this being Clemson’s first real test in months after rolling over their weak ACC opponents in conference play.
Trevor Lawrence shined again and has left his early-season struggles way back in his rearview mirror and is playing the best ball of his young career. The Sophomore QB threw for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns, which might not sound impressive, but he also added 107 yards rushing and a 67-yard TD run. Ohio State perhaps had the best defense in school history, yet Lawrence and the Tigers put on their big boy pants and sent their team to a fourth CFP title appearance in the last five years.
Lawrence put a cherry on top of the day with a 34-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to Travis Etienne with less than two minutes remaining. Clemson marched 94-yards downfield on the Buckeyes defense and it proved to be all the Tigers needed to end OSU’s national championship aspirations.
Moving forward to this title game, we really need to focus on these two quarterbacks before anything else.
They are two of the best in the nation and are the key cogs for their respective teams.
We’ve already talked about Joe Burrow’s phenomenal performance in the semifinal round, but his season overall is even more impressive. He was the runaway winner of the Heisman Trophy, validating his status as the ‘best player in the nation’ status. He led the country in passing touchdowns (55), currently has an absurd 77.6% completion rate and led all players in points responsible for (356).
Burrow also ranks a close second with 5,208 passing yards and 370.2 passing yards per game. Not only is he playing out of his mind this season, but his confidence and momentum will be sky-high after such a good stretch of play.
Helping Burrow along are a pair of wide receivers who are tied for the league lead in touchdowns at 18. Junior studs Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson have burned secondaries all season long and will combine to put Clemson’s top defense to the test. Chase also ranks second in the nation with 1,559 receiving yards but has had just two catches and 102 combined yards in LSU’s previous two games. Luckily, Jefferson picked up the slack to the tune of 21 catches for 342 yards and five touchdowns in the CFP semifinal and the SEC Championship game.
Moving across the field to the Clemson side, the college football community has to applaud how Trevor Lawrence dug himself out of an early hole and shredded defenses in the second half of the season. In his last seven outings, Lawrence has amassed 1,897 yards, 22 touchdowns, and a staggering zero interceptions.
The last stat is particularly important as the highly touted Sophomore threw five picks in just his first three games of the year. While we haven’t seen the electric numbers of his freshman campaign, and he only ranks in the top ten of one major category, those are the products of his rough start and therefore can be ignored for this purpose of capping this game. One additional note on Lawrence is that he has never lost a game, which is a huge accomplishment for such a young kid.
Clemson hung tough and remained undefeated despite Lawrence’s struggles for two key reasons. And Clemson fans are not going to like the second one, but it’s just a hard truth they must accept. The first reason was their incredible defense that top the nation in a number of key metrics. The second reason was their baby-soft schedule. While their win over Ohio State changed many people’s minds about Clemson’s chances at taking home the crown, the fact remains that OSU was the only great team they played all year.
Could they have gone undefeated playing LSU’s schedule? Maybe. But they didn’t have to and find themselves as the second undefeated team in this game. They played Texas A&M in week two, and other than that, Ohio State was the only other ranked team to cross their path.
Basically, they only had to play against a single team who was even in the National Championship conversation and that game was last week. Meanwhile, LSU has remained unbeaten and taken down the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
As mentioned, Clemson has a good offense but their pièce de résistance is their top-ranked defense. The Tigers lead all teams in points allowed with a stingy 11.5 PPG mark. Their secondary is also the best in the game right now, allowing just 151.5 yards per game, ranking second in takeaways and third in total defense (264 YPG allowed). Their defense has been a perennial threat, which has helped them cover 10 of their last 11 bowls or CFP games.
But will all this be enough to stop LSU from steamrolling another top-ranked team?
Head Coach Ed Orgeron will have his team ready to take the challenge and will likely succeed come Monday in winning their 15th game of the season and first national title since 2007. The Tigers would also become the first program since the 2008 Florida Gators to win a title game in their home state.
LSU truly has the total package. They have a sparkly new Heisman Trophy winner, a defense which has played better and better as the season progressed and all the momentum that their team bus can fit. Truth be told, LSU has played and beaten better teams than Clemson already and this win will just cap off a season of destiny for the Tigers. Burrow is honestly having one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen from a college quarterback and has two NFL ready wideouts to wreak havoc on Clemson.
As a PayPerHead agent, you might want to think about adjusting the line on this game manually if you are seeing the heavy action that the big books are. As mentioned at the top of this article, some are reporting 90% of bets on the top-ranked team in the nation and therefore are preparing for a boom or bust Monday night.
The thing is, most price per head bookies can’t take that kind of a hit and must protect themselves from overexposure. If you are guilty of taking too many LSU bets and find your book unbalanced, thing about making the Clemson price more attractive to try and lure some late money on their side of things.
If you have yet to sign up as a PayPerHead bookie agent then what are you waiting for? We have a great promotion going on right now where you can pay just 3$ per head for a limited time and get your feet wet at a discount. We also offer a fantastic referral program where you can sign up a friend and we will put add the equivalent of 15% of their monthly deposits right into your account. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.