Alabama is an 8-point favorite over Ohio State in Monday’s College Football Playoff national title game, and the total is 75½. A survey of opinions from media, oddsmakers and professional bettors and handicappers:
Clay Baker, Raider Nation Radio: Alabama, 47-36
Has Nick Saban ever let you down before? Alabama can make Ohio State one-dimensional, but Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields will take shots downfield and make it interesting late.
Brian Blessing, Sportsbookradio.com: Alabama, 34-31
The total is astounding. It is a championship game. Someone on defense has to make a few plays.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sportsbook director: Alabama, 52-28
Alabama might not punt more than once. Tide rolls.
Frank Carulli, professional sports bettor: Alabama, 42-24
Alabama has three CFP losses as a favorite of six points or more and was a blown coverage by Georgia in 2018 from a fourth loss. But the Tide has the offensive weapons to reverse the trend and their defense benefits greatly from the rib injuries suffered by Ohio State QB Justin Fields, who averaged 11 carries and 45 yards rushing per game.
Steve Cofield, ESPN Las Vegas: Ohio State, 34-28
The Buckeyes’ run game will take the air out of the Alabama offense. And I’ll roll with Justin Fields, the best QB in the game.
Joe D’Amico, Gamechangerz.ca: Alabama, 41-31
Saban saw everything Ohio State has to offer last week and will prep for that. Mac Jones, Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith can keep the Buckeyes’ defense on the field and, more importantly, keep their offense off of it.
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sportsbook director: Alabama, 51-37
Alabama has too much firepower with QB Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the Heisman Trophy winner, and the possible return of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for QB Justin Fields and Ohio State to stay close in this potential shootout. The score operator might need a Red Bull.
Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com: Ohio State, 34-31
Alabama’s defense allowed an average of 31.3 points against its three toughest SEC opponents in Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M. Ohio State’s 43.4 points per game will give the Buckeyes a very close straight-up win.
Mark Franco, FrancoSports.com: Alabama, 42-37
Don’t see much defense being played as both offenses are more than capable of lighting it up. Alabama is just too much for Ohio State to handle in the end.
Bernie Fratto, FoxSportsRadio: Ohio State, 38-35
The Buckeyes are 13-0 ATS and 10-3 SU as an underdog of three points or more since 2014. Saban’s current Tide squad is allowing 120 more yards per game than any of his five previous title teams at Alabama. After watching Ohio State carve up Clemson for 639 yards, it appears Justin Fields and Co. are ready to finish the job.
Hank Goldberg, CBS Sports HQ: Ohio State, 34-30
Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields is playing great, the defense is pretty good and they’re getting a good number. Ohio State can beat Alabama.
Andy Iskoe, Thelogicalapproach.com: Alabama, 37-23
Questions abound for Ohio State. What’s the condition of QB Fields’ ribs? Can he duplicate his effort vs. Clemson? Did the Buckeyes play their best game against Clemson? With Alabama, you know what you get — Jones, Harris, Smith, a ton of supporting talent on both sides of the ball and lots of speed.
Doug Kezirian, ESPN: Alabama, 48-31
Alabama’s offense has been the most consistent unit all season and will deliver yet again on the biggest stage. Justin Fields and Ohio State will struggle to duplicate their semifinal performance.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sportsbook VP: Alabama, 30-20
Fields most likely isn’t 100 percent and that will be a factor. Additionally, Alabama should be able to pass on the Buckeyes.
Dana Lane, @DanaLaneSports: Alabama, 42-36
We know that Alabama will move the ball but what’s been overlooked is the balance that the Buckeyes have displayed in their short season. Look for Ohio State to fall just short, but quick timing routes and successful shots downfield will keep it within the number.
Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com: Alabama, 47-34
The Tide reminds me more than a bit of last year’s LSU title team. If Justin Fields is at all compromised, the Buckeyes will have trouble keeping pace.
Jason McCormick, Red Rock sportsbook director: Alabama, 42-38
Epic national championship shootout. Alabama defensive back Patrick Surtain II comes up big in slowing down Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sportsbook director: Alabama, 41-17
The Crimson Tide close out the season with a lopsided score. “Alias Smith and Jones” carry the Tide to another national title.
Tony Nevill, Treasure Island sportsbook director: Ohio State, 34-21
Alabama (12-0) has its bubble burst after the long season has taken its toll on the offense while Ohio State (7-0) is just hitting its stride. Big rushes by running back Trey Sermon and QB Justin Fields overwhelm the tired Alabama team while taking valued minutes off the clock and Ohio State rolls. Sorry SEC, the Big Ten wins this year.
Eric Parkila, @ParkilaSports: Alabama, 45-31
Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith torch the Buckeyes’ secondary as Nick Saban gets revenge for the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
Wes Reynolds, VSiN host: Alabama, 44-38
A shootout between two elite offenses and two just OK defenses. The Crimson Tide gets redemption one year after missing the CFP for the first time.
Micah Roberts, Sportsline.com: Ohio State, 42-35
This is Nick Saban’s worst defense since he began at Alabama in 2007. No one in the SEC was capable of exposing it except for Florida’s 408 passing yards in the SEC title game. Same score as 2015.
Vic Salerno, USBookmaking president: Alabama, 37-13
‘Bama, ‘Bama, ‘Bama. Boom, boom, boom. Look at that Buckeye go down, down, down.
Jeff Sherman, Westgate sportsbook VP of risk: Alabama, 41-28
Too much talent on the Alabama side. As Justin Fields is dealing with an injury, Ohio State will have its limitations.
Alex Smith, AxSmithSports.com: Alabama, 55-41
Even with Ohio State looking very impressive in its win over Clemson, this Alabama offense is on a whole other level. Tide rolls big here.
Christopher Smith, @cfblocksmith: Alabama, 42-38
The game gets decided by which defense can pressure the quarterback. Mac Jones is better than Justin Fields at avoiding sacks.
Paul Stone, @PaulStoneSports: Alabama, 42-31
Ohio State had been waiting an entire year for a rematch with Clemson. Meanwhile, Alabama has been waiting an entire year to win another national championship.
Jeff Stoneback, MGM Resorts director of trading: Alabama, 48-35
In a shootout, DeVonta Smith has a big game and the Alabama defense is able to make a few more stops than the Ohio State defense does, giving Saban and the Tide another championship.
Ken Thomson, SportsXRadio.com: Ohio State, 38-37
Trey Sermon has been as dominant for the Buckeyes the past three games as Najee Harris has been for Alabama all season. Alabama looks to have wideout Jaylen Waddle back to add to a potent receiving corps with Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. But the difference in the game will be Buckeyes receiver Garrett Wilson, who was quiet in the Clemson win.
Robert Walker, USBookmaking sportsbook director: Alabama, 45-42
Neither defense will have any success. Alabama prevails in an absolute shootout.
Matt Youmans, VSiN host: Alabama, 45-31
Ten days after throwing a near-perfect game, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields needs to do it again, but it’s difficult for any team or player to duplicate an A+ performance. The Tide offense has too much big-play firepower and is ready to roll.
Cris Zeniuk, pro sports bettor, @lasvegascris: Ohio State, 41-38
A game like this reminds me that a bettor has the advantage over the sportsbook because they have to put a line on it but we can choose which games to bet. The bigger games usually have less value to find.
Straight-up picks: Alabama 24, Ohio State 8
Against the spread picks: Alabama 17, Ohio State 15
Total: Over 17, Under 15