Notre Dame at Alabama: 1/1/21 College Football Picks and Prediction
Photo by Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0) vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1)
Game Info: Friday, January 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm (AT&T Stadium)
Betting Odds: Alabama Crimson Tide -19.5 -- Over/Under: 65 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The 4th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish and top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will square off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on New Year’s Days in the Allstate Sugar Bowl – CFP Semifinal.
The 4th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished their regular season with an overall record of 10-1 and had a successful season in the ACC after finishing conference play with a regular season record of 9-0 which included wins against North Carolina and a short-handed Clemson team. Notre Dame had a chance to make a statement in the ACC Championship against Clemson who had their main players back, including Trevor Lawrence, however, Notre Dame with dominated on both ends of the field in a 34-10 loss. Notre Dame will be playing in their 4th straight Bowl game and had plenty of success in last year’s Bowl game as they defeated the Iowa State Cyclones by a 33-9 margin in the Camping World Bowl.
On the season, Notre Dame averaged 35.2 ppg on 455.2 total yards per game (237.5 passing yds/g; 217.6 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Notre Dame has been led by QB Ian Book who had completed 64.0% of his passes for 2,601 yards, 15 TD, & 2 INT. Book is also a major threat with his legs as he has 430 yards & 8 TD’s on the ground this season. The top receiving threats for the Fighting Irish have been Javon McKinley (40 rec, 697 yards, 3 TD), Ben Skowronek (25 rec, 398 yards, 5 TD), Michael Mayer (35 rec, 388 yards, 2 TD), and Avery Davis (23 rec, 307 yards, 2 TD). Leading the way for the Notre Dame backfield has been the trio of Kyren Williams (195 att, 1,061 yards, 12 TD), Chris Tyree (68 att, 480 yards, 4 TD), and C’Bo Flemister (57 att, 299 yards, 5 TD).
Defensively, Notre Dame is holding their opponents to an average of 18.6 ppg on 335.1 total yards per game (224.5 passing yds/g; 110.5 rushing yds/g).
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide finished the season with a perfect 11-0 overall record while finishing SEC play with a 10-0 record. Alabama made plenty of statements throughout the regular season after defeating ranked opponents in Texas A&M, Georgia, & Auburn by an average of 24.7 ppg. Alabama faced a tough test in the SEC Championship against the Florida Gators, however, behind their incredible offense, the Crimson Tide were able to win their 3rd SEC Championship over the past five years. Alabama last won the CFP National Championship in 2017 and although they didn’t make the top-4 last season, the Crimson Tide did win the Citrus Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines.
On the season, Alabama is averaging 49.7 ppg on 543.9 total yards per game (354.1 passing yds/g; 189.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Alabama has been led by QB Mac Jones who has completed 76.5% of his passes for 3,739 yards, 32 TD, & 4 INT. The top receiving threats for the Crimson Tide have been DeVonta Smith (98 rec, 1,511 yards, 17 TD), John Metchie III (44 rec, 782 yards, 6 TD), & Miller Forristall (20 rec, 222 yards, TD). Leading the way for the Alabama backfield has been the duo of Najee Harris (214 att, 1,262 yards, 24 TD) & Brian Robinson Jr. (78 att, 404 yards, 6 TD).
Defensively, Alabama is holding their opponents to an average of 19.5 ppg on 351.2 total yards per game (243.5 passing yds/g; 107.6 rushing yds/g).
The Fighting Irish are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning record. The Crimson Tide are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
There is no doubt that Norte Dame should be given credit for playing 11 games this season and making it to the ACC Championship, however, in my opinion, this is a team that I just don’t believe should have been in the top-4 this season after that embarrassing loss to Clemson. Alabama has one of the most explosive offenses in the country, even without their star receiver in Jaylen Waddle, and I see the trio of Mac Jones, Najee Harris, & DeVonta Smith having similar success against the Notre Dame defense that Clemson did. Notre Dame is a good football team, but you need to be a great team to hang with Alabama and as I think the Fighting Irish will have no answers on either end of the field, I’m taking Alabama to win big and cover this large spread. Good Luck!