The Rose Bowl will not be played in Pasadena, Ca, this year. The game has been moved to Arlington, Tx, but it will still be the first College Football Playoff semifinal. This is the game between the No. 4 seed, Notre Dame, and top-seeded Alabama. There is a significant injury on the Alabama roster, but that hasn’t prevented the Crimson Tide from being installed as huge online betting favorites in this game. Let’s get into our Rose Bowl betting preview.
College Football Playoff Semifinal No. 1
College Football Odds: Alabama -20
Sportsbook Total: 65.5
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Rose Bowl Betting Preview
The big story a lot of people aren’t noticing in this game is that Alabama center Landon Dickerson – one of the best offensive linemen in the country and a future NFL draft pick – is out with an injury suffered in the SEC Championship against Florida. The strength of the Notre Dame defense is its line, so an injury to a key Alabama lineman might matter more than many realize. Chris Owens will be the replacement. The Tide have other quality linemen, and they are deep, but losing someone as good as Dickerson is a blow. The Tide might not give the same level of pass protection to quarterback Mac Jones. That gives Notre Dame’s defense a chance to limit Alabama’s offensive production.
There were also some whispers in recent weeks that Alabama could somehow get back receiver Jaylen Waddle, who was injured early in the season. That is not going to happen. Waddle still isn’t back at practice. Maybe he can play in the Jan. 11 national title game if Alabama beats Notre Dame, but the Tide will have to handle the Irish without Waddle.
Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book is clever and slippery, but he is not fast. Clemson’s pass rush swallowed him in the ACC Championship. Alabama’s defense is not as good as Clemson’s, but the Crimson Tide know Notre Dame’s receivers aren’t nearly as fast as the Florida receivers, who helped score 46 against Bama in the SEC title game. Notre Dame’s big asset is that its receivers and tight ends are big and strong. They can win jump balls against the smaller Alabama cornerbacks. That is where Notre Dame can threaten.
– Notre Dame is 4-0 ATS in its last four nonconference games.
– Notre Dame is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games versus opponents with a winning record.
– Alabama is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss.
Rose Bowl Betting Preview Bottom Line
Alabama is still the better team, but the loss of Landon Dickerson makes this a much closer game. Notre Dame will pressure Mac Jones at times and get a few defensive stops. Alabama still has the best offense in the country, so it won’t be smothered by Notre Dame. The Tide will do enough to win, but the idea that Alabama is going to score more than 45 points seems very unlikely against a legitimately good Notre Dame defense which has a strong defensive line.
Prediction: Alabama 38, Notre Dame 30
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