National Championship Game Odds Alabama vs. Notre Dame Tips 1/7

Last Updated: January 1st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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BCS National Championship 2013Our 2013 bowl predictions continue on Monday, January 7th with the National Championship Game, and we are set to make our National Championship Game predictions, tips, and keys to the game for the duel between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

2013 National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2013 National Championship Game Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
2013 National Championship Game Date/Time: Monday, January 7th, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
2013 National Championship Game On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Fighting Irish have to prove that they can get through one of the best offensive lines in America
They say that the reason that even the teams in college football can’t even hold a candle to the worst team ever assembled in the NFL is because of the play in the trenches. The big boys in the NFL are just bigger, stronger, faster, and more agile than the ones in college, and whereas every now and again you get a team that has a few great linemen on both sides of the ball on a collegiate team, you’ve got tremendous depth along both lines in the NFL. If there is an offensive line in college football that was ready to go up against a defensive line in the NFL though, the Alabama line would be the one. The Crimson Tide feature just a slew of offensive linemen that just have a tendency of leaning on opposing defensive lines and ultimately getting them to wear down over the course of a game. It’s not that Alabama runs the ball a zillion times that really makes this team go – after all, the Tide do only run the ball on 63% of their plays. It’s just the fact that these linemen just continually pave hole after hole in opposing defenses. Don’t get us wrong, as RB Eddie Lacy and RB TJ Yeldon are both fantastic athletics. The reason that they are averaging 6.5 yards per carry each is because of this offensive line. It doesn’t matter who you’ve got running the ball when you’ve got Mack trucks there to pave the way. The Notre Dame defense has been great this year in a number of clutch situations in the trenches along the defensive line, but it hasn’t seen an offensive line like this one all year long. That’s where the Golden Domers are going to prove that they belong, or will shrivel in this game.

National Championship Game Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Alabama Crimson Tide -10
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +10
Over/Under 40.5
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Key #2: Everett Golson has to prove that this is his time to shine
It’s tough to knock anything that the Irish have done this year, as they are a 12-0 team and the only undefeated team that is eligible to play for the National Championship this season. However, we have never been fans of the split quarterback system, especially knowing that QB Everett Golson was always taken out of the lineup in the two-minute drill. Every play is a big one when you’re playing against the talented Alabama defense, and Golson has to make the most of his opportunities. If Head Coach Brian Kelly truly believes that this is the man for the job, he should stick with him. Golson though, only completed 58.9 percent of his passes this year, averaged just 177.9 passing yards per game, and had just 11 TDs against five picks. He really doesn’t have a target, save for TE Tyler Eifert that is all that remarkable of a receiver, and in the end, it is going to come down to what he can make happen against one of the very best defenses in college football.

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Key #3: The Irish have to control the clock
Time of possession is always a key stat in SEC games, and generally speaking, whichever team ultimately possesses the ball for longer tends to win. The Irish only average taking 68.7 snaps per game offensively this year, while the Crimson Tide are even lower at 63.2 offensive snaps per game. Clearly, neither of these teams are in all that much of a hurry to try to get up to the line of scrimmage and play. But ask the Georgia Bulldogs what happens when you get killed in the time of possession battle against Alabama. In the SEC Championship Game, Lacy ran for 181 yards, and Yeldon ran for 153 yards. The end result was 350 total rushing yards for the team on the day on a total of 51 carries. This goes back to that whole offensive line thing that we were talking about earlier. Alabama absolutely will punish you if you let it. The Fighting Irish cannot let the Crimson Tide take 70 snaps in this game, or they are going to be in a whole mess load of trouble. Golson has to keep the sticks moving on third downs, and when the defense has a chance to get off of the field, it has to take those chances. It isn’t absolutely imperative for Alabama to win the time of possession battle, but we feel as though Notre Dame has no chance whatsoever to get the job done if it doesn’t have the majority of the possession for the game.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 @ 1:05 am (EST)
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