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Buckeyes open national title game as underdog to Alabama

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Ohio State enters the national title game as an underdog to Alabama. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

Buckeyes open national title game as underdog to Alabama

COLUMBUS — Ohio State already cleared the first hurdle.

The Buckeyes dismantled a Clemson program they had previously never beaten in the Sugar Bowl semifinal on Friday night, setting up a national title tilt with Alabama.

And the Buckeyes opened as a 7.5-point underdog, according to the folks at VegasInsider.com.

The Buckeyes emphatic blowout win over Clemson was a huge hurdle finally cleared. But the Buckeyes have one game still left to play.

“I think it’s huge. I think it’s huge,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said about beating Clemson. “We still have another game to play. This thing’s not done yet. But I do think this was big for us. This was a statement for us as a program to win a CFP game, especially after what happened last year. And to play the way we did, it means a lot for our program.

“But, again, we’re not done. We have a lot of work to do. Got to get on this film, figure out some things to adjust, because we got a really talented ‘Bama team that we got to go play.”

Ryan Day will lead his team into that matchup as an underdog, just like in the Sugar Bowl semifinal.

Ohio State gambling trends

  • Ohio State is 4-3 against the spread this season. The Buckeyes are 2-3 in their last five games against the spread.
  • Alabama is 8-4 against the spread this season. The Crimson Tide failed to cover the record-setting spread in their College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against No. 4 Notre Dame.
  • The Buckeyes are 10-1 under Ryan Day against ranked teams straight up. The lone loss was to Clemson last year in the CFP semifinal.
  • Ohio State won its last matchup against Alabama in the 2015 College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl.
  • Ohio State is 3-2 all-time against the spread in the College Football Playoff.
  • The total for the national title matchup is set at 75.5. The total has hit the under in three of the Buckeyes five College Football Playoff games all-time.
  • The total has hit the over in seven of Alabama’s 12 games this season; four of Ohio State’s seven games this season have gone over the total.
  • The favorite is 10-10 all-time against the spread in College Football Playoff games.
  • The over is 5-1 all-time in CFP national title games.
Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.