- The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide roll into the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game against the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 1 as heavy favorites
- Heisman favorite DeVonta Smith is the key player for the Tide, while Irish QB Ian Book will try to keep Notre Dame close
- See the best player and team scoring props for the CFP semifinal below
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide have utterly dominated opponents during the abbreviated 2020 regular season – becoming the first team in SEC history to go 10-0 against conference foes. Now, the only thing standing between Nick Saban and his eighth title game appearance in 12 seasons is the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
All Brian Kelly’s squad did was run the table during the regular season while playing as a member of the ACC – the first time in the storied program’s 114 years of playing football it didn’t play as an independent. Notre Dame knocked off a Trevor Lawrence-less Clemson team in double-overtime, but then lost to Lawrence and the Tigers in the conference title game. Now, they face Bama in a rematch of the 2013 BCS National Championship as 19.5-point underdogs.
While oddsmakers have this one as a blowout, there are several intriguing player props that make only the second Rose Bowl Game to be played outside Pasadena a good one to bet on.
Notre Dame vs Alabama Rose Bowl Player Props
|Quarterback||Passing Yards||Passing Touchdowns||Passing Completions|
|Ian Book (Notre Dame)||248.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||0.5 (Ov -220 / Un +164)||20.5 (Ov -106 / Un -120)|
|Mac Jones (Alabama)||354.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||2.5 (Ov -128 / Un -102)||24.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)|
|Running Back||Rushing Yards||Receiving Yards||Total Rushing + Receving Yards|
|Kyren Williams (Notre Dame)||73.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||N/A||103.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)|
|Najee Harris (Alabama)||118.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||N/A||144.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)|
|WR/TE||Receiving Yards||Receptions||Receiving Touchdowns|
|Javon McKinley (Notre Dame)||69.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||4.5 (Ov +116 / Un -150)||N/A|
|Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)||41.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||3.5 (Ov +122 / Un -158)||N/A|
|DeVonta Smith (Alabama)||167.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||8.5 (Ov -150 / Un +116)||N/A|
|John Metchie III (Alabama)||71.5 (Ov -113 / Un -113)||4.5 (Ov -120 / Un -106)||N/A|
All odds taken Dec. 29 at FanDuel
Though the numbers are all on the high side for Tide skill position players in this spot, I’m all over the trio of Mac Jones, Najee Harris and Smith to surpass them. These guys are historically good.
Alabama is the 2nd school to have 3 of the top-5 players (DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones, Najee Harris) in the Heisman Trophy voting in a single year.
The Crimson Tide join 1946 Army (Arnie Tucker, Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis). Army had 1, 4 and 5 spots that year. pic.twitter.com/1VIccZgfqO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 25, 2020
Jones’ total was 362.5 yards passing against Florida in the SEC Championship Game (he finished with 418). Harris’ total was 117.5 rushing yards against the Gators (he had 178). And Smith was projected to finish with 155.5 receiving yards – an incredibly high number – and he wound up with 184!
Notre Dame’s pass defense isn’t great (it’s ranked No. 57 in the FBS), while its rush defense is significantly better, ranked No. 15. But Jones, Harris and Smith are special, and betting on any of them to exceed their totals is a solid bet against an Irish team that has been gashed on college football’s biggest stages recently.
If you want to fade the stars and go against the grain, the Kyren Williams under 73.5 rushing yards is a good place to start.
Since allowing 268 rushing yards to Ole Miss back on Oct. 10, Alabama has been elite defensively – allowing only 11 points per game. Of course, that changed a bit against Florida, as Kyle Trask and co. put up 462 yards of total offense against Pete Golding’s unit. But only one of Alabama’s last six opponents (Auburn) ran for more than 100 yards. I’m fading the talented Williams here.
- The pick: Kyren Williams Under 73.5 rushing yards (-113)
Notre Dame vs Alabama Scoring Props
|Player||Anytime Touchdown Scorer||First Touchdown Scorer|
|Najee Harris (Alabama)||-2100||+210|
|DeVonta Smith (Alabama)||-550||+360|
|Kyren Williams (Notre Dame)||-135||+950|
|John Metchie III (Alabama)||-125||+750|
|Ian Book (Notre Dame)||+150||+1600|
|Brian Robinson Jr. (Alabama)||+180||+1300|
|Javon McKinley (Notre Dame)||+210||+2100|
|Jaheel Billingsley (Alabama)||+260||+1800|
|Miller Forristall (Alabama)||+260||+1700|
|Ben Skowronek (Notre Dame)||+260||+2200|
|Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)||+270||+2200|
|Chris Tyree (Notre Dame)||+310||+3600|
|C’Bo Flemister (Notre Dame)||+390||+3100|
|Slade Bolden (Alabama)||+430||+2500|
|Jase McClellan (Alabama)||+500||+3600|
|Notre Dame D/ST||+600||+4500|
|Avery Davis (Notre Dame)||+650||+5500|
|Tommy Tremble (Notre Dame)||+950||+9500|
|Mac Jones (Alabama)||+1000||+6000|
|No Touchdown Scored||N/A||+10000|
Sharps are clearly fading the Irish in this game, as the top ten options for first touchdown scored are Tide-related.
Remember, Alabama scored the game’s first 35 points when these programs met in the title game eight years ago and Brent Musburger introduced the world to Katherine Webb. That would seem to be a good wager again here.
Forget Harris or Smith to score. The bet for me is Smith, as the Heisman favorite, to score first.
At +360, you’re still good great value on a fairly safe future bet.
- The pick: DeVonta Smith to score game’s first touchdown (+360)