And a year ago, in a semifinal game, the Tide won and covered as 3.5-point favorites in a 24-6 victory. The Tide dominated opponents all season long, but so did the Tigers, and Clemson offers bettors value as an underdog of almost a touchdown.
Etienne ran 176 times for 1,463 yards (8.3 yards per carry) and 21 touchdowns this season.
Such sentiments only grew stronger across the board as Oklahoma fell to Alabama in the Orange Bowl 28-0, but it bears noting that the Bulldogs loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game had some part in their current ranking.
Oklahoma Sooners' defense stunned Alabama Crimson Tide's fast start
However, one person who seems decidedly unimpressed by Murray's athletic prowess is Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams . Murray had one brilliant moment, a ideal deep throw on the move to Charleston Rambo in the end zone for a 49-yard score.
The model has made some huge calls during bowl season, including Auburn (-3.5) annihilating Purdue (final score: 63-14) and Appalachian State (-6.5) destroying Middle Tennessee (final: 45-13). The true freshman has completed 65.0 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards, 24 touchdowns and four interceptions.
The model has factored in that Alabama's prodigious offense starts with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Alabama has yet to face a defense this season that is as formidable as Clemson's, which is allowing 4.05 yards per play and 12.9 points per game. Trevor Lawrence, meanwhile, has provided big plays in the passing game.