Saturday was arguably the most exciting day of the college football season. There were five Bowl games on the slate, capped off by the two College Football Playoff semi-final matchups. Notre Dame vs. Clemson got things started and Oklahoma vs. Alabama ended the night.
So how did things shake out? Let’s take a closer look.
The sharps in Vegas zeroed in on Clemson as a key play before kickoff. Both teams were feeling each other out in the opening quarter, trading field goals. Then Notre Dame DB Julian Love went out and the game changed tremendously.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence hit Justyn Ross for two deep touchdowns (52 and 42 yards, respectively) to give Clemson a 13-point lead. A wonderful pitch and catch by Lawrence and Tee Higgins to close the first half gave the Tigers an insurmountable lead.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
1st quarter: 6 of 11, 35 yards
2nd quarter: 13 of 15, 229 yards, 3 TDs
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 29, 2018
Love returned for the second half but Notre Dame’s fighting spirit did not. Clemson added a 62-yard rushing touchdown in the third and to complete a 30-3 victory. Bettors got to take a trip to the ticket window to collect their winnings. Clemson gets to take a trip to Santa Clara to play in its third national championship game in the last four seasons.
Alabama (-14) + Alabama (-8.5 1H) + OVER 41 (1H)
Very mixed results here end with a 1-1-1 finish for the Orange Bowl. Alabama easy covered the first half spread, jumping out to a 28-0 lead before the Sooners should strike back. With a 31-10 lead at the break, bettors were quickly cashing their winning tickets. Unfortunately, the were also returning their push tickets as a late field goal by Alabama brought the first-half total to 41.
The Crimson Tide were covering almost the entire game, so it was devastating to see Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray scampering into the end zone with 4:23 remaining to cut the deficit to 11. The 45-34 score held as the final.