Rose Bowl Predictions | Notre Dame vs Alabama Pick
Rose Bowl Predictions | Notre Dame vs Alabama Pick: Nick Saban is 12-5 in bowl games since becoming head coach of Alabama back in 2007, but holds a 21-15 ATS record in games played on a neutral field. This afternoon the Tide hope to punch their ticket to the fifth national championship game in the last six years.
|Rose Bowl||Notre Dame||Alabama|
|Opening ATS Line||+19.5 (-110)||-19.5 (-110)|
|Total||Over 65.5 (-110)||Under 65.5 (-110)|
|Where/When||AT&T Stadium||Fri, Jan 1st, 4:00 PM ET|
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly holds a 5-4 record in bowl games since he was hired back in 2010, but his team has only covered 4 of those 9 games in that stretch of time. Meanwhile, since the start of Alabama’s dynasty dating back to 2015, the Tide have gone 7-2 straight-up in bowl games, winning by an average of +8.8 points per game, but covering just 4 of 9 games, with an overall ATS margin of +1.1 points per game.
Match-Up and Trends
|San Jose State||11-0||8-3||7-4|
Alabama has gone 8-3 ATS this season, with all 11 games being lined as the betting favorite, the only real scare they had for an outright loss was likely their most recent game against Florida, in the 2020 SEC Championship, where the Gators pulled within 6 points in a game that Alabama favored by -16.5 points on the spread.
Notre Dame has only been lined as the betting underdog in two games this season, both coming against ACC Champions Clemson. Notre Dame picked up an outright 47-40 OT win over Clemson back in November as +170 moneyline underdog but failed to repeat the same performance in their rematch with the Tigers, falling 34-10 as a much higher +335 underdog.
Measure of Expectation
|Team||ML Profit||ML Fade||Avg. Margin||Avg. ATS Margin|
Alabama has faired much better than Notre Dame has all season when putting their numbers against the expectations. Before their game against Florida, Alabama went on a 7-0 ATS run, in seven games in which they were an average favorite of -24 points.
Notre Dame managed to string 3 ATS wins together off the backs of their incredible upset over Clemson back in November. Beyond that, the Irish have failed to put back-to-back ATS wins together in any other stretch of the season, and have failed to cover the spread coming off a game in which they covered, in 3 of their 5 attempts in 2020.
Alabama vs Notre Dame Pick:
Neither team has any significant injuries coming into this game, although Notre Dame has a few questionable players on their defense, including safety Kyle Hamilton who is questionable with an ankle injury. Hamilton had 45 tackles in 2020, with a 1 interception, and any loss in the Irish backfield would be a monumental hill to climb for a team that is already heavily outmatched.
Alabama has two Heisman trophy candidates bulking up their offense, with junior QB Mac Jones throwing for 32 touchdowns in 11 games, with an overall completion rating of 76.5%, with 3739 passing yards. Jones wouldn’t be the same player without Heisman shoe-in Devonta Smith, who has an average of 8.9 catches per game in 2020, 18 touchdowns, and 1511 yards receiving. The dynamic duo of these two elite collegiate athletes puts Alabama in a class above their competition, regardless of who they are playing.
Based on the overall statistical power rankings, Alabama is likely about 7 points better than Notre Dame, without factoring in the intangibles like the strength of schedule and sequence of schedule in 2020. However, the Tide have an average point margin of +30.3 points per game, and are no stranger to putting up margin on their opponents. Although it hasn’t been quite the same in Bowl Games. Alabama wiped the floor with Michigan State (38-0) back in the 2015 Cotton Bowl, but have yet to put up a repeat performance, and have failed to score more than 24 points in bowl games that were decided by 1 score or more since 2015.
As for the total, this one opened at 65.5 and has since been moved a tick to 66 with bettors coming in on the over throughout the week. In 22 games this season, Alabama and Notre Dame have combined for an average point total of 61.5 points per game.
Based on the most basic metrics, Alabama should likely win this game by a projected score of about 34-27. However, when you add in a bunch of the intangible factors, the lack of big-game experience that Notre Dame has had in comparison to Alabama, and the fact that this is an Alabama team that is looking make a mark after failing to make the national title game last year, for the first time in a five year span. With all of those factors in play, there is definitely an argument for Alabama being able to pull up on Notre Dame, put their foot on the gas and not let go. Take the Tide at -19.5 or better, with the Over at 65.5 if that price becomes openly available.