The first College Football Playoff semifinal is set for New Year’s Eve as No. 4 Washington takes on No. 1 Alabama in the 2016 Peach Bowl. Set at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, the contest is scheduled to kickoff at 2:00 pm ET on ESPN. The latest Washington vs Alabama spread has the top ranked Crimson Tide favored by 15.5 points; the Over/Under is set at 54.
No one would argue that Washington is more talented than Alabama or that it has played a schedule as tough as the one Nick Saban’s squad mowed through; however, there is no denying the brilliance of Huskies’ coach Chris Petersen.
Petersen owns a 119-26 record, has never experienced a losing season and boost an impressive 6-3 mark in nine bowl appearances. And it should be noted his teams are 23-4 straight up and 17-10 against the spread coming off 10 or more days rest. In other words, he knows a thing or two about preparation.
He will need plenty of it, though, to get the Huskies past the Crimson Tide. This year’s Alabama squad may the best Saban has fielded and that is, indeed, saying something.
Alabama fields the nation’s best defense, giving up just 11.8 points and 247.8 yards per game and its offense isn’t too shabby either. The Crimson Tide is averaging 40.5 points and 471.3 yards per game on the season, which ranks 13th and 26th nationally, respectively.
Of course, there is also Alabama’s aforementioned schedule. According to Teamrankings.com, the Crimson Tide produced their 13-0 record playing the nation’s third most difficult slate. And they crushed USC 52-6, the same Trojan squad that handed the Huskies their only loss of the season.
The Crimson Tide also crushed Florida 54-16 in the SEC Championship Game. While the Gators suffered ugly losses to Arkansas and Florida State, they had not allowed more than 38 points in a game all season.
The disturbing news does not stop there for Washington. Alabama, playing as a -10 or more favorite coming off of 10 or more days rest, is 7-1 straight up and 6-2 against the spread on Saban’s watch.
2016 Peach Bowl Betting Trends:
Alabama is 10-0 straight up and 6-3-1 against the spread playing as a -10 or more favorite and coming off a game in which it scored 50 or more points.
The UNDER is 9-1-1 when Washington has played as an underdog with Chris Petersen as its head coach.
2016 Peach Bowl Washington vs Alabama Spread: College Football Point Spreads Provided by Bovada.lv
No. 4 Washington Huskies +15.5 (-110), Over 54 (-110)
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide -15.5 (-110), Under 54 (-110)