Daily Sports Pick ’Em 1/11 — NCAA Football Play of the Day
For national championship game Monday, I’ll be breaking down my lone pick for the Ohio State-Alabama showdown. Will be looking to right the ship after a tough last few days on wildcard weekend. Each week I’ll throw in a breakdown of the previous week of picks.
- Overall: 53–44–3 (54.6%)
- NCAAB: 27–23–1 (53.9%)
- NBA: 14–5 (73.6%)
- Soccer: 9–9–2 (50%)
- NFL: 3–7 (30%)
When examining tonight’s game, the two biggest areas of concern for the Buckeyes are pass coverage and tackling. Ohio State comes into this game ranked 37th in pass coverage. Shaun Wade has been inconsistent for the Buckeyes in his transition year from slot to the outside. So far this year, Wade is allowing 1.57 yards per coverage snap on the outside, which ranks in the bottom-20 in college football. He and Sevyn Banks, the other Buckeyes outside corner, have been boom or bust all season. The Buckeyes also rank 84th this season in opponents big plays allowed.
As for this year’s Heisman winner, Devonta Smith hauled in seven catches for 130 yards in the Crimson Tide’s victory over Notre Dame. Smith is averaging 136.8 reception yards per game, and he has gone over that total in eight of his last 10 games. Smith should have no issues against an Ohio State defense that is 67th in opponent yards per attempt and 68th in explosive pass rate allowed.
PICK: Devonta Smith over 135.5 receiving yards