Caesars by William Hill lists Alabama as an eight-point favorite over Ohio State in Jan. 11's national title game. SP+, however, sees something a little closer. With bowl season in the books, it gives Nick Saban's Crimson Tide a 4.3-point advantage over Ryan Day's Buckeyes.
This is a tricky game to evaluate. On one hand, Alabama was one of the biggest overachievers of the season in terms of SP+ projections. Even though they rank a distant first overall, the Tide have still overachieved projections by an average of 9.7 points per game. That the line gives them more of a cushion, then, makes sense.
On the other hand, SP+ liked Ohio State far more than the market did before the Buckeyes' dominant performance against Clemson. That it likes them more than the market makes sense, too.
We've got eight more days until we find out which impression is correct.