Simulating the National Championship

This year’s CFP National Championship features familiar faces and experienced coaches. Alabama has made the CFP all five years, and has made the National Championship 4 of those years. Clemson has also been successful in the CFP era, making the playoff 4 out of 5 years and making the championship twice. Given the dominance of the two schools in recent history, this game will once again pit NCAA juggernauts against each other in what should be an entertaining and exciting game. Given this, I decided to run a simulation of this game to see what the numbers say about the match-up.

For the simulations, I used strength of schedule adjusted points scored and allowed per game for each team. Then, I averaged the expected performance of one team’s offense and the other team’s defense to arrive at a projected score for each team. I simulated the match-up 1000 times, and here are the results:




Average Score

31.3 29.2
Chance of Winning 57.0%


Chance of Covering

41.1% 58.9%


Average Total


Chance of Over


Chance of Under


Value Picks:

  • Clemson +5
  • Clemson ML +180

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