Cover Photo: Kevin Jairaj - Handout/Getty Images


The two favorites for each of the College Football Playoff games, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers, each face controversy with three of their players heading into Saturday's semifinal matchups. 


Alabama has already suspended three of their players, while Clemson will wait until receiving more concrete evidence on Wednesday or Thursday to make a final decision on their three players in question. 

For the defending champion Alabama, head coach Nick Saban suspended starting offensive lineman Deonte Brown and two backups, offensive lineman Elliot Baker and tight end Kedrick James. Saban said it was "due to a violation of team rules and policies," and it's unclear whether they'll be available for the national championship game if Alabama advances. 


On Clemson's side, starting defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, backup offensive lineman Zach Giella and backup tight end Braden Galloway, could all be suspended because of testing positive for ostarine, a muscle-growth supplement banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. 

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the team would wait on B-sample results, which cancel out false positive tests, before ruling the players out. He doesn't believe the players did anything intentionally to gain an advantage, hence the wait on this secondary test. If the results stand, however, all three players could face a one-year suspension. 


As for the betting lines on both games, it doesn't appear like the news had much of an effect. Alabama opened as a 14.5-point favorite against the Oklahoma Sooners, while Clemson opened as an 11-point favorite, but since jumped up to 12.5, against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- certainly not a factor of the possible suspensions. If anything, we'll have to wait and see how Wednesday or Thursday shakes out for the Tigers players. Lawrence is an NFL prospect, so it's possible the line could move slightly. 


All in all, both Alabama and Clemson are expected to move on and face one another in the national championship game. These suspensions, official or pending, shouldn't have too much of an effect on either team in the semifinal matchups. 


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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.