Alabama Crimson Tide Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
Last Season in a nutshell:
Things almost went exactly according to plan for Alabama. They made a mockery of the regular season, with a 10-0 win at LSU the closest thing to a scare they had - and the game wasn't nearly as close as the score might suggest. The SEC Championship was again a joke - the Tide rolled over the Gators by 38. And Washington was badly exposed as just not fast or talented enough in a 24-7 national semifinal loss. That set up a rematch with Clemson for the national title. Alabama was favored by 6.5 points and widely expected to come out on top. But it didn't work out that way.
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Having a freshman QB finally caught up to Alabama, they had no defensive answer for Deshaun Watson, and they particularly struggled in the fourth quarter. Clemson won by four points, scoring the winning touchdown in unlikely fashion with just one second left, and Alabama was left to ponder what could have been. To call it heartbreaking wouldn't be overly dramatic.
Key Additions and Departures
We need to start at offensive coordinator, because that is where the turmoil has been on this coaching staff. Lane Kiffin wore out his welcome as he always does, and he left for the Florida Atlantic head coaching job before the National Championship Game. Steve Sarkisian, who had been with the team as a consultant, replaced him for that game, but he has moved on to the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator. They have been replaced with co-coordinators. Brian Daboll comes from the NFL, most recently coaching tight ends in New England. And Mike Locksley, the former head coach of New Mexico, was an offensive assistant last year. They are both capable. If they can bring stability and an absence of drama then they could be a huge step forward for the team.
As is always the case, the team has suffered some big losses on the field with a slew of early departures. Guys like Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, O.J. Howard, Cam Robinson and the rest would gut most teams if they left, but Alabama was built to endure this reality. They have again added the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, including four five-stars - all early entry - among the 30 blue bloods. You don't need to cry about Alabama and what they will have to offer. They return seven starters on each side of the ball and have ridiculous depth and talent.
Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule Analysis
The schedule is very familiar. They open with what is, on paper, their toughest game as they play Florida State in Atlanta's shiny new stadium. If they survive that then it should be a roll. The rest of the nonconference schedule is ridiculously soft. They play LSU at home and miss Florida and Georgia. As always, they finish the season with the Iron Bowl. It's at Auburn this year, and the Tigers should be better than they have been, but it's still not a huge hurdle for this team in all likelihood. If this team is as good as they could be then this schedule is very manageable. And by the end of the first game we'll know how good they really are.
2017-18 Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Odds and Trends
The oddsmakers love this team - as always. BetOnline has them as seven-points favorites in that opener against Florida State and as the very strong +250 favorites to win the national title. Ohio State s the second choice, way back at +700. They are the runaway -150 favorites to win the SEC.
The team was a solid 10-5 ATS last year despite the fact that everyone knew they were going to dominate most every game they played. Three of the five spreads they didn't cover were more than 20 points, too, so it's hard to get too worked up by a team that wins easily but doesn't keep their feet on the gas pedal right until the end.
2017-18 Alabama Crimson Tide Predictions and College Football Picks
The quarterbacking needs to be much better than it was last year, and with an experienced Jalen Hurts and some decent competition behind him it should be. The absence of Lane Kiffin is a serious boost for the team, too - both on and off the field. I don't expect them to struggle with Florida State, and it would be a real shock if they don't finish the season unbeaten yet again. If they lose they will only have themselves to blame. The SEC Championship should be a gimme unless someone really shocks in the East. That means that things should just come down to who else is in the playoffs. Alabama is a deserving favorite, though I really can't justify betting them at a price this low.
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