Alabama NCAA Football Odds Favorites Preview

Alabama NCAA Football Odds Favorites Preview

Written by on April 22, 2015

The 2014 version of the Alabama Crimson Tide may have suffered a humbling setback in their stunning, season-ending BCS semifinal playoff loss to eventual national champion Ohio State, but Nick Saban’s perennial title-contending program figures to be right back in the mix when the 2015 college football regular season gets underway this coming fall. This spring football preview on the Tide will give you the early insight you’ll need in order to make a series of wise college football betting lines wagers on each and every Alabama game this coming season.

A Closer Look at the Crimson Tide NCAA Football Odds Favorites Preview

Offense

Alabama (12-2 SU, 5-9 ATS) has just four returning starters on offense and Saban needs to find replacements for All-American wide receiver Amari Cooper and two of last season’s starting defensive backs, not to mention starting quarterback Blake Sims. The good news for the Crimson Tide is that they will likely find replacing their departed starters a lot easier than most programs, seeing as how they had the nation’s second best recruiting class behind only USC. Florida State transfer Jake Coker was expected to win the starting quarterback job last season over Blake Sims, mostly because he is a far more polished passer, but Sims’ leadership abilities catapulted him into the starting lineup – and he backed up that belief by starting all 14 games. Now with Sims gone, the Tide are hoping that Coker can put a stranglehold on the starting spot although he threw just 59 passes in relief duty last season, leading me to believe there will be growing pains for the young signal-caller, at least early on. Coker will be challenged by talented freshmen Blake Barnett and David Cornwell, along with Cooper Bateman and Alec Morris, but the reality is that Coker will have to play pretty poorly in order to lose the starting spot.

Key Losses

Despite their insane roster depth and talent, replacing both, Amari Cooper and Blake Sims could be pretty a pretty tall order. In my estimation, Cooper was by far, the best wide receiver in all of college football last season. The likely first wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft caught a whopping 124 passes and I believe his production will be almost impossible to replace by one player. The Tide also lost receivers DeAndrew White (40 rec) and Christion Jones (19 catches), so Alabama’s passing attack will look a lot different than it did this past season. The one constant that the 2015 Crimson Tide is certain to display in 2015 is their power rushing attack. Big back T.J. Yeldon will carry the ball early and often this coming season, but the bad news is that Saban also lost three starters along the offensive line.

Defense

With nine returning starters on defense, Alabama has the capability of fielding one of the nation’s best defenses this coming season. However, 2015 also represents the second straight season that the Tide has taken a big hit in their secondary. Alabama gave up a surprising 19 passes of 30 or more yards last season and needs to find suitable replacements for starting cornerback Landon Collins and starting safety Nick Perry.

Key Losses

Alabama also needs to restock the cupboards at linebacker after losing seniors Trey DePriest and Xzavier Dickson following last season.

By The Numbers

The Crimson Tide ranked 18th in total offense and 16th in scoring (36.9 ppg) but were even better on the defensive side of the ball. Alabama ranked 12th in total defense, including a stellar fourth against the run (102.1 ypg) and sixth in points allowed (18.4 ppg). Unfortunately, Alabama’s on-field excellence wasn’t matched by their ATS statistics as they covered the spread just three times in nine games as a double-digit favorite and could never get past their 1-5 ATS start last season.

Overall Online Betting Outlook

Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, (I loathe them) the Alabama Crimson Tide have won 10 games or more in seven consecutive seasons and looks like a virtual lock to do so again in 2015. Nick Saban had won five straight recruiting classes until this year, but with the Tide ranking second nationally, you had better believe their roster is brimming with talent. However, I also believe that Alabama will only go as far as their passing attack takes them in 2015. If the Tide can pass the ball at least halfway decent, they will undoubtedly be in the mix to earn a berth in the four-team playoffs. If they struggle to throw the ball, Alabama will be a one-dimensional team whose opponents key in on T.J. Yeldon and the rushing attack. Right now, I’m predicting another double-digit winning season, but no berth in the BCS playoffs in 2015.