Following their crushing 52-6 victory over the USC Trojans, the defending national champs Alabama Crimson Tide will be looking for another dominant win in their Week 2 encounter against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. On paper, this should be a very winnable game for the Crimson Tide, who will be playing at home at the Bryant-Denny Stadium. But then again, the Hilltoppers have been one of the strongest non-Power Five teams in the nation, so bettors should be careful about underestimating Western Kentucky’s value in the NCAA football betting lines and odds. Let’s take a sweeping look at this matchup and try to find out the best college football betting picks for the game.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Vs Alabama Crimson Tide Week 2 Expert Predictions
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
When: Saturday, September 10, 3:30 PM ET
TV: ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Lines: Alabama (-28), OVER/UNDER 58.5
Why Bet on WKU
In spite of being placed as heavy underdogs, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers should be more than capable of holding their own quite well in this game. For starters, WKU has been a pretty solid cash-cow in the NCAAF lines against SEC opponents, going 5-2-1 ATS in its last 7 games against SEC opposition since 2011, including three outright wins. In addition, Western Kentucky enters this game with a solid 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS record. As far as the team roster is concerned, WKU returns with 12 starters from the unit that averaged an impressive 44.3 PPG scoring and went 12-2 SU last season. The experience in this unit was on showcase as the Hilltoppers opened their season with a 46-14 victory vs. Rice last Thursday, covering the spread as 19-point favorites. WKU’s new quarterback Mike White shined brightly in the game, as he completed 25 of 31 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns without a pick. Alabama’s defense is no joke and the White-led offense will have its hands full, but if the Hilltoppers play fearlessly like they’ve been doing within and outside their conference, keeping this game close and covering the spread should be within the strong realms of possibility.
Why Bet on Alabama
Alabama is a hell of a team and the victory over USC was an affirmation that the Tide will be a force to reckon with all season. Alabama’s two Alabama quarterbacks, true freshman Jalen Hurts and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett, combined for three touchdown passes and two running scores, while running back Damien Harris, proved that he was an abled replacement to Derrick Henry, as he ran for 138 yards on just nine carries. And, as always, Alabama’s defense was in tiptop shape, limiting USC to zero touchdowns. With such a unit, it goes without saying that Alabama will be a strong betting value for a big win here.
Expert College Football Picks and Predictions
Without doubt, Alabama has the potential to run up the score for a win plus cover. Even so, Alabama has a tendency of slowing down in its game against small opponents, with Nick Saban sporting an iffy 5-10 ATS mark against non-Power Five schools since joining Bama. Also, Alabama will most likely have a look-ahead factor here, as it prepares to face #19 Ole Miss in Week 3, with Saban probably resting most of his starters towards the end of the game. Add to the fact that WKU has the offense to compete decently and record a couple of scores against Alabama, the ATS value should be with the visitors, especially with game’s line continuing to balloon away from the opening value of -24.