Bet Southern Miss Spread vs. Alabama College Football

Darin Zank

Thursday, September 11, 2014 4:10 PM GMT

The Tide are regularly chalked as big favorites on the college football betting line, and they're favored by a big, big number for Saturday's game with Southern Miss in Tuscaloosa (6 pm ET, ESPN2). But Alabama's recent record against big numbers isn't good. Does that mean Coach Saban has a soft spot for big dogs?

The Betting Odds
As of Thursday morning most college football odds we checked were chalking Alabama at -47 over Southern Miss, with a total of 56.

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The Match-Up
Alabama opened this season with a 33-23 victory over West Virginia in Atlanta, but could not cover the spread as 22-point favorites. Last week 'Bama beat Florida Atlantic 41-0, covering the spread as 40-point chalk, at least until the game was called due to lightning with eight minutes to go, canceling all bets.

The Tide out-rushed the Mountaineers 288-28, and held the ball for almost 38 minutes. But they also gave up a score on a kickoff return, and just couldn't quite pull away. Alabama then out-rushed the Owls last week 204-57.

'Bama returned 12 starters this season from the team that went 11-2 last year. Seven starters were back on offense, including Heisman candidate running back TJ Yeldon and three along the offensive line. But they had to replace their starting QB. And only five starters returned on defense, just two on the front seven.

Alabama has a bit of a quarterback situation on its hands at the moment, with Blake Sims and Jake Coker splitting the snaps last week. They'll probably do the same thing Saturday.

Meanwhile, Southern Miss opened this season with a 49-0 loss at Mississippi State, whiffing on the cover as 31-point dogs. The Eagles then defeated FCS Alcorn State last week 26-20, but couldn't cover as 14-point favorites.

The Golden Eagles got out-gained by the Bulldogs 550-283, and out-rushed 201-71. Southern Miss then led the Braves early 17-0 and later 23-7, but couldn't hold on to the cover, giving up a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. 

Southern Miss returned 16 starters from a team that went 1-11 last year. Eight were back on offense, including their starting QB, last year's top two receivers and three along the offensive line. And eight starters came back on defense, including last year's top four tacklers.

These programs used to meet fairly regularly, but last played back in 2005.

 

Eagles-Tide Betting Trends
Southern Miss went 0-3 ATS as a dog of four touchdowns or more last season, losing to Nebraska, Boise State and Marshall by an average of 48 points per game.

Disregarding the first year of the Saban regime, Alabama is 23-19 ATS at home under the coach.

Alabama Win Totals 2014-15 College Football

 

Free College Football Pick
The Tide has been favored by 40 points or more eight times in the last three seasons, going 2-6 ATS. Last week they were favored by 40, and here they are again. Alabama is going to win this game, but forced to choose between giving the points or taking them, we have to take 'em for our college football picks, and hope Saban calls off the dogs in the second half, like he's done so many times before.