College Football Futures Odds: Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Schedule for 2015-16

Steve - CollegeFootballWinning.com

Friday, May 29, 2015 3:25 PM GMT

Friday, May. 29, 2015 3:25 PM GMT

We're taking an early look at the Alabama Crimson's schedule in order to analyze whether the odds listed for them are worthy of our college football picks. With Coach Saban and the SEC being the most talked about topics in the NCAAF world, let's see what can be expected!

Nick Saban has presided over five SEC Championships and four National Championships. He was the AP National Coach of the Year twice. Because of Nick Saban’s coaching brilliance, the hyperbole has caught up to (and even surpassed) Coach Saban’s performance. When the most lauded coach plays in the most lauded conference, it is no surprise that betting lines will reflect the overreaction of the betting public.

Betting lines are, to a great extent, quantitative measures of public expectations. In spite of Nick Saban’s coaching prowess, and because of his coaching reputation, against-the-spread (ATS) success has become quite difficult for his Crimson Tide recently. Saban has been coaching at Alabama since 2007- eight seasons. The height of Coach Saban’s ATS success went through the 2011 season. For those first five seasons, his Tide was a very profitable 57.58% ATS in all games.

Since that time, however, expectations for his teams exceeded their performance. Consequently, the last three seasons have resulted in an ATS winning rate of just 46.34%. A similar phenomenon has persisted with Totals: Coach Saban built his reputation (in part) on defensive excellence. As expected, those first five seasons at Alabama resulted in 54.84% of Crimson Tide games going Under the Total. Since that time, however, when that reputation and expectation caught up to his Tide, Alabama has gone Under the Total just 44.74% of the time. Utilizing the betting data from the entirety of Nick Saban’s head-coaching at Alabama (2007-2015), we present the 2015-2016 Alabama Crimson Tide college football schedule analysis from a betting perspective.

 

DATE

OPPONENT

LOCATION (STADIUM)

NOTES (Alabama Under Saban)

09/05/15

Wisconsin

Arlington, TX

(AT&T Stadium)

At Alabama, Saban is 4-1 ATS versus the Big Ten. The only loss was last season’s College Football Playoff game against Ohio State. The Under is 3-2 in those Big Ten games.
The Tide are 7-1 ATS in season-openers, but that lone loss was last season. Betting the closing Total would have resulted in an Over record of 4-2-2 in season-openers, but betting on the opening Total resulted in an even 4-4 split.

09/12/15

Middle Tennessee State

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Alabama is 3-5 ATS in Home-openers, and that includes going 0-3 ATS the last three seasons (based on the closing line). The Over is 3-4-1 in those games.
Against the so-called “Group of Five” conference teams, the Tide are 5-11 (31.25%) ATS. The Totals are nearly identical (NOT coincidentally) with the Over going 5-10-1 (33.33%) on the college football odds.

09/19/15

Ole Miss

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Bama is 3-5 ATS versus Ole Miss. When playing the Rebels in Tuscaloosa, the Tide are just 1-3 ATS. Perhaps the most noteworthy statistic in this matchup is the Under; it is 6-2 in the series and 4-0 in Alabama Home games. In those Ole Miss-Bama games played in Alabama, the average, per-game margin of victory beneath the Total is 15 points!

09/26/15

Louisiana-Monroe

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Alabama’s record against “Group of Five” teams, in general, was already mentioned, but the Tide also have a specific history with ULM. In Nick Saban’s first year at Alabama (2007), ULM beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa (both straight-up and ATS) for what amounted to (arguably) Coach Saban’s most embarrassing loss. By the numbers, Bama failed to cover the closing spread by 30.5 points- a humiliating defeat that would be equaled (by margin of loss ATS) by Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl- a game we accurately predicted in this SBR video: 2014 Sugar Bowl.
In their one game against ULM, the Under also won easily, falling beneath the closing Total by more than three touchdowns.

10/3/15

Georgia

Athens, GA

(Sanford Stadium)

Those who do not follow the SEC closely might be surprised to find out that Alabama and Georgia have only played three times (under Saban), and Bama is 1-2 ATS. The only other time they played in Athens was the Tide’s only ATS win.

The Total went Over in all three games, and by an average of 13.17 points.

10/10/15

Arkansas

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Alabama is 5-3 ATS versus Arkansas, and that includes going 3-1 ATS in Tuscaloosa (and that one ATS loss was Saban’s first year with the Tide).
Although the Over is 5-3 in this series, be warned before placing your college football picks: Last year’s contest fell 27 points beneath the closing Total (which was the second-most in Saban’s Alabama tenure), even after the line moved up six points(!) from the opening to the closing, AND nearly 80% of the public betting was on the Over.

10/17/15

Texas A&M

College Station, TX

(Kyle Field)

Because Texas A&M is a relative newcomer to the SEC, this series history is short, but it is not without drama. Alabama lost badly (ATS) to A&M in 2012, barely in 2013, then performed Saban’s greatest ATS victory by beating the (closing) spread by 47.5 points in 2014.
Based on the closing Total, this game went Under both times in Tuscaloosa, but when way Over (by 28 points) the last and only time they played at Kyle Field.

10/24/15

Tennessee

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Alabama is 6-2 ATS versus Tennessee (and 3-1 ATS at Home). The last two times the Tide hosted the Volunteers, they were 28 and 29-point favorites, yet they still covered the spread!
The Over is 5-3 in this series, including going 3-0 the last three games, but it has not been by much: Only twice in eight games was the Total off by more than five points.

11/7/15

LSU

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Nick Saban at Alabama is 5-7 ATS after a bye week.

The Tide are 5-4 ATS versus LSU, including a 2-2 mark in Tuscaloosa. In this series, only three times has either team been a favorite of at least a touchdown; all three times that (relatively) big favorite covered the spread.
The history of the Totals in this series is interesting: The Under is 5-4 (based on the closing Total), but it is 5-1 the last six games. That said, five out of the nine games in this series fell within two points of the closing Total!

11/14/15

Mississippi State

Starkville, MS

(Davis Wade Stadium)

Overall, Alabama is 4-4 ATS versus MSU, but they are just 1-3 ATS in Starkville. The line movement (from opening to closing) suggested the wrong side in five out of the last six games in this series.
The Total has been pretty consistent, as the Under has gone 7-1 on the closing line and 8-0 on the opening line, even though six out of eight times the majority of the public betting was on the Over. What is also fairly consistent about the Total is that the line movement (from the opening to the closing Total) has indicated the wrong side five out of the seven times the line changed.

11/21/15

Charleston Southern

Tuscaloosa, AL

(Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Alabama has played FCS schools on five different occasions. The Tide are 1-4 ATS, and that lone ATS victory was by a single point. No spread versus those FBS teams was less than 42 points, with the average being just over 49. Those Bama-FCS contests are not heavily-bet matchups, but Alabama has failed to cover the spread by an average of nine points per game.

11/28/15

Auburn

Auburn, AL

(Jordan-Hare Stadium)

Bama is 4-4 ATS in the Iron Bowl, but they are just 1-3 ATS in Jordan-Hare. In fact, the Home team is 6-2 ATS in this rivalry. It might also be interesting to note that the spread (based on opening and closing numbers) has not moved very much in this series. In fact, only once in their eight games did the line move more than a single point.

Based on the opening Total, the Over is 4-4 (using the closing Total makes the record 4-3-1), but the four Unders were the first four games in this series, and the four Overs were the four most recent matchups. Last season’s Iron Bowl was the greatest margin above the Total in Saban’s Crimson Tide coaching career (44 to 45.5 points, depending on when the bet was placed).

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