College Football Picks: Colorado State. vs. Alabama

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:48 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 5:48 PM UTC

The Colorado St. Rams take to the road on Saturday night facing the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in a 7:00 PM ET kickoff.

CFB Preview

According to football betting odds the Crimson Tide opened as a 38.0-point favorite and that number has since moved to 39.5. My college football odds service shows that 65% of the money wagered thus far has gone on Alabama. The total in this game opened at 51.0 and there’s been no change made to that number. Currently 81% of public money has been wagered on this game to go over the total. 

A Big Favorite

Since 9/17/2011 Alabama has been a favorite of 35.0 or more 5 times and has failed to cover any of those contests. College football favorites of 35.0 or more this season are 17-13-1 ATS. Since the start of the 1997 season any non-conference away underdog of 35.0 or more that comes off a straight up win is 10-17 ATS. Nick Saban has a reputation of being very demanding of his own team, but he’s never been accused of a coach that likes to run up the score versus a vastly inferior opponent. Another key factor when assessing this huge number is the fact that Colorado St. head coach Jim Mcelwain was Saban’s former offensive coordinator at Alabama up until the end of the 2011 regular season. Mcelwain left the Crimson Tide coaching staff to accept the head coaching position at Colorado St.

The Teams

Colorado St. enters the contest with 1-2 record. The Rams captured their first win of the season last week at home 34-17 versus Cal-Poly and covered as a 7.0-point favorite. The Rams have lost 9 in a row and 20 of their last 22 on the road. They also failed to cover 15 of those last 21 road tilts. On a positive note they’ve gone a respectable 6-5 ATS in their last 11 as a road underdog of 13.0 or more. 

Alabama comes off a big win on the road last week 49-42 versus Texas A&M. In doing so the Crimson Tide avenged their only loss in 2012 that came at the hands of the Aggies. This is a sandwich game for the Tide and one that may prompt a potential flat performance. This non-conference affair comes after last week’s win while playing with revenge versus a nationally ranked conference opponent, and next week they face another tough SEC opponent in #21 ranked Mississippi. That’s not to say I’m calling for a potential upset by any stretch of the imagination. However, it may come into play pertaining to the margin of victory. 

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Final Analysis 

The truth of the matter is that this Alabama team is so deep and talented, that they would have little trouble winning this contest if they played their backups for the entire game. I do think human nature will prevail here and the Crimson Tide will be far from sharp. It’s also highly unlikely that Saban will run up the score if at all avoidable versus a former member of his coaching staff. I have the smallest of leans on the road underdog in this contest, which is strictly an opinion NCAAF Pick.

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