NCAA Football Week 1 Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, 8/30/14, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread: Alabama -26.5
Current Betting Line: Alabama -26.5
Opening Total: N/A
Current Total: N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
Alabama won’t be ranked No. 1 in preseason polls, which is important to consider when looking over the NCAA football odds page, but head coach Nick Saban’s squad is loaded with talent at every position. The Crimson Tide will likely send out Florida State transfer Jake Coker to lead the offense under center, with the departure of AJ McCarron to the NFL. He’ll have the luxury of handing the ball off to one of the deepest backfields in the country, with junior TJ Yeldon being the main player to watch—gaining 1,235 yards on just 207 carries last season. Alabama has gone OVER the total in its last four games versus Big 12 Conference opponents.
The Crimson Tide need to replace defensive captain CJ Mosley, who has moved onto the next level after registering a team-high 108 tackles last season, but the group has the bodies to reload at the linebacker position. Alabama’s secondary will be a bit vulnerable in the early going, which is a bit worrisome in this matchup, considering West Virginia is known for spreading teams out and putting the ball up in the air under Dana Holgorson.
West Virginia has captured eight of its last 11 first games played outside of Morgantown, which makes it a dangerous underdog when making your NCAA football picks, especially with a seasoned senior quarterback in tow. Clint Trickett completed just 52.8 percent of his passes for 1,605 yards last season, but he’s now gotten a taste of Holgorson’s up-tempo system. He has some weapons to target, with Mario Alford, Daikiel Shorts and Kevin White each accounting for 495-plus receiving yards in 2013. West Virginia is 0-6 ATS in its last six non-conference games.
The Mountaineers go from having eight returning starters last season to 13 heading into this new campaign, which will likely close the gap in getting out-gained by an average of 95 yards during Big 12 play. West Virginia’s defensive line is going to struggle in this game, which places a ton of pressure on a linebacking group that welcomes back seven of its top nine performers.
Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 5-0-1 in the Crimson Tide’s last six affairs on field turf.
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