College Football Week 4 Picks: Colorado State Rams vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Colorado State Rams vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, 9/21/13, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Alabama -36.5
Current Betting Line:  Alabama -39.5
Opening Total:  51.5
Current Total:  52.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban faces off against a familiar foe Saturday
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban faces off against a familiar foe Saturday

Colorado State travels south to Tuscaloosa to take on two-time defending national champion Alabama, as it comes off a 34-17 victory over Cal Poly as 6.5-point home favorites last Saturday.  Rams head coach Jim McElwain will experience a Homecoming of sorts, as he served as the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator from 2008-11, which is important to consider when making your college football predictions in Week 4.  The last current SEC opponent that the program faced was Missouri in 1997.  Colorado State is 0-3 SU and 2-1 ATS as road underdogs of 21.5 or more points the last two-plus seasons.

The Rams have dropped 14 in a row against Top 25 opponents, which could be a major problem when taking on a team that has allowed an average of 5.5 points during a 15-game non-conference home winning streak.  Colorado State will need to rely heavily on running back Chris Nwoke, who has rushed for 230 yards on 41 carries in two games since he was limited to six on six carries in the season opener against Colorado.

Alabama has laid claim to three of the last four BCS National Championships, as it comes off a 49-42 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies as 8.5-point road favorites in Week 3—a result that can’t be forgotten when looking over the college football odds page.  The Crimson Tie are 27-3 against non-conference opponents under Nick Saban, outscoring those opponents by a 1,145-333 margin.  Alabama is 8-0 SU and 2-6 ATS as favorites of 31 or more points, with the UNDER going 4-3-1 in that situation.

The Crimson Tide are 52-0 since the start of the 2008 season when rushing for at least 140 yards, while the defense has held opponents to 10 or fewer points 41 times since the start of the 2007 campaign.  Alabama has led the nation in each of the past two seasons in rushing defense, while it has led all teams in surrendering only 62 rushing touchdowns since 2005.  Quarterback AJ McCarron has 27 career wins and a .931 winning percentage, which includes back-to-back national titles.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rams due to the Crimson Tide being 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.

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