Alabama Crimson Tide 2013-2014 Season Odds
The Tide rolled to a second consecutive national championship last year, and this time they won the SEC along the way. Now what else is there to do but shoot for an unprecedented third straight BCS title? Sure, they lost some talent from the team that destroyed Notre Dame back on that Monday night in January, but under coach Nick Saban the Tide just reloads, season after season.
Odds to Win SEC: +140 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 11 at 5Dimes
Alabama opened last year with that romp over Michigan, rolled through the next seven weeks, and rallied late to beat LSU in Baton Rouge 21-17. But the Tide then got shocked by Johnny Football and the Aggies in Tuscaloosa. Not to be deterred, 'Bama picked itself up, held off a game Georgia team in the SEC title bout, then exposed the Irish in that 42-14 BCS Championship Game victory.
This year 'Bama returns six starters on offense, led by quarterback AJ McCarron (30/3 TD/INT ratio last year) and 1,100-yard rusher TJ Yeldon, and seven starters are back on what might be the best defense in the country. They will have to replace three starters along the offensive line and three of last year's top six tacklers, but that's not asking too much. And this year's schedule is very kind, considering they miss Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida, at least until the SEC championship game. The Tide does have to visit College Station to play Texas A&M on September 14, but they'll have revenge on their side. And 'Bama gets a week off before hosting LSU on November 9.
The problem for bettors, though, is dealing with the big pointspreads on Tide games. Last year Alabama only went 7-7 ATS, because they were favored by three touchdowns or more nine times. They covered 21 points against the Razorbacks, 22 points against Missouri, 21 points against Tennessee, 23 points against Mississippi State, and 34 points against Auburn, but couldn't (or declined to) cover 38 points against Western Kentucky, 49 points against Florida Atlantic, 30 points against Ole Miss, and 50 points against Western Carolina. Barring unforeseen circumstances the Tide will be favored in every game this season, many times, again, by large numbers. For instance, as of late July the sportsbooks were listing Alabama at around -20 for its season opener in Atlanta on August 31 over Virginia Tech.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000