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Middle Tennessee vs Alabama Prediction, Picks and Odds: Alabama Slammer: Roll Tide for Easy Cover

Middle Tennessee Can’t Get Enough Points

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will kick off their season with a trip to Tuscaloosa, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the sportsbooks are giving the visitors plenty of points. But is it enough to get the cover? Let’s discuss the game and check out the college football odds in this Saturday night matchup.

Middle Tennessee capped off its 2022 campaign with a solid 25-23 victory over San Diego State at the Hawai’i Bowl as seven-point neutral-site underdogs. But the score was a bit misleading as the Aztecs dominated play as evidenced by the 364-170 total yardage disparity and five-minute time of possession advantage.

However, MTSU was nothing if not opportunistic, forcing five turnovers and sporting an offense led by Chase Daniels, who struck for two touchdowns on 236 passing yards. The Blue Raiders ended their season with an 8-5 straight-up record and were 6-6-1 against the number.

Alabama Struggled ATS in 2022

The College Football Playoff just wasn’t the same last year without Nick Saban’s boys invited to the festivities. As you may recall, the Crimson Tide were on the outside looking in because of losses to Tennessee and LSU by a combined four-point margin of defeat.

That’s all it took for Bama to be persona non grata at the CFP but, to be fair, we should also note that the Tide was not exactly rolling for their backers. They were 9½-point road favorites in their 52-49 loss to Tennessee and 13½-point road chalk in their 32-31 overtime loss to LSU according to the NCAA football odds.

Add to that ‘Bama only covered twice in their last seven regular-season games before an impressive 45-20 victory over No. 9 Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide would wrap the season with an 11-2 mark and went 7-6 against the spread.

Middle Tennessee vs Alabama Game Information

  • Game: Middle Tennessee vs Alabama
  • When: Saturday, Sept, 2, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Middle Tennessee vs Alabama Live Stream: ESPN

’Bama’s Redemption Tour

Let’s understand a few things before we dig into the college football lines in the opening week of the season.

First, there are more unknowns than many of us care to acknowledge. Yes, we love the action but that doesn’t mean we should manufacture opinions based on the narrative we want rather than objectively taking a step back and admitting we know very little about ’Bama starting quarterback Jalen Milroe.

What we do know is he completed 31 of his 53 passes for five TDs and three picks in relief of Bryce Young last season. And he may not even be the man under center on Saturday as Saban has been cagey about his decision and could tap Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner.

Yet, we should note that Alabama has something to prove this season even though most programs would be thrilled with an 11-2 record and a final ranking of No. 6 in the nation.

A season without a trip to the CFP is not going to cut it in Tuscaloosa. Now they get their opportunity to flex in front of the nation, the same way they did in their 55-0 destruction of Utah State in last season’s opener in which the Tide covered the 41½ point impost that most of the sports betting sites were posting.

Middle Tennessee vs Alabama Best Bet

I have to ask myself, what would the line have to be to turn me off from betting ’Bama in the opener against a team like Middle Tennessee who, like the Tide, will be turning to a new passer this season? Maybe 42½ points? It would give the Raiders a head start of over six full touchdowns, right?

But here’s the thing, if you think we don’t know a lot about Jalen Milroe, allow me to present for your consideration one Nicholas Vattiato. Yes, that’s your Blue Raiders starting quarterback and one who has had about as much live action as Milroe, completing 30 of 46 for 293 yards with no TDs and one interception.

In other words, we are dealing with plenty of unknowns, but we know Saban wants to exorcise the demons of those two bad losses from last year and come out swinging. We also know Middle Tennessee lost to Sweet Jimmy Mad, aka James Madison, by the score of 44-7 as 4½-point road dogs in their opener last season.

If that’s the kind of preparation they had for James Madison, just what do you think will happen against Alabama? Yeah, lay the lumber and back the Tide -39 at BetUS.

Pick: Alabama -39 (-110)

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