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Week 1 College Football Pick with Analysis
Alabama and Michigan will kick off the 2012 college football season with a bang as they face each other, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas on Saturday, September 1st, at 8pm est. in what is obviously the marquee college football game of the week. Alabama, the defending National Champs, opened as a -11 point favorite. 5 Dimes Sportsbook currently lists Alabama -12.5. Betonline is the only sportsbook thus far to list a total on the game, 42.5.
There are many sportsbooks and services that offer betting percentages these days. They show you, in most cases, not the actually percentage of money bet, but the number of bets taken on one side or another. One such sportsbooks currently shows around 1500 bets taken on this game so far, with 92% of those bets being on Alabama! Are all of those bettors correct? Let's take a look.
We're not about to dispute who the more talented team is here. The job Nick Saban has done at Alabama has been masterful. After a 7-6 first year in 2007, he's won 12, 14, 10, and 12 games and won 2 National Championships. Alabama is always going to have recruiting edges but the recent success and Nick Saban multiplies those edges tenfold. As a result, Alabama is once again loaded and a legitimate BCS contender.
Michigan carries it's own weight in the recruiting game and as a result you'll find them contending in the Big 10 and in the national picture most years, but still a notch or two below Alabama. Brady Hoke attempts to follow up an 11-2 debut season with an equally impressive 2012 campaign. Looking at the schedule, we see 5 or 6 games in question, which suggest 11 wins is doubtful.
It's not uncommon for the defense to be head of the offense early in the college football season. In this case, we have the #1 defense from a year ago going up against the #10 defense so we'd expect that trend to play out here. When you factor in the prep time that each team has had coming into this one, it gives us reason to believe Michigan could be the side. It's not as if this is a typical week where each team gets one week to prepare for an opponent. They have had months to prepare, and no doubt much of that prep time when into this game and we're talking about two very good coaches in Saban and Hoke.
We're getting a generous spot here at +12.5. No need to jump in just yet as that number may continue to rise. We're going to take Michigan here. The added motivation of being in such a high profile game with the entire college football world watching, the added prep time, etc. It could be just enough to keep the Wolverines in this one to the end. We don't see a mismatch blow out here. Later on in the year, perhaps. But not on September 1st. Michigan +12.5 or more.
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