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Alabama

vs.

Virginia Tech

Week 1

College Football

Pick

Odds and Analysis

8/31/13

It's the season opener at a neutral site (Georgia Dome) for the defending champs. Is there anyone not expecting an Alabama win? Everyone most likely is, excluding those involved with Virginia Tech. When Nick Saban gets time to prepare for games, he usually wins, that's a fact and the main reason this line has gone as high as -20 at 5 Dimes and Sportsbook.com for the Crimson Tide. The Hokies, meanwhile, are ignoring what the media says and are planning on putting up a fight.

Virginia Tech will have problems on both sides of the ball, but starting with the offense, it's going to be tough for them to get anything going against 'Bama. The Crimson Tide are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation for a reason. The Hokies were mediocre at best last season and are getting senior quarterback Logan Thomas back for one more year. However, most of his help is gone, but that shouldn't matters with plenty of new faces around. Unfortunately, starting RB J.C. Coleman is questionable to play, which doesn't help here. Also gone are Thomas' top three pass catchers. If VT scores more than 20 points, it will be a surprise considering the situation. Their only hope comes from quarterback Thomas, who was inconsistent through most of last season.

The Hokies at least have a worthy defense with nine returning starters. The only problem is that when faced against better offenses last year, they didn't do much, allowing 48 points to North Carolina and 38 to Clemson. Stopping the Alabama offense will not be the easiest of tasks.

AJ McCarron is back for his senior season and expects to have his best campaign yet. Not only is McCarron returning, but plenty of help at skill positions are back, as well. T.J. Yeldon is set to become the main back with Eddie Lacy gone. Yeldon has the ability to be something special and will be a major problem for the Hokies front line. Along with that, top wide outs Amari Cooper and Kevin Norwood are back for McCarron. The biggest question for the Crimson Tide is their offensive line, but they will likely still have the advantage on Virginia Tech.

The one thing the Hokies can't do is let this game get away from them early because they don't have the type of offense to score when behind by a lot of points. If Alabama scores on its first couple possessions, the game will be all but over and the Crimson Tide should be able to cover the line. Does Virginia Tech's defense have it in them to get a couple stops early in the game? That could easily end up determining the spread.

Alabama is 7-1 ATS in their last eight neutral site games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 non-conference games. The same can't be said about Virginia Tech who is 1-3-1 in their last five neutral site games and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference matches. The over/under is floating around 45.5, which predicts a pretty low-scoring game. The over has actually hit in eight of the Crimson Tide's last nine neutral site games.

These two tee'd it up in 2009 in the season opener. Bama came away with a 34-24 win in a game that saw several lead changes. The Hokies are coming off a down year winning just 7 games. Remember, this is a program that regularly turns in 11 win seasons. They are outclassed here, but getting +20 points with a Frank Beamer coached team with several weeks to prepare is very tempting. At +21, which we may see, we could be interested for real. At the current number, it's just an opinion. Virginia Tech +20   Looking for our Key Releases? Click Here

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