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2017

Alabama

College Football

Betting Preview

As is the case every season for Alabama under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide lost a ton of talent to the NFL, but will have no problem replacing it. They opened as preseason favorites to win the National Championship, which isn’t surprising, and as hefty -175 spring favorites to win the SEC (as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook). While some talent is gone, they return a decent amount on the offensive end, which will make things a bit easier than the year before.

With how the ‘Bama spring game went, opposing defenses will have more to prepare for against this team as Jalen Hurts (62.8%, 23 TDs, 9 INTs, 954 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs) showed another level tossing for 300 yards and a couple touchdowns. If Hurts is better in that aspect, this offense is going to be extremely difficult to stop in coordinator Brian Daboll’s first season. Hurts will have receiver Calvin Ridley (769 yards, 7 TDs) to work with as well as Robert Foster and Jerry Jeudy, who took over in the spring game. The offensive line may lose some pieces, but they’ll be just fine, especially with a loaded backfield. Bo Scarbrough (812 yards, 11 TDs) and Damien Harris (1,040 yards) return among others with Scarbrough high on the list for Heisman in the early odds.

The defense lost more players, so that may be the bigger question, but the line still looked plenty dominant in the spring with Da’Ron Payne the big name at tackle. Keith Holcombe and Rashaan Evans will carry the linebacker position just fine with Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison leading the secondary. So while this group had its issues in the spring, getting carved up by both quarterbacks (freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa looked great too), all signs point to the Tide returning to normal with the guys returning and incoming talent.

Similar to last year, Alabama will start the season against a viable opponent in Florida State. An USC-like blowout would immediately pin this team to make it through the regular season undefeated given the schedule. The Tide won’t have another difficult non-conference game after that, while they get to host Arkansas, Tennessee and LSU. Road games at Texas A&M and Auburn will obviously be difficult, namely the Iron Bowl in the season finale, but with an improved offense that may not matter. To help even more, their road game against the East is a trip to Vanderbilt.

The Crimson Tide lose plenty of talent, but with Hurts, Scarbrough and Ridley returning on offense, among others, and an always-dominant defense, there’s no question this team will be one of the best in the country yet again.

2017 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Florida State (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
Sept. 9 vs. Fresno State
Sept. 16 vs. Colorado State
Sept. 23 at Vanderbilt

Sept. 30 vs. Ole Miss
Oct. 7 at Texas A&M
Oct. 14 vs. Arkansas
Oct. 21 vs. Tennessee
Nov. 4 vs. LSU
Nov. 11 at Mississippi State
Nov. 18 vs. Mercer
Nov. 25 at Auburn

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