Alabama did Alabama things in its opening 51-14 win against Louisville. With Tua Tagovailoa getting the start under center, the Crimson Tide did whatever they wanted, scoring 14 points in each of the first two quarters and 16 in the third. Arkansas State also won its opener by scoring 48 points, but doing that in this Game will be impossible. As of Wednesday, the Tide were at -36.5 with an over/under of 65.5 points at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The Tide should again come close to 50 points in this Game and most likely will hit 40 at a minimum. The Red Wolves aren’t known for having a good defense and that showed in the opener allowing a few touchdowns to SE Missouri State. against bigger competition last year, they gave up 43 points to Nebraska and 44 to SMU and only returned Four starters from that group.
The bad news is that Alabama presents a much harder task and it’d be surprising if ASU made more than a couple stops. The Tide will likely run through the Red Wolves all Game, whether it’s Damien Harris and Najee Harris or any of the backups. Tagovailoa is also plenty mobile and should throw a couple touchdowns, as well. And just like the first Game, Jalen Hurts will probably come in late and lead the offense to a few points.
It’s going to take a lot for ASU to cover this Game and that likely means a couple touchdowns. This Game is similar to the Tulane matchup from a year ago when Alabama won 56-14. The Wolves have a good offense that scored 37.8 points per Game last year, but they haven’t seen a defense like this in a long time. Justice Hansen tossed six touchdowns in the first Game and had 37 TDs last season, but also had major interception issues in 2017 against any decent defense throwing 10 picks against three of the better opponents, two of those losses. If Hansen tries to force the ball, that won’t lead to anything good and could in turn lead to a defensive touchdown. The Wolves will try and get a ground Game going, but that won’t be a possibility and that’s what Louisville found out when it ran for 16 yards on 26 rushes.
But 36.5 points is still a lot, especially when the underdog has an experienced senior at quarterback and could easily Scorea couple touchdowns late. The last time ASU faced a team of this caliber, it lost 51-14 to Auburn back in 2016. Hansen didn’t start that Game, but it was still only a 37-point win, which is right where this spread is. The Tide will Scorea bunch and win easily, but Arkansas State has the offensive tools to Scorelate and cover, which is always the problem when betting Alabama as a huge favorite. Unfortunately, the over/under also correlates to how many points ASU will score. If ASU covers, the over will likely hit, while if Alabama covers, it’ll probably be the under unless the Tide Scorecloser to 60 points.
Our Pick Alabama -36.5