NCAAF Week 2 Marquee Matchup Betting Preview: Top-Ranked Alabama Visits Underdog Texas Longhorns

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide take their show on the road in Week 2, and we’re looking at the college football odds for their matchup against the Texas Longhorns.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Longhorns

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium

Spread: Alabama -20 (-110) at BetMGM

Over/Under: 62 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Just think. In the not-so-distant future, seeing the Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Longhorns on the same gridiron will become a regular occurrence when they collide on potentially an annual basis as Southeastern Conference foes

Until it becomes a regular matchup in the college football schedule, at least we get a solid game to begin Saturday’s lineup on the Week 2 card, even if the numbers were finding at various shops make it out to be a fairly one-sided affair. 

Tide Rolling Into Austin as 3-TD Chalk

Alabama is showing up as a heavy favorite across the board, including FanDuel where the Crimson Tide is going off -20½ as of mid-afternoon on Labor Day. That makes for a whopping -1250 for those interested in playing a fat moneyline

Saturday’s scoreboard target is 61½ at most wagering outlets, some boosting the number up a point. That total is higher than the result of any of the previous nine meetings between the schools. 

‘Horns Have History On Their Side

It has been a little more than a dozen years since Alabama and Texas last collided, that clash coming in the Rose Bowl for the 2009-10 BCS Championship. Favored by a field goal or so, the Crimson Tide used a big second quarter for a 37-21 triumph. 

That was the first National Championship for Alabama under Nick Saban, and the Crimson Tide has gone on to win five more since then while playing for three other titles only to come up short. 

Alabama’s win in January 2010 was its only victory over Texas in a series that dates to 1902. The Longhorns have won seven meetings with another in 1960 playing to a tie. The last six matchups took place in bowl settings, and it’s been 100 years since the two sides met on one another’s home field

Saban’s D Pitches Shutout in Season Opener

Last week’s season opener turned out to be a little easier for Alabama than how OddsTrader’s computer picks saw things. Favored by 42 at home against Utah State, the Crimson Tide blanked the Aggies in a convincing 55-0 final. 

Turning in a most convincing performance was Alabama quarterback. One of the top contenders to win the Heisman Trophy, Young threw for five touchdowns and ran for another in his first 100-yard rushing performance. 

Room for Improvement

Despite keeping Utah State off the scoreboard, Saban still found fault with his team’s defensive performance. The Aggies gained just 136 total yards in the contest and were held to seven first downs while converting on three of their 17 third-down opportunities. 

“Nobody here needs to farm somebody else’s land,” Saban noted in a press conference, referencing some of his players trying to do too much on defense. 

Texas Romps in Week 1

The Longhorns also enjoyed an easy time of things to get the season started. Top online sportsbooks had Texas giving up 36½ at home to Louisiana-Monroe, and the Longhorns covered that with almost a touchdown to spare in a 52-10 rout. 

Except for having his car towed during last Saturday’s game, Quinn Ewers’ Longhorn debut went well as the freshman transfer from Ohio State completed 16 of 24 passes for 225 yards and two scores. He was picked off once and sacked three times. 

Living Up to the Hype

Now in his second season as head coach at Texas and coming off a 5-7 record, former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was also a little unhappy with this team’s performance despite the lopsided win. Sarkisian is also trying to manage expectations for this game

“I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is that this is going to be the game that’s going to define our program,” Sarkisian said in a Monday presser. “It might, it might not.” 

Has Austin Gone to the Dogs?

Not that many years ago, I’d have driven 60 miles or so of backroads up to the Lone Star State capital to hang out and join in some of the festivities for a game like this. But that was before Austin started impersonating a screwed-up California city and lost its Texas charm. 

That Austin has sadly gone to the dogs over the years actually fits well with our free college football pick on the underdogs. Saban gets the road win, and Sarkisian’s side gets a feel-good loss by staying inside the spread. Alabama wins, 39-23. 

NCAAF Pick: Texas +20½ (-115) at FanDuel is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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