Every SEC fan who doesn’t root for Alabama has pleaded for years that the Crimson Tide never play real competition in their non-conference schedule. Those fans need to give it a rest. The first-ranked team in the nation, Alabama, will play the 14th-ranked Miami Hurricanes at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, but it isn’t even the most talked-about matchup this week. Week 1 will be crazy, and this game adds to all the hype.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
- Opening Lines: Alabama -17.5; O/U 64.5
- Current ATS Line: Alabama -18.5
- Current Over/Under: 61
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021
- Start Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
- Television: ABC
- Last Meeting: Alabama defeated Miami in 1993, 34-13
As I said before, this game has everything that college football fans hyped up, and it isn’t even the best game of the week. It’s basically the co-main event to Georgia versus Clemson. However, this game has playoff implications and a lot to offer. Of course, Alabama has all of the talent in the world.
Alabama’s group of linebackers should be the best in the nation with four future early draftees when the time comes. This team was made for offense last year, but the defense looks what will carry the team this season.
Alabama won’t have Mac Jones under center or DeVonta Smith at wide receiver. Jaylen Waddle also went to the NFL, leaving the Crimson Tide with just one notable wide receiver: John Metchie III. That said, Jameson Williams, Slade Bolden, or JoJo Earle could emerge at the position as the season progresses. But all eyes will be on Bryce Young at quarterback, along with senior running back Brian Robinson Jr., who will finally get his chance to start. Robinson had 91 carries last season and accumulated 483 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and should fit right in. He might not be as big of a back as we’re used to seeing out of Alabama, but he still weighs 225 lbs and stands over six feet tall.
Miami will actually have the veteran-led offense in this game. They’re led by quarterback D’Eriq King, who really helped Miami’s offense develop last season before he suffered a knee injury in their bowl game. King threw for 2,686 yards along with 23 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2020. He also made plays on his feet, adding 538 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
- Crimson Tide are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Hurricanes are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Crimson Tide last 7 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.
*Line movement analysis based on the DonBest Las Vegas betting market ticker*
The Crimson Tide were 17.5-point favorites, but they have now jumped an additional point to an 18.5-point advantage. The total has also fallen by 3.5 points since it opened at 64.5. You can now find the total at 61 on DraftKings.
I’ve been reading quote after quote about Bryce Young. Every coach, analyst, and player has only great things to say about him. The quarterback also spoke about having confidence in his teammates to go and make plays. It seems like the connection between Young his supporting cast is growing as the season begins. As a freshman, he is already acting like a leader, and you love to see that from him.
Miami’s defense allowed 27 points per game last season. On a play-by-play basis, they surrendered 4.55 yards per rush and 5.59 yards per play. The Hurricanes struggled to force turnovers with just seven interceptions, and they gave up 20 passing touchdowns and 16 rushing touchdowns.
I believe that Miami’s defense has improved, and they must keep improving if they want to win the ACC. This game will be a real test for the Hurricanes, as they’ll face Alabama’s high-powered offense.
With King returning from a knee injury, Alabama will box him in and keep him in the pocket. King might not be as mobile in this game as Miami hopes. I know that the Crimson Tide lost most of their offense, but they’re bringing in new guys who will perform just as well, if not better. Take Alabama against the spread.
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