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Big 10 Football: Alabama v Michigan – Who to bet on?

Big 10 Football: Alabama v Michigan – Who to bet on?

We end our Big 10 Football Q & A sessions today with a gambling related question. Advising us who to bet on in the Alabama v Michigan game are Joe Beale of Eleven Warriors, Kevin McGuire of the Nittany Lions Den, Eric Cooper of Buckeye House Call, Andrew Coppens of MadTown Badgers, Ryan Aylsworth of Midnight Maize and from The Saturday Edge, Maggiore.

Question # 4: Who to bet on? Alabama lost 9 players from the number # 1 defense in the nation, including 3 first round draft choices. Can they cover an 11 point spread against Michigan and their dynamic playmaker at QB, Denard Robinson?

Joe Beale – Eleven Warriors: Alabama is a defensive team, and so covering a big spread against a potential top-10 team will be tough. I’m going to say no, just because I think Michigan will keep it close for the entire game. I think in the end the Tide will prevail, just not by 11.

Kevin McGuire – Nittany Lions Den: There is one thing you need to know about Alabama when it comes to losing players. Nick Saban does not rebuild, he reloads. That will be what happens with Alabama’s defense in 2012 after the losses from last season’s championship squad. The good news is Alabama may have lost a lot of starters but they have been fortunate to be in positions in which backups can get some playing time and develop an idea for how the defensive schemes play on the field.

And when you give Saban eight months to prepare for a single game, because you know he has been spreading his preparation out since the BCS Championship Game, there are not many coaches who will be able to counteract what Saban has up his sleeve.

I think Alabama as an 11-point favorite is too high, so I would say go with the under now while you can, and even though I feel Alabama will win this season opener I don’t think even a masterful game plan by Saban will be enough to cover the spread.

Who to bet on - Denard Robinson

Denard Robinson

Eric Cooper – Buckeye House Call: Brady Hoke and TSUN are going to have their hands full with the defending NC’s, and we will see how good of a “Quarterback” Robinson really is. Nick Saban hasn’t gotten to this point to lose a game to a wide receiver who just happens to play quarterback. My pick is Bama a lot to a little.

Andrew Coppens – MadTown Badgers: Who to bet on? Man this is a hard one to answer because there are so many moving parts to this first game. Robinson is a QB unlike anything Alabama has seen and that includes Cam Newton. For Michigan the question is was last year a fluke on the defensive side of the ball or a sign of things to come. Add in an Alabama team that only has 4 returning starters and I think you see an easy way this game stays within 11 points. I look for this to be a game within a TD or so late and Michigan covers the spread.

Ryan Aylsworth – Midnight Maize: Bama has depth and talent. They reload. They have recruited exceptionally well over the past several years. I am glad that Michigan plays them first. So all those new bodies will be in their first big game which can lead to mistakes. I still give the edge to Bama since they have all the depth and talent. I expect them to test Michigan’s new defensive line and run straight at them.

As for Denard, he may struggle just because of the new WR core and I just don’t think there is much talent on the outside to throw too. Michigan’s best chance is if Denard and Fitzgerald Toussaint can run wild on Bama. That will be Michigan’s bread and butter all year so they will need to have great success with running the ball vs Bama if they plan on winning or making it a close game.

Maggiore – The Saturday Edge:  Who to bet on? According to this depth chart, of the 7 guys that weren’t listed as starters last year, two are highly touted JUCO’s, two are 5 star players, and three are 4 star players. There are 5 Under Armour All-Americans in that group. While there will be a loss of experience for Alabama, there shouldn’t be much of a drop off in talent.

Nick Saban is arguably the best coach in the country and giving him this much time to prepare for Michigan and Denard Robinson, I don’t see myself taking the points with Michigan here.  Michigan was stout on defense last year, but losing standout tackle Mike Martin, among others, up front will hurt against Barrett Jones, Eddie Lacy and a very good Crimson Tide running game.

The Wolverines can hang if Robinson can find a receiver to make some plays through the air, but unless this spread goes to 14 (it is now down to 10.5) or more, my money will be on the Tide.

That is it for our Big 10 football Q & A sessions. I would like to thank Joe, Kevin, Eric, Andrew, Ryan and Maggiore for their participation. I hope they helped you determine who to bet on. Next week we will be starting our PAC 12 Conference Conversations. Please leave any thoughts or questions in the comment section below. Thank you – Pez.



4 Responses to “Big 10 Football: Alabama v Michigan – Who to bet on?”

  1. SoonerBS says:

    Alabama without a doubt. I hope this line continues to drop and we will all get a bargain. In fact, it may be the only early bet I make because even an injury will not make Alabama any worse with their immense depth.

    Guys, before you start getting overly impressed with Michigan, go back to last year’s schedule and ask the question, “who did they beat that really impresses me to think they have a chance to hang with Alabama?” THEY ONLY PLAYED 3 TEAMS IN THE TOP 25! They beat Nebraska, who I think was overrated at the time and didn’t belong in the top 25 anyway, and they beat Virginia Tech in the bowl game. The other team, Michigan State, was #23 whenever Michigan played them and Michigan was ranked #11. MSU beat them by 14 points! Bottom line on Michigan is that their record of 11-2 was not that impressive and I think it is largely getting blown out of proportion here in the preseason.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the direction that Michigan is heading under Brady Hoke, but I am still not impressed with the Big Ten’s strength overall and I think Michigan is at the lower end of the elite hierarchy of the NCAA in college football. Their numbers defensively last year were impressive, but once again, who died they play? Also, they allowed 190 yards per reception against teams who mainly emphasized the running game ( they allowed 4 ypc). Offensively, we all agree that Robinson is talented, but don’t you think Alabama is going to key on him and try to shut down the run game (like Michigan State did against them last season)? What are they going to do then? I’m not convinced that Robinson can win games with his arm. Against Michigan State he went 12 for 31 for 168 yards and was sacked 7 times. I am using MSU as an example because all-in-all I believe Alabama’s defense is going to be better than MSU’s.

    So, with all this being said, let’s answer some questions with straight answers. Can Michigan run on Alabama? Once again, whenever it is all said and done, the speed of the SEC will make the Big Ten team seem like they are standing still. So, the answer is, no. Can Michigan pass well enough to keep them in the game? No. Can Michigan’s defense stop Alabama’s running game? Alabama brings back 2 RBs that are on par with what they lost in Robinson, AND they bring back almost their entire offensive line from last season. The answer is, no, Michigan cannot stop Alabama’s running game. Can Michigan stop Alabama’s passing game, well, if the running game is productive, like I think it will be, then it will open up the passing game. So, once again, I have to say, no.

    It is all one-sided here, guys, and I will gladly take Alabama on a neutral site up to -14. Michigan is not ready for this caliber of competition yet this early in Hoke’s tenure.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      SoonerBS, I placed a wager on Michigan at +14 (thought it was too many points), and got Alabama -10 yesterday, so I will attempt to middle it.

      The more I looked into the game the more I came to more or less the same conclusion(s) as you did. Especially Michigan’s need to run the football against a stout Bama run D.

      Just think Bama forces Robinson to beat them w/ the pass and I don’t believe he can do that.

    • UTSUX says:

      BAMA to me should wear down MICH in the 2nd half and take this game.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    I think you have to go with Bama up to a certain point. My cutoff would be -13. After that your getting into iffy territory because of Saban’s coaching style. He’s a coach that could care less about the line. And he’s always thinking ahead when it comes to his schedule.

    From things that I’ve heard about him, he likes to try out a lot of players in the first two or three games to solidify his positions. Probably even more so this season since he lost so many starters on D to the NFL. And there is no doubt that he’ll be thinking ahead to Arkansas in two weeks. He’ll want to go into that game at full strength, and he won’t want to get any unnecessary injuries to his starters by running up the score. Bama is the kind of team that is consitently good ATS because they don’t play a style of football that puts up outrageous numbers on offense. And in turn, the linemakers don’t set outrageous lines with them. Also Bama many times won’t cover their spreads by very many points. The best thing a bettor could ask for who likes to make blind bets with a particular team.

    Another good thing about this team is the coaching and recruiting at Bama is at such a high level right now that there really isn’t such a thing as rebuilding to this program. And so very little dropoff. If they can get by Arkansas in that third game, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Bama back in the NC game.

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