The Alabama Crimson Tide have one more game to prepare for SEC play when they host the Colorado State Rams this weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 EST on Saturday, September 16 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Fans can watch the game on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers list Alabama as 28.5-point favorites. That’s down slightly after the Tide opened at -29.5. The over/under for the game is 54 points. Click here for a full list of Week 3 betting odds and links to game previews.
Colorado State vs Alabama Betting Preview & Vegas Game Odds
Thus far, Alabama has looked the part of the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide took down Florida State in the season opener and then had a routine 41-10 win over Fresno State last week. As expected, the Alabama defense and special teams have been steady.
However, quarterback Jalen Hurts almost has more rushing yards than passing yards this season. He’s obviously a huge threat with his legs, but it may help if Nick Saban and company see him push the ball downfield with his arm at some point.
As for Colorado State, the Rams should be satisfied with their season so far. They picked up a power-5 win over Oregon State back in August but couldn’t quite pull off the upset over in-state rival Colorado, losing 17-3. Obviously, there’s a significant jump from playing Colorado to playing Alabama, but the Rams won’t be intimidated to take on the Crimson Tide.
Free NCAAF Betting Prediction: Colorado State +28.5
While they won easily last week, Alabama didn’t beat the spread against Fresno State, and I expect a similar outcome this week. Colorado State won’t leave Tuscaloosa with a win, but they also won’t be embarrassed, as the Tide will once again fail to cover the spread.
The Tide may be the best team in the country, but they aren’t really built to blow teams out unless they get touchdowns from their defense or special teams. After two games, Hurts remains the team’s leading rusher. Also, aside from Calvin Ridley, no one has emerged as a big-play receiver in the passing game.
As long as opponents can prevent downfield passes to Ridley, which admittedly is easier said than done, Alabama isn’t capable of being a quick-strike offense. That shouldn’t hinder them from winning games right now. But it does make it harder for the Crimson Tide to put up gaudy offensive numbers. It’ll also make it more difficult for them to cover a four-touchdown spread against Colorado State.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
It’s also important to remember that Colorado State is no pushover. The Rams returned most of their top offensive playmakers this season, as well as senior quarterback Nick Stevens, who was the starter in 2015 and the second half of 2016. Stevens obviously has his work cut out for him against Alabama’s defense, but he’s an experienced quarterback who won’t be easily intimidated or rattled. As long as the Rams can remain balanced on offense, they have a chance to move the ball against the Crimson Tide and put up a good fight.
Ultimately, Alabama will comfortably win the game. But the Crimson Tide offense hasn’t done enough to make me think things will get out of hand. Colorado State is one of the better Group of 5 teams in the country this year. The Rams will be able to keep the game under the spread.