LAS VEGAS — If there may be ever a time to anticipate Alabama soccer’s decline beneath coach Nick Saban, that is it. The first spherical of final month’s NFL draft was a roll name of Crimson Tide stars, placing Saban in a decent spot as he faces a tricky schedule.
Alabama should substitute two broad receivers, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, who had been drafted within the high 10. Six gamers went within the first spherical, together with quarterback Mac Jones to the Patriots and working again Najee Harris to the Steelers.
Is this lastly low Tide? Don’t wager on it.
South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews nonetheless energy charges Alabama because the nation’s No. 1 crew, and he is likely to be underrating the reigning nationwide champions. After Andrews opened traces Friday on round 100 of the school soccer season’s high video games, sharp motion rolled in on the Tide.
“I bet Alabama four times,” mentioned skilled handicapper Paul Stone, who flew in from Texas to take photographs at Andrews’ opening numbers.
Andrews made Alabama a 13-point favourite over Miami in a Sept. 4 recreation at Atlanta. Stone and others laid the factors, forcing Andrews to maneuver the road to 16.
“I think Miami is going to be really good this year,” Andrews mentioned. “I don’t know if the Hurricanes can hang with Alabama.”
Stone additionally wager on Alabama as a 10-point favourite at Texas A&M, a 17-point favourite towards LSU and a 12-point favourite towards Auburn.
“This is right up my alley,” Stone mentioned. “I love to bet college football in late May.”
Stone mentioned he performed a complete of 20 video games, some on the South Point’s betting restrict of $2,000. Andrews moved a handful of traces two or three factors based mostly on sharp wagers, however there have been no dramatic variations of opinion between the oddsmaker and the small assortment of handicappers who had been trying to find gentle numbers.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” Andrews mentioned. “We got a lot of play and there was nothing I was off by seven or eight points on. I’ve probably been working on it since late January. The transfer portal has got my head spinning and I can’t keep up with it. It was weird coming off a COVID year and it was very hard this year to make my ratings.”
Even in a reloading 12 months, Alabama is a comparatively simple crew to price. Saban not too long ago gained his sixth nationwide title with the Tide, capped by a 52-24 blowout of Ohio State in January, so it’s a easy train to undertaking extra of the identical. The quarterback to comply with Jones is anticipated to be dual-threat sophomore Bryce Young, a former five-star recruit from California.
The different three College Football Playoff finalists additionally transfer forward with new quarterbacks. The Buckeyes misplaced Justin Fields, a first-round decide by the Bears, and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence went No. 1 total to the Jaguars. Notre Dame senior Ian Book was a fourth-round decide by the Saints.
On the primary weekend of September, Clemson is a 3.5-point favourite over Georgia on a impartial subject in Charlotte, N.C., and Notre Dame opened as a 6-point favourite at Florida State. Ohio State is a 13-point dwelling favourite towards Oregon on Sept. 11.
“Ohio State loses a lot, but we kind of know what Ohio State is going to be,” Andrews mentioned. “I lowered Notre Dame about eight points from where I ended them last year. I think people tend to overrate the Irish. I overrate Oklahoma almost every year, and I have the Sooners as my No. 2-ranked team behind Alabama.”
Oklahoma might have the nation’s high returning quarterback in Spencer Rattler. Andrews opened the Sooners as 9-point favorites over Texas on Oct. 9. The Longhorns’ new coach is Steve Sarkisian, the previous Alabama offensive coordinator.
Stone didn’t wager the Oklahoma-Texas recreation, however he did take the Longhorns +10 at Iowa State on Nov. 6. Andrews adjusted the quantity to seven.
“I was very high on Iowa State and I got some opposition there,” Andrews mentioned.
Virginia-BYU opened decide ’em, however bettors jumped on the Cougars to push them to -3 in an Oct. 30 recreation in Provo, Utah. Andrews mentioned he “really downgraded” BYU after it misplaced quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2-overall decide by the Jets.
Following a season of scheduling chaos due to COVID-19, bookmakers are rigorously writing home guidelines. Even if there are date and web site modifications, in line with South Point guidelines, if a recreation is performed it’s thought-about motion.
“I’m still afraid of COVID,” Andrews mentioned. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”