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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Point Spread - Pick ATS

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10th 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
TV: ESPN2
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: WKU +28/ALA -28
Over/Under Total: TBA

Last week the Alabama Crimson Tide proved why they were the No.1 ranked team in the country going into the 2016 season despite the loss of a lot of talent from last year’s National Championship team. The Crimson Tide destroyed 20th ranked USC to the tune of 52-6 in an eye opening blowout at AT&T Stadium. The Trojans entered the game with upset hopes as their opportunity to make a statement but the Crimson Tide was just too good in every aspect of the game. Now with the media jumping back on the bandwagon, the march towards a repeat National Championship is alive. This week Alabama returns home as they host the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama was favored just less than two touchdowns before they dismantled USC last week. At times, the offense showed signs of a new team trying to come together as things got off to a slow start. However by the end of the night, Alabama’s talent simply could not be contained. The defense played extraordinary by holding quarterback Max Browne to 14 of 29 passing for 101 yards. The Crimson Tide defense gave up just 190 total yards to the Trojans prolific offense. On offense, Alabama slowly started piecing together their new talent. Both quarterbacks Blake Barnett and Jalen Hurts received valuable playing time. Barnett may have performed better but Hurts was oozing with potential. In the running game, Bo Scarbrough was held in check to just 36 yards but sophomore Damien Harris erupted for 138 yards on just 9 carries.

I am sure most people will simply look at the score to last week’s game and will be ready to hand the trophy to the Crimson Tide. However, I still think there are some question marks moving forward and this team may get a surprise this weekend in the form of Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers also put together a blowout last week with a 46-14 thumping over Rice. Quarterback Mike White erupted to throw for 517 yards and 3 touchdowns in his debut at the quarterback position. In total, Western Kentucky posted 649 total yards against Rice in what can only be described as an impressive performance.

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I think a lot people have forgot that this Western Kentucky team amassed 12 wins last season. Sure, the schedule helped but they were still a solid football team. This week the Hilltoppers will go into Bryant-Denny Stadium as 28 point underdogs to the “unbeatable” and top ranked Crimson Tide. While most people will be quick to back the Crimson Tide in this spot after seeing how easy they destroyed USC, I believe the Hilltoppers are going to make it difficult for the number 1 team in the land.

Remember earlier when I said Alabama still had some lingering question marks on offense? The offense is still juggling quarterbacks and there will even be some who question as to which running back should get the bulk of the carries this week? Let’s not forget that there were some ugly moments too from this offense last week especially in the 1st quarter. Western Kentucky has an offense that can move the football against Alabama’s prominent defense. Mike White looked very good in his debut and this offense will spread the ball around to their veteran receivers to give them opportunities to make plays.

If the Hilltoppers can get the chains moving early in this game and possibly even make a score or two, I think they can sustain pressure on the defense to a degree for all 4 quarters. I would like to see how this Alabama offense looks if they are not on the short end of the field and capitalizing off turnovers on every possession. Of course that situation has to play out for us to get the outcome but I do think Western Kentucky is capable of delivering that type of pressure. Also, do I really have to point out the letdown situation that Alabama could easily fall into this week?

Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: WKU has covered as a road underdog in 18 of their last 26 games in this situation. I think this is the perfect situation for them to do it again. Take WKU +28

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

Free Picks

Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!

Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.

Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.

Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.

College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.

Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.

Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!

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