New Mexico State vs. Alabama Pick 9/7/19
New Mexico State vs. Alabama Pick
New Mexico State Aggies (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday September 7th, 2019. 4:00PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
Point Spread:NMSU +54/ALA -54
Over/Under Total: 63
The Alabama Crimson Tide ushered in their 2019 campaign last week by picking up where they left off in 2018. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit 26 of 31 passes for 336 yards with four touchdowns and the Crimson Tide defense dominated in their opening performance against a rebuilding Duke team. The end result was a 42-3 blowout that coincided with my prediction to lay the 35 points with the Crimson Tide. This week Alabama has another lay-up type of match-up when they host the New Mexico State Aggies inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
Should Alabama be the consensus No. 1 ranked team?
Following opening weekend, I believe Alabama has a legitimate argument to be the #1 team in college football. I’m sure the argument could have been made before, but Clemson deserved the preseason #1 ranking on the heels of another National Championship. However, I believe Clemson’s claim to the current #1 ranking is weakening, and I also think it will be tested again after this weekend’s games as I expect Texas A&M to give Clemson trouble. Oklahoma is in the conversation as well with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts at the helm of one of the most prolific offenses in the country. The problem with the argument for the Sooners is that their defense still provides a lot of vulnerability. Alabama and Clemson are on a different level, and they have proved that consistently by squaring off against each other in the College Football National Championship Game in 3 of the last four years.
Still, Alabama has all the pieces to win everything this year, and I think they are the best team in the country as it currently stands. Clemson has replaced a lot of defensive talent that propelled the Tigers to their 2018 Championship run. On the other hand, Alabama appears to have stolen the defensive edge from the Tigers. The Crimson Tide defense gave up just 204 total yards against Duke last week and while the Blue Devils are rebuilding; Alabama’s defense played terrific from the opening snap. With QB Tua Tagovailoa, WR Jerry Jeudy, and a talented running back stable led by Najee Harris, Alabama has all the right pieces to continue to make the argument as the consensus #1 team in the land.
Alabama betting trends and negative game script
Make no mistake about it, New Mexico State is not a good football team, and I believe that was evident in last week’s 58-7 loss to no. 23 Washington State. The Aggies turned the ball over regularly and had no answers for the Cougars passing attack which are all bad signs from a match-up standpoint against Alabama. We are talking about an Aggies team that went 3-9 in 2018 and will be lucky to improve that mark in 2019. In fact, the over/under on the Aggies total wins for the year was listed at 3.5 prior to the season. For this week’s uphill match-up against Alabama, the question is can the Aggies keep it within the 54 point spread which seems unusually high?
Even throughout Nick Saban’s dynamic run in Tuscaloosa, this is just the 2nd time that Alabama has been favored by more than 50 points in the last five years. As a result, we have to look at Saban’s tendencies in these heavily favored games to get an idea of our expectations. What we have seen throughout the Saban era is that Alabama usually calls off the dogs when they get a big lead. Saban has a habit of pulling 1st/2nd string tailbacks and running generic plays into the heart of defenses to simply run out the clock. This exact scenario plays out often, especially against inferior out of conference opponents.
Over the last five years, Alabama has failed to cover the spread in 4 of their last five games as favorites of 40 points or more. The Crimson Tide are 2-4 ATS overall in that time period of favorites of 40 points or more. In each instance the Crimson Tide covered the spread, the defense pitched a shutout and barely covered the mark. Needless to say, another shutout could be needed to cover this huge 54 point spread, but I don’t believe that is the most probabilistic outcome. I am banking on negative game script and hoping the Aggies can get some points on the board. If that happens, the odds will be in our favor.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take New Mexico State +54