SEC Picks: Alabama vs. Missouri 9/26/20
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Missouri Tigers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 26th 2020. 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Faurot Field Columbia, M.O.
Point Spread: ALA -28/MIZZ +28 (GTBets - Get a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500!!!)
Over/Under Total: 55.5
The 2nd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will open the season against the Missouri Tigers this Saturday. Unlike other conferences that have been playing the last couple of weeks, teams from the SEC pushed the start of their season back a few weeks after announcing the conference only schedule as a result of COVID-19. With 4 of the top 6 ranked teams residing in the SEC, we will finally get a weekend to determine the teams that are legitimate title contenders. The team expected to be among the favorites is Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, who returns a ton of talent that should be poised to make another championship run.
The Missouri Tigers started strong in 2019 by winning five of their first six games, but then things turned grim. The offense suffered a few injuries and ultimately got exposed when the schedule strengthened. As a result, the Tigers lost five of their last six games and only salvaged a win over a 2-10 Arkansas team in the season finale. Since last year’s finale, Missouri has turned to a new Head Coach in Eliah Drinkwitz in hopes of turning things around. Without any doubt, Drinkwitz has a challenging task ahead, especially on the offensive side of the football, where the Tigers lost seven starters. With so many question marks lingering on the offensive side of the football, the Tigers will find themselves as 28 point underdogs against one of the nation’s best this Saturday.
Missouri expected to be without 12 players against Alabama
I mentioned that Missouri lost six starters on the offensive side of the football. However, the offense did get the addition of transfer quarterback Shawn Robinson who previously played at TCU. Robinson is the presumed starter this Saturday though it has not been officially announced. However, the biggest challenge ahead of this week’s opener against Alabama is the fact Missouri will reportedly be without 12 players due to COVID-19 regulations. It was not stated that 12 players tested positive for COVID-19, but the NCAA mandates a 14-day period for those that have come within close contact of the virus. As a result, the Tigers have reported 12 players will miss this week’s opener.
The unusual aspect of the recent development is that we still don’t know the 12 players that will miss this week’s opener. Teams are not required to release names of individuals that fall into the COVID-19 protection, so it’s unclear if we are talking about key contributors, starters, or who will miss time. Since the news broke, the betting line has already shifted from around 22 points to 28 points, and I would be surprised if it were not higher by game-time. If that many players have been in “close contact,” there is a legitimate possibility that the number of players ineligible for Saturday’s contest could continue to grow. Missouri was already facing a daunting match-up against Alabama with a relatively young group of players, and now those concerns are even more alarming when you consider they will be without an additional 12 players.
Crimson Tide poised to open strong
I was already heavily invested at Alabama -22 before the news broke that the Tigers would be without several players. The reason I liked the Crimson Tide before and even more now is because the offense returns a ton of talent. When QB Tua Tagovailoa went down last year, QB Mac Jones filled in by completing 68.8% passing for 14 touchdowns and three picks in his three games as a starter. Though he is not an elusive talent like Tagovailoa, Jones has the throwing capability to be a very good quarterback for the Crimson Tide.
Rest assured, Nick Saban will put a heavier focus on the ground this season with star tailback Najee Harris returning following a 1,244-yard season that culminated 13 touchdowns. I firmly expect the power running focus to return in Tuscaloosa, and Jones will be used in the play-action to hit down-field opportunities. For this week’s opener, I believe Alabama will thrive with the returning talent as the much more physical football team. Missouri’s defensive line is a legit concern, and that is why I believe Alabama will run the football with ease.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The betting line is starting to get a little steep but I still like Alabama -28. Bet your Week 4 NCAA football predictions FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! Great betting site!
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