Why Alabama football will not cover a four-touchdown spread versus the Missouri Tigers.
Let’s be clear, Alabama football fans, do not consider any of what follows as betting advice. I am not, as the legendary Doc Holliday was, a ‘Sporting Man.’ Holliday was a darn good dentist too but that is another story.
Back to important matters, as in how badly the Alabama Crimson Tide is going to spank Mizzou. There is enough talent disparity between the Alabama football roster and Missouri’s roster to warrant the Tide covering the four-touchdown spread. And it might. If it does, future SEC foes should be very concerned.
The 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide should have growing pains. To a greater or lesser degree, the Sarkisian offense built around Tua will be new and different. Missouri has a respectable defense and in game one, Sark is not going to use any offensive weapons not needed. Mac, Najee, Smitty and Waddle may still explode, despite a buttoned-down offense. Saban will throttle the offense back indirectly because he has more important priorities. Bryce Young needs snaps, including meaningful ones, with the Crimson Tide first-unit. Among Crimson Tide fans there is a steady buzz Bryce is truly special.
In addition to developing Bryce, Paul Tyson needs more than mop-up duty against a credible defense. Tyson’s snaps may come with the second unit but they will be important to his development.
Pete Golding and Nick Saban will face an offense that will do everything it can to confuse. Eli Drinkwitz is a good coach, but he is a Malzahn-tree guy. He will use all kinds of eye candy, pre-snap movement and up-tempo to unsettle the Crimson Tide defense.
The problem with such treachery and deceit is it does not work well when a team loses its physical matchups. There is a high probability, the Alabama football front seven will feast on the Mizzou offensive line. Nearly as probable is the revamped Crimson Tide secondary making learning-curve mistakes. A team cannot lose four of its top five defensive backs and not have growing pains the following season.
The new Crimson Tide secondary needs playing time together. At the same time, key backups need game experience. With more than a two-touchdown lead, Saban will begin to rotate in backups.
Drinkwitz also has a strong running back roster. If he can use short passing to set up runs by Larry Rountree and Tyler Badie, Missouri can move the football against what should become a much-improved Crimson Tide defense. The result may not be many points, but it could keep the Tide offense off the field.
No disrespect is intended to Missouri. Even being a Malzahn guy, Drinkwitz does not deserve derision. The Tigers will beat some team in the SEC, other than Vandy. Missouri will likely battle South Carolina to finish fifth in the SEC East. They will not beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama football fans might consider one more thing before placing a bet. Given the potential of virus quarantines, coaches are forced to build three-deep rosters that can, when demanded, play key roles. The Crimson Tide is taking 70 players to Columbia. More than sixty of them are expected to play.