Betting Odds and Expert Pick for Fresno State at Alabama

As lopsided as many of the games may be, there is a perverse enjoyment in watching the Alabama Crimson Tide of 2016 and ’17. It’s refreshing to watch a defense actually get the upper hand for 3 or 4 quarters. The Tide’s conservative, steady-as-they-go offense ensures that points won’t be scored too quickly on either side. The result is that Alabama games feature a lot of punts, a lot of nice tackles and sacks…and a few touchdowns or big gainers that feel much more significant than such plays in a “basketball” contest between Big 12 teams.

This week, the Tide are hosting Fresno State…and it’s not exactly an upset special in the eyes of odds-makers. Check out the point spread vs the O/U total…bookies aren’t expecting as much as a mop-up TD and field goal combined from the visiting Bulldogs.

Who: Fresno State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide

When: Saturday, September 9th, 3:30 PM EST

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL

Lines: Fresno State (+44) at Alabama (-44) / O/U Total: (52.5)

Analysis of the Vegas Odds for Fresno State at Alabama

The numbers are a pretty clear indication of how bookies think this game is going to go. Against a weak FBS or average FCS school, ‘Bama tends to body-punch in the early going while its defense completely stones the opponent. Though the Tide’s offense is not designed to score 40+ points under normal circumstances (no need!), over the course of holding the ball for 40 minutes and collecting turnovers, the smaller program finds itself beaten by 45 points or more. 44-0 would not be an unlikely guess for Saturday’s result.

Nick Saban’s mercenaries began the season, of course, with an outstanding win over #3 Florida State. Damien Harris rushed for 73 yards on only 9 carries, and the secondary made 2 crucial interceptions of FSU QB Deondre Francois to seal the win in the 2nd half.

But Jalen Hurts, the celebrated sophomore QB, passed for less than 100 yards. The game wasn’t decided by Alabama dominating the LOS but rather by key unforced errors on behalf of Francois.

Fresno State, meanwhile, could be getting overlooked after beating Incarnate Word 66-0 to begin their campaign. Starting QB Chason Virgil had a solid day, and the visiting Cardinals were held to -7 yards rushing.

More to the point, the Bulldogs are anxious to prove that they can at least make a few plays against a top P5 team, after getting solidly basted in several MWC vs SEC match-ups over the past few years.

Expert Betting Pick for Alabama vs Fresno State

Given the advantage of being spotted 44 points, we’re going to go with Fresno State to cover…in a “squeaker.”

The confidence of the Bulldog offense following last week’s 66-point explosion means that the visitors are less likely to press. They’re unlikely to produce more than a FG in the 1st half, but can advance the football enough to keep Alabama out of its customary great field position for at least a few series.

And then it’s a race against time. But a 21-3 or 24-0 halftime lead should result in a final 35 or 40-point difference at most…easily winning for your ATS wager on Fresno.

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