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College Football Betting Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

September 2, 2023


The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders finished last season with a record of 8-5 and a record of 4-4 in Conference USA which led to a tie for 4th place in the conference and an appearance in the Hawaii Bowl in which the Blue Raiders defeated the San Diego State Aztecs by a score of 25-23. 

Rick Stockstill enters his 18th season as the head coach for Middle Tennessee State and is tied for the 4th longest-tenured coach in college football. Middle Tennessee State enters the season with an over/under win total of 6.5 wins which means the Blue Raiders are projected to make a bowl game for the 3rd consecutive year and based on Vegas odds are projected to be the 3rd best team in Conference USA only behind the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Liberty Flames as they are +350 to win the Conference USA Championship.

Alabama missed the college football playoffs for the first time since the 2019 season finishing with a record of 10-2 in the regular season and an SEC record of 6-2, however, the Crimson Tide lost the tiebreaker against the LSU Tigers for the SEC Championship game after losing to them in the regular season which marked the first time that Alabama did not play in the SEC Championship game since the 2019 season. 

The Crimson Tide enter this season with the 2nd best odds to win a National Championship only behind the Georgia Bulldogs as they are +550 to win the SEC, have an over/under win total of 10 wins, and based on Vegas odds are projected to be the 2nd best team in the SEC only behind the Georgia Bulldogs. 

However, Alabama has a lot of questions on both sides of the ball and has not announced who their starter will be this season. I expect both Jalen Milroe and Tyler Buchner to see significant playing time in the season opener on Saturday. 

BookMaker has the Alabama Crimson Tide listed as 39-point favorites at home against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Saturday for week 1 of the college football season. Alabama has dominated the series winning all three games all-time by an average score of 34 to 17, however, Middle Tennessee State has been the better team at covering the spread in the series going 3-0 ATS all-time. 

Middle Tennessee State finished last season with a record of 6-6-1 ATS overall, 3-4 ATS on the road, and 5-4 ATS as an underdog while Alabama finished 6-6-1 ATS overall, 4-2-1 ATS at home, and 6-6-1 ATS as a favorite.

Alabama is the better team and has been the better team in the series, winning all three games. However, the Crimson Tide will be using this game to figure out starting positions which means Alabama could look inconsistent at times on offense in this game. 

The Blue Raiders have been the better team at covering the spread going 3-0 ATS in the series. As a result, I am taking the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders +39 on the road against the Alabama Crimson Tide on BookMaker for week 1 of the college football season. 

Spooky Express Pick: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders +39

Written By: Daniel Newton