Outkick Bets: Betting Alabama/Cincinnati

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The first College Football Playoff Semifinal features a portion of my dream: access by a team in a conference most people do not believe deserves entry. Cincinnati has broken thru and awaiting them is the ultimate test not of this season, but the past fifteen years in the sport. The selection committee may or may not be making a point but regardless, let’s look at the game and my favorite play of the entire college football season.

Here’s the positive for the Bearcats: they get to play for the natty. The negative: they draw the very worst possible matchup. As much as Alabama got dogged during SEC Championship Week, they forgot the foundation of Alabama is elite playmakers and top end interior talent. The Tide has the best offensive and defensive player in the country. They lead the 6th ranked total offense and 9th ranked total defense. Cincinnati’s defense is ranked 8th… but the separation between the two is one-third of a yard and in terms of scoring defense, the separation is just four points. That, is just the numbers and you and I have seen the differing levels of competition to accumulate those numbers.

Cincinnati is a ferocious defense also in causing turnovers (29) and are third in the country in that aspect. Alabama is not mistake prone that way, losing only 10 turnovers and only four have been interceptions.

Here, however, is the main reason why I am on Alabama -13.5 and have made it my biggest bet of the college football season. Since being the head coach at Alabama, which includes 2007 which a lot of scholars want to ignore in his stats, Nick Saban is a monster with more than two weeks to prepare for a game. What we are talking about is season openers and bowl games (playoff semifinal where applicable). He is 26-3 overall. He has won 13 in a row. He has outscored opponents 1,070-437 and outscored them by an average of 21.8 points per game. His teams have scored 30+ twenty-four times and 40+ eleven times. Finally, for me, the capper, despite all of the heavy spreads, Saban is 22-7 ATS which is 75.9%.

It’s not complicated. Nick Saban cannot be given extra time to prepare for anyone, period and usually when he gets that time, he finds the ways to annihilate his opponent. Cincinnati is good, but they are not as talented, not as deep and are going against the greatest modern coach of all time. Alabama -13.5.

Written by Arky Shea

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