Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Waddle.
Alabama at Missouri Odds
|Alabama Odds||-27.5 [BET NOW]|
|Missouri Odds||+27.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||56 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:00 p.m. ET|
New Regime at Mizzou
Missouri will be under new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz, who has no issue sharing COVID-19 results. One of the best decisions Drinkwitz made was to retain defensive coordinator Ryan Walters, who is largely regarded as a rising star under former head coach Barry Odom.
Missouri finished third in defensive success rate last season, but the Tigers failed to deliver high marks in havoc and containing explosiveness. The toughest task will be taking on an Alabama team that missed the College Football Playoff last season.
Evaluating Mac Jones, Alabama’s Next Man Up at QB
Mac Jones returns at quarterback for Alabama following Tua Tagovailoa’s departure from the program. A deeper dive on “Tua’s backup” reveals that Jones was actually more than efficient under center for the Tide:
There was not a drop in efficiency when the blitz was aimed at Jones — a more impressive feat when you consider the bulk of his playing time came against Alabama’s toughest opponents. Jones had a 62% completion rate over 52 pass attempts that went longer than 10 yards. Jaylen Waddle and a host of other Crimson Tide targets should feast during the 2020 season.
Alabama returns 60% of a defense that finished 37th in success rate. Those aren’t necessarily the numbers that Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Pete Golding are looking for, but this will be the first time in Saban’s tenure that the Crimson Tide enter the season without injury. Golding has led havoc-minded defenses since his days at Southern Miss and UTSA.
Betting Analysis & Pick
As for the number, our projections are well below the market number — and for good reason. This is a terrible matchup for Missouri, which is installing fresh schemes under new coaches. Having COVID-19 breakouts through camp and a five-way battle at quarterback have not helped the perception of this team either.
The one worry with Alabama covering this inflated number is the offense going vanilla with Texas A&M on deck. The first half is also inflated, but one of the sharpest plays on Alabama football over the last several years is to play the first half spread in these four-touchdown contests. Nick Saban has been very profitable in first-half double-digit spreads up to three touchdowns since 2012:
The Bet: Alabama +15.5 First Half