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College Football Lines




Saban still not satisfied
2013-04-22

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. Spring practice is finished for Alabama, and coach Nick Saban is less than satisfied with his team, as usual.

It really wasnt because of those nine turnovers in Saturdays spring game, either. Saban said some Crimson Tide players are too comfortable with their circumstances, but he notes that he found cause for discontent at springs end for each of the three national championship teams in the past four years.

Unabashed praise just isnt his spring thing.

I spoke to a bunch of different alumni groups [Saturday] and they all want me to make a comparison between this years team and last years team and the team before that and the team before that, Saban said after the A-Day game. I wasnt happy with any of those teams at this point.

If I was happy with them, we wouldnt have summer conditioning, we would not have fall camp, we wouldnt have 30 practices to get ready for our first game against Virginia Tech. Wed just pack it in and say, All right, lets go to Atlanta and play the game. Were not there yet.

Bama has more than four months before that opener in the Georgia Dome to get there.

AJ McCarron completed 19 of 30 passes for 223 yards and a 40-yard touchdown to Kenny Bell but also was intercepted twice before an announced crowd of 78,315. McCarrons White team won 17-14 against the Crimson, led by the first-team defense.

The offenses combined for six interceptions and three lost fumbles, mistakes that Saban said werent characteristic of the spring as a whole. He roamed the field surveying the action in slacks and a sports coat.

The biggest thing that I was concerned about is how would the team go out there, he said. What would be their energy, their enthusiasm and their attention to detail. Mental intensity. I dont think that there were enough guys that answered that question in a positive way to my liking. But Im never satisfied.

T.J. Yeldon had 69 yards rushing, 60 receiving and scored the winning touchdown on a 7-yard run with 1:04 left to earn MVP honors of the spring game for the second consecutive year. The 1,000-yard rusher is set to replace potential first-round NFL draft pick Eddie Lacy.

McCarron set up the winning score with a 50-yard pass to Christion Jones, who played both receiver and cornerback as he has all spring.

Alec Morris led a drive down to the White 11 in the final minute but threw two incompletions to end the game while going for the win instead of the tie. The winners get a steak dinner and the losers beans and weenies.

Its unclear what the menu would be for a draw.

Alabama played seven quarterbacks and kept with the coaches plan to get a bunch of reserves in the game in the third quarter.

Blake Sims, last years No. 2 quarterback, completed 5 of 10 passes for 52 yards but was intercepted by Nick Perry on each of the first two drives. Early enrollee Cooper Bateman, a highly recruited freshman, had two of his three attempts picked off.

McCarron cautions against making too much of those mistakes.

Its just like playing in an all-star game, he said. You dont get in a rhythm. Its not a real game, but its fun. Its fun to go out there and try to make plays happen and get to do some trick plays and stuff.

McCarron had an interception returned 86 yards for a touchdown by safety Vinnie Sunseri on the final play before halftime and chased him all the way to the goal line. Since he was in a black, non-contact jersey, McCarron only needed to get two hands on him.

AJ almost caught me, Sunseri said. I never would have heard the end of that.

Like their coach, Sunseri & Co. left spring with high ambitions and standards going into next season.

Were trying to be an unbelievable team, Sunseri said. With coach Saban there, hes definitely going to let us know when we mess up. Thats what we need. Weve got a great leader. Weve got a great quarterback. And weve got a lot of guys that are surrounding him trying to do something special.




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2015-04-15

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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers Betting Odds and Preview
2010-11-05

Sportsbook.com Alabama vs. LSU Lines: Alabama -6.5, Total: 44

Two one-loss SEC teams coming off a bye, clash in Baton Rouge with the hope keeping national championship dreams alive. Alabama can boost its BCS resume if it beats LSU, then No. 21 Mississippi State and finally Auburn ranked second in the BCS.

LSU needs to beat Alabama, Ole Miss and No. 17 Arkansas (and hope Auburn loses) to have a shot at the SEC title. But all these wins won’t be easy; LSU has the worst November ATS record (3-12) among BCS schools over the past four seasons. Obviously the college football betting crowd is aware of this as 89 percent of Alabama vs. LSU point spread bettors are backing the Tide.

Alabama leads the all-time series 45-23-5 (66%), but the teams have split the past 18 meetings. Other than surrendering 35 points to South Carolina, the Crimson Tide defense has not allowed any of their other seven opponents to score more than 20 points.

Although they are known for their rushing attack, Alabama has just as many 300-yard passing games (four) as 200-yard rushing games (four) this season. QB Greg McElroy has not thrown an interception in his past four games, which is a span of 108 pass attempts. He threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 24-15 win over LSU last season.

RB Mark Ingram also had a big day against LSU in 2009 (144 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards), but he has struggled a bit this season. Ingram has not rushed for 100 yards in any of his past four games, averaging just 59 YPG on 4.5 YPC. He averaged 118 rush YPG and 6.1 YPC in last year’s Heisman-winning season.

LSU entered its last game against Auburn ranked as the sixth-best rushing defense in the nation (84 YPG), but was steamrolled for 440 rushing yards (8.5 YPC) in the 24-17 loss to Auburn. It won’t get much easier against an Alabama team with Ingram and Trent Richardson carrying the pigskin.

On offense, LSU has been pretty weak this year. The Tigers rank 113th in passing offense (139 YPG), 101st in total offense (318 YPG) and 73rd in scoring (25.5 PPG). Junior RB Stevan Ridley began the season averaging 111 rushing YPG in his first five games, but that number has been cut in half to 55 YPG over his past three contests. QB Jordan Jefferson has not thrown a touchdown pass in seven straight games, but has tossed seven interceptions during these 101 pass attempts.

After checking out some college football betting trends at Sportsbook.com, most of the numbers are pointing towards Alabama covering the point spread.

The road team is 13-3-2 ATS (12-6 SU) in the past 18 meetings, with Alabama posting an 8-1 ATS record in the past nine games at LSU

Les Miles is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) in home games versus good rushing defenses - allowing <=120 rushing yards/game as the coach of LSU. The average score was LSU 27.3, OPPONENT 21.7 - (Rating = 4*).

As far as the ‘total’ is concerned, these two betting trends indicate the ‘under’ is the way to go and Sportsbook.com’s bettors agree as 74 percent of the cash is on the ‘under’.

LSU is 8-0 UNDER (+8.0 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LSU 23.5, OPPONENT 10.4 - (Rating = 3*).

Play Under - Road teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 (ALABAMA) - dominant team - outgaining their opponents by 125 or more yards/game, after outgaining opp by 225 or more total yards in their previous game. (35-11 over the last 10 seasons.) (76.1%, +22.9 units. Rating = 3*).

To bet on this game or to check out all of this weekend’s college football betting lines, head over to Sportsbook.com now.


CFB: BCS Championship Game: TEXAS vs. ALABAMA (8:10 PM ET, FOX)
2010-01-07

Only one of the last five BCS Championship games was decided by single digits. That game was also the last time the title contest was held in Pasadena. Texas is hoping for an encore performance of that magical night, a 41-38 upset of USC behind quarterback Vince Young. It’s Colt McCoy’s turn now, as he plays his final game for the Longhorns. They are the underdog though, of 3.5-points according to Sportsbook.com. The line has generated heavy action, and over 80% of it has come in on Alabama, according to the BETTING TRENDS page.

He is undefeated in bowl games, part of a five-game bowl winning streak for head coach Mack Brown’s club. Alabama hopes to make the SEC proud by giving the league its sixth title game SU and ATS victory versus no defeats. The Crimson Tide are just 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS in their L8 bowl games, though. They are 5.5-point favorites and the chalk has won two straight title games, snapping a stretch of five straight upsets.

Alabama and Texas have racked up quite a few trophies during the past month. Both teams desperately want to add one more.

In a star-studded, powerhouse matchup of unbeaten teams, the top-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 2 Longhorns meet for the BCS championship at the Rose Bowl on Thursday night.

While fellow undefeated teams TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State may have felt slighted by being shut out of the title game, the BCS could not have delivered a more high-profile matchup. Coach Nick Saban's Tide feature Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and six first-team All-Americans, while Mack Brown's Longhorns rely on star quarterback Colt McCoy and an equally loaded roster.

Texas (13-0) is seeking its second BCS championship in five years.

Texas, though, faces a daunting task against Alabama (13-0), which dominated defending BCS champion Florida 32-13 in the SEC title game Dec. 5, snapping the then-No. 1 Gators' 22-game winning streak.

No Tide player had more success this season than Ingram, who rushed for a school-record 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns. The sophomore ran for 113 yards and three scores against Florida to help him claim college football's highest individual honor - the first Heisman for an Alabama player.

Ingram is hoping to lead Alabama to its first national title since 1992.

While the Tide try to pound Texas into submission with a ground game that ranks 12th nationally with 215.8 yards per game, their focus on defense will be McCoy.

The senior, who returned to school this year with hopes of winning a national championship, threw for 3,512 yards and 27 touchdowns while completing 70.5 percent of his passes. The Maxwell Award winner as the nation's best all-around player, who also won the Walter Camp player of the year award, McCoy directs a passing attack that was tied for 14th in the nation with 279.7 yards a game.

McCoy's top target is receiver Jordan Shipley, who had 106 catches for 1,363 yards and 11 scores, though Malcolm Williams, James Kirkendoll and Dan Butler all contributed at least 445 yards receiving.

McCoy also was Texas' second-leading rusher with 348 yards behind Tre' Newton (513), and Cody Johnson rushed for 12 touchdowns. The Longhorns' deep and versatile attack, though, should get its stiffest test of the season from an imposing Alabama defense.
Paced by Butkus Award winner Rolando McClain, the Tide were No. 1 in the country in scoring defense at 11.0 points per game and second in total defense at 241.8 yards a contest. McClain piled up a team-high 101 tackles - 12 1/2 for a loss - along with four sacks and two interceptions.

Alabama boasts a formidable secondary, led by Javier Arenas (12 tackles for loss, five sacks) and Mark Barron (seven interceptions). Sophomore defensive end Marcell Dareus recorded a team-high 6 1/2 of the Tide's 31 sacks.

Defense isn't exactly a weak spot for the Longhorns, either. They ranked first in the country with 62.9 rushing yards allowed per contest and third with 251.8 yards given up per game.

That could put pressure on Alabama's efficient quarterback, Greg McElroy, to come up with a big performance. The junior, who passed for 2,450 yards with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions, faces a Texas team allowing 188.9 yards per game through the air - 23rd in the nation.

The Longhorns topped the Football Bowl Subdivision with 24 interceptions, led by junior Earl Thomas with eight - tied for second in the country - and fellow safety Blake Gideon with five. Texas forced those INTs in part because of a pass rush that racked up 41 sacks, paced by Sam Acho (nine) and Lamarr Houston (seven).

The Longhorns, of course, barely made it to Pasadena, narrowly avoiding an upset by Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game with a 13-12 victory Dec. 5. Hunter Lawrence kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired after McCoy and Texas nearly allowed the clock to run out on an incomplete pass on the previous play.

A 2008 loss to Texas Tech, coming on an improbable touchdown pass with 1 second left, likely kept the Longhorns from playing for the championship.

Texas did not handle Nebraska's fierce pass rush well, allowing McCoy to be sacked nine times, and Brown hinted at lineup changes after what he saw as a team-wide subpar performance against the Cornhuskers - especially with Alabama's formidable pass rush up next.

Alabama has played in an NCAA-record 57 bowl games and is tied with USC for the most wins with 31. Texas has the second-most bowl appearances with 49.

The Longhorns have dominated the Tide in eight meetings, going 7-0-1. The last matchup came in the 1982 Cotton Bowl, a 14-12 Texas win.

StatFox Steve has this to say about the game: Ask yourself this…throughout this entire season, was there ever a point where you said: Alabama is clearly this year’s national champion? Now sure the Tide has looked dominant at points, but there were also several times where their offense looked like a middle of the pack unit. Texas certainly never had that problem up until the Big 12 championship game. The key is the Longhorns still won, thus setting up a battle of unbeaten teams. In that sense, is one team clearly better than the other here? I say no, and in a game of such high stakes, laying the points with the lesser offensive club just doesn’t make sense. The StatFox Outplay Factor Ratings show Texas at +28.5, Alabama at +22.7. The wrong team may be favored.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Series Trend: It’s no secret that the SEC is in search of its fourth straight national title. What people might not know, however, is that SEC teams have never lost in the BCS Championship game in five tries overall, three times pulling the upset as underdogs. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five title games. If the Big 12 has anything going in its favor, and Texas in particular, it’s that the last time this game was played in Pasadena was the famed Texas win over USC in ’05.