Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Free Pick
Saturday, Aug. 31, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
NCAAF Betting Odds: BetAnySports
Pointspread: Alabama -20
Total Line: 45.5
Alabama will begin its quest of a third-straight national title in this season’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The last time we saw this team in action it was putting the finishing touches on a 42-14 romp over Notre Dame as a 10-point neutral-site favorite in last season’s BCS title game. The Tide finished the season 13-1 straight-up but they were a very average team against the spread at 7-7. The total went OVER in five of six games away from home.
All eyes will be on senior quarterback AJ McCarron in this season opener as he assumes a bigger role in an offense that has been primarily known for its running game during its last two title runs. Last season he threw for 2,933 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 67.2 percent of his passes. Alabama will still be able to effectively run the ball with TJ Yeldon, who was the second-leading rusher behind Eddie Lacy last year with 1,108 yards. It will also remain extremely hard to score against with a good chunk of talent back from a unit that was ranked first in the nation in average points allowed (10.9).
Give credit to Virginia Tech for taking on such a stiff test to start the new season, especially coming off a less than stellar 2012 campaign in which it went 7-6 SU overall and just 4-4 SU in the ACC. The Hokies were murder to wager on last year with a 4-9 record ATS that included an 0-5 ATS record away from home. The total went an even 6-6 on the year, but it did go OVER in three of those five road games.
The one plus for Virginia Tech’s offense is the return of Logan Thomas at quarterback. He did look shaky at times last season throwing the ball with a completion percentage of just 51.3 and 16 interceptions verse 18 touchdown passes, but he proved to be effective with his legs with another 524 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. The Hokies did a decent job on defense by holding their opponents to an average of 22.8 points a game, but the offense struggled at times with just 25.1 points a game.
This is an obvious mismatch on paper that is destined to spill over onto the field this Saturday night. The only thing in Virginia Tech’s favor is the neutral site, but that will not be nearly enough to keep this game closer than 20 points.
Alabama 37 Virginia Tech 13