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Miami (FL) vs. Alabama best bets

Nick Saban is as good as it gets in getting his team ready for Week 1 of the college football season. Miami will have their work cut out for them to keep this one close on Saturday.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban smiles and gives a thumbs up to the fans in the stands after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes at the College Football Playoff National Championship football on January 11, 2021 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will get their next hopeful run to a national title started on Saturday, September 4th against the Miami Hurricanes. The game will get started at 3:30 p.m. ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The last three Alabama quarterbacks will be starting in Week 1 of the NFL season, and their next man up is Bryce Young. The Crimson Tide’s offense is expected to regress in 2021, but that’s just because they set the bar so high over the past few seasons. Nick Saban has Alabama in a position where a decline in production could still be among the best units in the country. The last time we saw Miami quarterback D’Eriq King, he tore his ACL in the Cheez-It Bowl last December. He doesn’t appear to be limited heading into the first game of the year, and he will have to play the game of his life for the Hurricanes to keep this one close.

Updated SP+ per team

Miami (FL): 8 (15 Offense, 11 Defense)
Alabama: 1 (3 Offense, 3 Defense)

Injury update for both teams

Miami (FL)

QB D’Eriq King is probable (knee)
RB Donald Chaney Jr. is questionable (undisclosed)
S Avantae Williams is out indefinitely (disciplinary)

Alabama

WR John Metchie III is questionable (ankle)
TE Kendall Randolph is questionable (ankle)
DL LaBryan Ray is questionable (groin)
LB Quandarrius Robinson is out indefinitely (suspension)
WR Xavier Williams is out for the season (undisclosed)

ATS/Total

Alabama -19.5 (-110)
Total 61 (-110)

Bet Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook

Alabama: % of handle, % of bets
Over: % of handle, % of bets

Opening & current line

Opening line: Alabama -19
Current line: Alabama -19.5

Recruiting talent

Miami (FL)
Offense 7, Defense 14, Team 12
Alabama
Offense 1, Defense 1, Team 1

Recruiting production

Miami (FL)
Team 91% (12th of 130), Offense 91% (13), Defense 91% (19)
Alabama
Team 56% (124th of 130), Offense 34% (128), Defense 78% (69)

The pick: Alabama -19.5

I cannot go to bed confident on Friday night knowing I have to wake up to rooting against Nick Saban in a season opener, so we’re going with Alabama to cover this high point spread. No head coach gets his team ready for Week 1 better than him, and we’re betting the Tide cover in this spot. D’Eriq King should be primed for a big season for the Hurricanes, but Alabama has linebackers with the speed to keep him in check with his running ability.

It’s tough to know what should be taken away from the weird season that was 2020, but the Hurricanes really struggled against their toughest opponents last season with a 42-17 loss to the Clemson Tigers and were blown out by the North Carolina Tar Heels 62-26.

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