Is 'Bama a sure playoff bet?
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Alabama's odds to make the playoffs in this upcoming college football season are currently set at 5/6. Are they a sure bet to make the final four?
The Crimson Tide finished last season on a sour note after a perfect 11-0 start, finishing with a loss in the Iron Bowl and to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide expects a national championship this season and anything less would be considered a disappointment for not only Nick Saban but also the massive following of the program.. You can bet Saban will have his team prepared as he looks to rebound from last season's tough ending.
Alabama has eight returning starters on offense and five returning starters on defense, with one of the biggest losses being decorated quarterback AJ McCarron. Alabama is set to boast a strong rushing attack thanks to T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, and Derrick Henry. The Tide will also have an NFL-caliber offensive line, which gives them a huge boost as well. The Tides' group of receivers including Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White, and Christion Jones should prove to be tops in the SEC. Looking over the Tides' roster it's full of seniors and you can expect these guys wanting to go out on a high note.
The starting quarterback position is up for grabs, but you could make the argument that losing McCarron isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This could allow Alabama to open up the playbook under new OC Lane Kiffin and perhaps challenge downfield more with former FSU transfer Jacob Coker (assuming he’s eventually named the starter by Saban).
The SEC is only getting tougher and looking over Alabama's schedule there is definitely some games that could trip them up. One game that sticks out is their scheduled meeting on the road versus Ole Miss on October 4th. I don't expect Alabama to finish with a perfect regular season, but you can take them to make the final four and not even sweat it.