NCAA football gambling handicappers and odds makers have made the Tide the top NCAA football wagering choice on futures bets to repeat as BCS champions.
Alabama returns 8 starters on offense led by senior quarterback Greg McElroy.
There is concern by some regarding the defense as 9 starters depart but head coach Nick Saban’s recruiting has been at a top 5 level and there are plenty of elite replacements ready for to play in a defensive system that has allowed 14 points or less per game the past two seasons.
McElroy meanwhile is one of the most consistent quarterbacks in college football as he completed 61% of his passes last year for 2508 yards and a 17/4 TD/INT ratio.
His top 3 receivers all return as do the top 2 running backs led by 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, a junior that ran for 1658 yards, a 6.1 yards per carry average, and 17 touchdowns.
Alabama’s board value with the college football odds will be another cause for concern with handicappers. The Crimson Tide got the money 9 out of 13 times last year and was 9-5 against the spread in 2008 to rank as one of the most profitable teams on the board.
The Tide has been particularly tough on the road with a mark of 6-1 against the spread the past 2 seasons.
With their status as a traditional national power and their reputation as a top championship contender that has lost 2 games in 2 years, the Tide will attract a lot of public money that will drive down their overall board value and make them a potential overlay.
Another cause for concern with Alabama is a trio of games with the college football lines that could be dangerous. The Tide will visit a dangerous Arkansas team September 25, host top contender Florida October 2, and then travel to South Carolina October 9 to face a Gamecock team that had 2 weeks to prepare.
While the SEC has the NCAA football gambling reputation of being the best league in the nation there is a dropoff after Alabama and Florida. Saban has raised the level of expectations to perfection and the Tide is loaded with top shelf recruits for another title run in 2010.