Texas vs Alabama Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Staff’s Top Picks for Saturday’s Spread & Total
Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama’s Jordan Battle.
Texas vs Alabama Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
By Dan Keegan
In Week 1, we got to watch a game between two bluebloods that had rarely met on the field before. In Week 2, we get a similar matchup.
Alabama and Texas square off on Saturday for only the 10th time in these two schools’ rich histories.
Texas has a 7-1-1 advantage all-time against the Tide, but Alabama has the most recent win, when Nick Saban won his first of many titles in Tuscaloosa.
Saban has assembled another Death Star roster. Bryce Young is a superlaser, distributing the ball to a fleet of playmakers. Young has an innate feel for the pocket, and it’s a joy to watch his slight frame move around in subtle ways to create opportunities to zip the ball to his target.
The Tide offense should have its way on Saturday against a rebuilding Texas defense. There are some talented Longhorns on that side of the ball for coordinator Pete Kwiakowski, but it’s nothing like the institutional culture that Saban has built.
Texas’ Steve Sarkisian has a stable of playmakers at his disposal, and he will need to reach deep into his bag of tricks to become only the third former Saban apprentice to knock off the emperor. If anyone has the blueprint to defeat this fully-armed and operational battle station, it might be Sark.
With Bijan Robinson and Xavier Worthy, the playmaking wattage shines just as bright from the Texas side. Getting the ball to Worthy, Robinson and company will fall on the much-ballyhooed arm of Quinn Ewers.
Ewers will be playing his second full college football game against a host of mean, nasty and chiseled Alabama defenders. It might take a great shot from the kid — a one-in-a-million type of game — for the Longhorns to pick up the win on Saturday.
The line opened at Alabama -14.5 and quickly moved to 20. The total sits around 65.5. We polled 15 of our college football writers on these lines to give you the best angles to bet this matchup.
Texas vs Alabama Point Spread
After Nick Saban characterized last season’s runner-up finish as a rebuilding year, Alabama looks to be back in the national title hunt again and with a better team — even by Saban’s ridiculously high standards.
Last week, the Tide made quick work of Utah State, winning in Tuscaloosa, 55-0. A bulk of the damage occurred in the first half with Alabama putting up 41 points before halftime.
The Tide slowed things down in the second half on offense after Utah State was handily put away, but the defense remained dialed in.
Even though the Tide took their foot off of the gas, Alabama quarterback and Heisman front runner Bryce Young completed 64.2% of his passes for 195 yards and five touchdowns. Young also added a score on the ground, contributing 36 of the team’s 55 total points.
One has to wonder what kind of numbers Young would have been capable of putting up if he hadn’t been removed early in the third quarter.
The Tide held Utah State quarterback Logan Bonner to just 39 passing yards all game after he went for 281 yards against UConn in Week 0.
Bonner threw just nine passes, and the Aggies focused on the run; however, the Tide were just as successful stymieing the run game. Alabama held the Aggies to just 79 yards on 37 carries — good for 2.1 yards per carry.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers had a respectable showing in his Week 1 debut for the Longhorns, going 16-of-24 for 225 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Ewers, the Ohio State transfer who took just two snaps for the Buckeyes, will need to increase his productivity appreciably if the Longhorns stand any chance to cover against a focused Alabama team.
We didn’t learn a lot about Texas’ defense last week as it faced a Louisiana-Monroe offense that finished 110th nationally in scoring offense the previous season. But we do know the Longhorns were extremely porous at times in 2021 and finished 99th nationally in points allowed last season.
It’s early in the season and Vegas is handicapping primarily based on last season’s numbers, but there are plenty of data points to suggest this matchup in Austin will work out to be an easy afternoon for the Saban-led Tide.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention an important technical trend that speaks to Saban’s methodical preparation. Since 2015, Alabama is a cool 6-0 against the spread versus nonconference Power Five foes. Lay the chalk in Austin.
Staff Pick: Alabama -20.5
Texas vs Alabama Over/Under
We’re going to skip right over the overplayed “Saban’s protégé” angle between Steve Sarkisian and his former boss — especially since experience working under Saban seems to be a mandatory requirement for top jobs.
Instead, we’ll jump into the featured matchup between Heisman front runner Young and highly-touted transfer Ewers.
This nationally-televised matchup will showcase Young in his second season as a starter after winning the Heisman juxtaposed next to Ewers and his tremendous upside.
Young picked up right where he left off last season, throwing for 195 yards and five touchdowns against Utah State in Week 1. He added 100 yards on the ground and another touchdown rushing.
Alabama appears to have completely reloaded on offense after losing last year’s top two wide receivers and leading running back. Given Young’s maturation, Alabama’s offensive unit looks to be even better than last year’s team that finished sixth in scoring offense with 39.9 points per game.
Ewers, a redshirt freshman, will have his plate full in Austin on Saturday. Making just the second start of his career, Ewers will be called upon to produce early and often if there’s any chance of hanging with his counterpart.
Spoiler — there’s not. But Ewers is a generational talent, and Sarkisian had the Longhorns scoring 35.3 points per game last season.
Texas will surely present a challenge that’s materially harder than what Alabama faced in Utah State last week. Look for Ewers and the Longhorns’ returning talent from to benefit from newly-added depth on the offensive line.
Unfortunately for Texas, Alabama will come into Saturday’s game with one of the best defenses in the country. The Tide, led by linebacker Will Anderson, Jr., finished as the 18th-ranked defense (20.1 PPG) in the nation and showed signs of dominance after blanking Utah State last week.
The Texas defense will be pushed to its limit. There are big question marks surrounding the Longhorns’ defense after finishing 99th (31.1 PPG) last year, but defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski was given another year to right the ship.
The defense looked good on the stat line in the Week 1 matchup against ULM, but the Warhawks possess an anemic offense that will be a night-and-day difference compared to Alabama.
The key question for this bet is how much the Texas offense will contribute to the total. We know Alabama has the ability to essentially score at will and are projecting that Ewers’ offense will be capable of 24-28 points.
A total team score of 20 or higher puts the game total easily in play. Take the over in Austin.