Alabama vs Middle Tennessee Odds, Picks, Prediction: Will Tide Roll?

Alabama vs Middle Tennessee Odds, Picks, Prediction: Will Tide Roll? article feature image

Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama vs Middle Tennessee Odds

September 2
7:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Alabama Odds
-105o / -115u
Middle Tennessee Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

No. 4 Alabama opens the 2023 season under the lights in Tuscaloosa, Alabama against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Saturday.

For a Nick Saban-led team, the Crimson Tide seem to be flying under the radar this year.

Meanwhile, longtime coach Rick Stockstill has guided his program to back-to-back bowl game victories, but he'll be tasked with replacing key pieces from those teams.

Everyone has their eyes on Alabama’s Week 2 game, and this could open the door for potential betting value in this opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Alabama Crimson Tide

MTSU is not the only team in this game that'll be making a change at quarterback, as Alabama enters the season with a lot of questions at the key position.

With Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young leaving for the NFL, Saban has held an open battle all preseason between Jalen Milroe, Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson, but Milroe has seemingly emerged victorious and will start Saturday.

To add to the questions on the offensive side of the ball, the Crimson Tide also brought in a new offensive coordinator in Tommy Rees, who spent the last three years at Notre Dame.

The coaching changes don’t end there. Rees is joined by veteran defensive mind Kevin Steele, who's returning as Saban’s defensive coordinator for his second stint. Alabama also brings in Coleman Hutzler to coach the special teams unit.

All of this uncertainty has resulted in the Tide’s lowest preseason ranking in a decade, and the first time the program is not the preseason favorite in the SEC since 2015.

However, I wouldn’t be so quick to count out all of the talent Saban is still bringing in on a yearly basis.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Entering his 18th season at the school, Stockstill is the fourth-longest tenured coach in the country, and he's led MTSU to 10 bowl games over this span.

The big issue that Stockstill will have this year is replacing quarterback Chase Cunningham, who's been a starter for the Blue Raiders over the last two seasons.

Luckily, redshirt sophomore Nicholas Vattiato does have experience in the program, making six starts over his two years. He should be the leader to take over the job after being named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and capturing the Bahamas Bowl offensive MVP in 2021.

Middle Tennessee will also be without its top three receivers from a year ago, which was a trio that combined for over 1,800 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

The Blue Raiders do have a reason for positivity on the defensive side of the ball, as eight starters are back from 2022. With this experience, they have a shot at being one of the better defenses in the C-USA, but the unit will be put to the test in this opener.

Alabama vs Middle Tennessee

Betting Pick & Prediction

When I dive into this game, I see two programs that'll be making fresh starts on the offensive side of the ball, with especially big questions at quarterback.

It leads me to the total, which has been dropping since it opened at 55 points over the summer. As long as we can get this number at anything 51 or above, I will be playing the under as my best bet in this contest.

I would not drop below the key number of 51, which was listed as the second-most common total in Collin Wilson’s research over the summer.

Beyond the offensive turnover on both sides, the situation sets up a spot where I don’t see the Crimson Tide opening up the playbook with Texas on deck next week.

If you also have game plan that includes rotating in all of the quarterbacks, it really doesn’t scream a strong offensive showing from Alabama.

As for the visitors, I'm not expecting the Blue Raiders to score much in this game, and if their defense can just do enough on a hot night in Bryant-Denny Stadium, I could see this being a low-scoring affair.

For an added look, I will be monitoring the start of this game as a possible spot to target a live under, especially if Alabama scores points early.

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