College Football Week 2 Odds: Texas at Alabama Preview, Picks, Predictions, Betting Tips

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
texas alabama odds

The ESPN College GameDay crew heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for not just the most anticipated game of the Week 2 slate, but one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire 2023 season. The No. 11 Texas Longhorns (1-0) visit the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0) as underdogs. Texas at Alabama, which features a point total set at across odds at the college football betting sites, kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. Jalen Milroe will get the nod again at quarterback for the Tide.

Alabama Vs. Texas Odds

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Alabama vs. Texas: Tale of the Tape

3.70 (17th)PPD4.67 (3rd)
0.33 (8th)PPD/A0.00 (1st)
5.9 (33rd)YPP6.5 (23rd)
3.3 (8th)YPP/A3.3 (7th)
0-0Away/Home Record1-0

Alabama Crimson Tide Preview

Alabama’s offseason was occupied by how the Tide planned to replace Heisman-winning QB Bryce Young. No QB on their roster stood out as a favorite and Milroe and Ty Simpson struggled in their spring exhibition game. Tyler Buchner joined the fold, following his offensive coordinator Tommy Rees down from Notre Dame. When the Week 1 depth chart against Middle Tennessee dropped, there was a four-way “OR” battle at first – one that also included true freshman Dylan Longeran. Tongue-in-cheek as it was meant to bet, Milroe got the start.

But this isn’t your father’s Alabama Crimson Tide – or, maybe it is. In their season warmup, Alabama rushed the ball on 60% of offensive plays, the 10th-highest clip among non-service academies. A stable of backs led by Jase McClellan and Justice Haynes will almost certainly see the bulk of the workload in 2023. The offensive line will get a much better test against Texas’ front this week than against MTSU. In Week 1, they led Alabama to a 53% success rate and 6.1 yards per carry.

Few teams nationally roster enough weapons on defense to amply match up with Texas on paper. One of those teams is indeed Alabama. In Week 1, the Tide stopped 11 MTSU rushes at or before two yards (48%). The Tide field one of the nation’s top secondaries, led by All-American Kool-Aid McKinstry. Freshman safety Caleb Downs also figures to be key in both the run and pass game against Texas.

Keep an eye on safeties Malachi Moore and Jaylen Key, neither of whom are guaranteed to play Saturday with undisclosed injuries. Rotational receiver Emmanuel Henderson is out for the Tide.

Texas Longhorns Team Preview

Understandably, Texas went vanilla against their Week 1 opponent, Rice. Quinn Ewers & Co. didn’t want to put anything on tape for their upcoming opponent and the goal was to keep everyone healthy. However, that led to a sluggish 16-3 halftime lead over Rice. The Longhorns posted just a 22% success rate and a paltry 17% on third down. In the second half, the Longhorns picked it up and sealed a 37-10 victory.

Of course, the 20-19 controversial loss last year in Austin remains potent in the minds of Texas. Ewers suffered an injury that derailed much of his production, as well. Steve Sarkisian knows Alabama well and would love nothing more than to steal one in Tuscaloosa.

The Longhorns field one of the best offensive lines in the country. However, that unit generated less than a yard of push per rush against Rice (0.97 line yards/rush). Against the defensive front with the pedigree of Alabama, Texas will need a much cleaner game in the trenches.

Linebackers and safeties will be stretched against Alabama’s offense. Milroe’s biggest strength is his legs, showcased by a pair of rushing scores in Week 1. Freshman Anthony Hill and Jahdae Brown will be the primary scramble stoppers come Saturday.

Bluechip back CJ Baxter left last week’s win with an injury but returned to practice Monday. His status is not yet confirmed and should be monitored.

Week 2: Alabama Vs. Texas Preview

Alabama climbed to the No. 1 spot in many power ratings systems this week, including Kelley Ford’s KFord Ratings. Ford’s ratings pin Alabama as a 12.5-point favorite. Other respected systems favor Alabama by far more than their spread, including SP+ (-12.5), FPI (-12.7), and Sagarin (-10). TheLines aggregate power ratings favor Alabama by -11.5.

And yet, the spread has remained almost perfectly steady since opening in May.

The Tide carry a 56-game non-conference win streak into this game. Against the spread in non-conference games against Power Five opponents, Alabama has a smashing 13-2-1 record (81.3%). Famously, Nick Saban has a 28-2 record against former assistants, only toppled by Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart in 2021. Sark was on the Alabama staff in 2016 and 2019-20 as offensive coordinator.

This game likely comes down to a live bet for myself. Milroe looked like a star against a hapless Middle Tennessee defense, but does that continue against a terrific Texas defensive front seven? Can he bail the Tide out when things go sideways and without an elite cast of receivers? If the answer to those questions is yes early on, then I’ll consider a bet on the Tide live.

HOW KFord RatingS Project Texas at Alabama Odds

Find Kelley Ford’s work here at TheLines all college football season long!

“My numbers favor Alabama on both sides of the ball, and this game is in Tuscaloosa. I’m sure Texas was holding things back last week, as to not put it all on tape for Alabama to study, but I the Longhorns are going to need to dig deep into their bag of tricks to pull off the upset. The last time Saban lost at home was to Joe Burrow’s LSU Tigers in 2019.

Bottom line, I have Alabama -12.5 at home, which equates to an 81% win expectancy for the Crimson Tide.”

Kelley Ford, TheLines College Football Podcast

WATCH! TheLines College Football Podcast: Week 2 Preview

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