Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’re undoubtedly aware that this Saturday fans will finally enjoy the long-awaited rematch between Johnny Football and the 6th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies and A.J. McCarron’s top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Last season, the Aggies traveled to Tuscaloosa as 13.5-point underdogs with a closing total of 54.5. Despite coming in as huge dogs, A&M rallied behind Manziel’s 345 total yards as the Aggies were able to break Alabama’s 13-game winning streak.
This year Alabama opened as an 8-point road favorite and, after seeing the line climb as high as 9.5, it has settled in across the marketplace at -7.5. However, it’s not the spread that has us intrigued — it’s the total.
Using our Bet Labs software, we used the “coach” filter to find out that since Kevin Sumlin took over at A&M, the Aggies have gone 34-25 ATS (+7.11 units) in games in which the total was 50 or higher. However, we were very curious to see how Alabama has fared in high-scoring games since Nick Saban took over as head coach.
Saban’s defenses routinely rank in the top ten nationally in numerous key statistics like points allowed, yards allowed and forced turnovers, so we assumed that there would not be many games in which the total exceeded 50. In fact, since 2007 Alabama has played in just 20 games in which the total was at least 50, with a record of just 7-13 in those contests. What makes things even more interesting is that Saturday’s total of 61 is the highest of any Alabama game during the Nick Saban era.
The screenshot below shows the past results for every game Nick Saban has coached in with a total of 50 or more.
UPDATE: As of 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday, 60% of spread bets have taken Alabama and the Crimson Tide are now between 8-point and 9-point favorites across the sports betting marketplace.
Ready to do your own Alabama/Texas A&M analysis? Try Bet Labs now for just $25 and get your systems in place for all of college football’s Week 3 slate of games.