It’s the question the entire college football is waiting to find out: Can anyone beat the Alabama Crimson Tide? We’ll find out over these next few weeks, but if you ask the folks in Vegas, the answer is an emphatic “nope!”
And on Thursday Vegas was back in the news, when the Golden Nugget announced what potential point spreads would be if Alabama faced the rest of the top five teams in the country, Ohio State, Michigan, Washington and Clemson.
The lines are below, but be warned fans of every team other than Alabama: It ain’t pretty.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
Alabama (-7) vs. Ohio State
Considering Ohio State is the No. 2 team in the country, and a club that many folks think can beat Alabama outright, seeing Ohio State listed as a touchdown underdog against the Crimson Tide is a bit surprising. Still, considering that Alabama was actually a 9.5 point favorite against Ohio State the last time these two teams played, we doubt Buckeyes’ fans care much. In case you forgot, Ohio State went on to win that game in the first ever College Football Playoff, on their way to a national championship.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Alabama (-7.5) vs. Clemson
Another somewhat surprising line considering these two teams played just nine months ago and Clemson hung tough, losing 45-40 in the 2016 national championship game. At the same time, while Alabama seems to be as good --- if not better --- than they were in that game, the Tigers appear to have regressed. They needed a missed field goal at the end of regulation to beat NC State last week at home.
Joshua S. KellyJoshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama (-8.5) vs. Michigan
Although “Saban vs. Meyer” has lots of appeal, plenty of fans are clamoring for “Saban vs. Harbaugh” especially after the two took verbal shots at each other last summer. But while Harbaugh has improved the Wolverines’ program by leaps and bounds since arriving less than two years ago, this point spread shows you how far his program has to go as well. Michigan is over a touchdown underdog, and the concern for Wolverines fans would have to be the passing game. Michigan ranks just 84th nationally in that category. It’s tough to move the ball against Alabama period, let alone when you’re as one-dimensional as the Wolverines offense is.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Alabama (-12.5) vs. Washington
And finally, there are Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies, who appear destined to win the Pac-12 and almost certainly make their first ever College Football Playoff this season. But while UDub is having a season to remember, it looks like they’d have a game to forget if they faced the Crimson Tide in the playoff. Like Texas A&M, they would be a healthy, double-digit underdog against Alabama.