Nick Saban’s absence affecting Alabama-Georgia line, national title odds

Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /

With the news of Nick Saban missing the Alabama-Georgia football game due to testing positive for the coronavirus, the odds are moving all over the place.

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban will miss Saturday’s SEC showdown when the Crimson Tide host the Georgia Bulldogs after he revealed he tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon.

Prior to the diagnosis, Alabama was a 6.5-point favorite over Georgia but after the news came out that he won’t be on the sideline for the biggest game of the weekend, and possibly the year, the odds are shrinking, and not just for the game vs. Georgia.

According to the line for Alabama-Georgia shrunk to 4, which is a considerable shift with the loss of a coach. Typically, you’ll see big line movements when there is a player injured, such as a star quarterback, running back or a team’s best defender. Rarely, do you ever see a game where a coach can’t coach, but this is 2020, and Saban’s absence is just the latest instance where a coach wasn’t able to be on the sidelines because of COVID-19.

Alabama’s title odds hurt with Nick Saban’s COVID diagnosis

“Some of the movement is due to an overreaction by the betting public, but we certainly don’t trust Steve Sarkisian standing on the sidelines and making decisions as much as we do Nick Saban, so there had to be an adjustment from our side,” Scott Cooley, the site’s Odds Consultant, said.

Alabama is a leading contender for the National Championship behind Clemson and Ohio State, but Saban’s positive test has hurt their national title odds to bring another title to Tuscaloosa. The odds site has shifted the Tide’s national title odds from +275 to +350 following Saban’s positive test.

Prior to Saban’s test, I thought Alabama would win straight up and cover the spread. But now that Saban won’t be on the sidelines, I’m thinking it could be a much closer game, but still, believe Alabama will get the win but they may not cover.

dark. Next. 50 best college football uniforms

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.