Alabama Football 2022 Season Preview: Don't Bet Crimson Tide to Win National Championship

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass
Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Success at Alabama is defined by National Championships under Nick Saban, so technically last season was a failure for the Crimson Tide.

After falling to SEC foe Georgia in the National Championship game, Saban and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young look to avenge the 2021 team with a title in 2022. The team is the betting favorite to do so like most years, but is the team set to be the juggernaut they are being priced as by oddsmakers?

Let's set the table for the 2022 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Alabama Football in 2022: National Championship, SEC, Win Total Odds

  • Win Total: 10.5 (Over -255/Under +205)
  • SEC Championship: -150
  • National Championship: +180

Alabama Offense Preview

We all know about Young, the Heisman Trophy winner who is sure to be a top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The numbers were video game-like: 4,872 passing yards (second in the country), 47 touchdowns (second) and seven interceptions.

The questions aren't around Young, who is the second choice to win the Heisman Trophy this season and be the second player to ever win back-to-back awards, but who he is playing with at the skill positions? The Crimson Tide have blue chip prospects everywhere, but they are unproven. According to The Athletic, Alabama retains only 39% of rushing yards and 24% of receiving yards.

Brian Robinson is gone at running back, but is replaced by Georgia Tech's Jahmyr Gibbs. Jameson Williams, John Metchie III and Jahleel Billingsley aren't catching passes anymore, so Young will be leaning on Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton and Louisville product Tyler Harrell to come in and take over.

Evan Neal isn't protecting Young anymore, and the team will hope All-American Emil Ekiyor can lift the rest of the group up in the trenches. It's worth noting that this offense was far from perfect last season, allowing nearly seven tackles for loss per game which was bottom 20 in the nation. The unit must protect Young better if they want to reach the National Championship again.

While there are some new faces, with Young under center this is arguably the best offense in the country. However, it's not as proven as one like Ohio State, who has the continuity of last season.

Alabama Defense Preview

Like Young on offense, Will Anderson makes this defense already one of the best in the country. Another sure fire top selection in next year's NFL Draft, Anderson is looking to build on his 34.5 tackles for loss last season. He's a one man wrecking crew and raises the floor of the Crimson Tide defense.

But what's the ceiling?

The team was top five in tackles for loss and just outside the top 20 in success rate. The defensive line was the strong point of the unit, only 2.51 yards allowed per carry and top 10 in explosive rush defense. However, the secondary faces some turnover with their top two corners moving on. Eli Ricks transferred from LSU and is expected to play and Kool-Aid McKinstry is going to be relied on after playing as a freshman.

The defensive line should continue to get into the back field but the passing defense has some questions, they allowed 28 or more points four times in 2021 after just twice in 2022. While some of that can be a product of the offense being so dominant that it was never a concern to allow some points, what happens if the O is a step below this time around? Will the D be able to step up?

Alabama Special Teams Preview

The team must replace Williams, a first round pick despite suffering a torn ACL in the National Championship due to his game breaking speed, who was the main return man, but there is always speed on this roster.

There is continuity at kicker and punter though for a unit that was as strong as they come last season. Will Reichard made 22-of-28 field goals last season, including one from 51 yards. James Burnip returns at punter after the Australian made his debut with the team as a freshman in 2021.

Alabama Schedule Breakdown

The Crimson Tide are at the top of each team's power ratings, so they are predictably favored by double digits in every game this season.

The team goes to Austin for a matchup against Texas, and also faces some challenging SEC road trips, including Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss (the latter two coming back-to-back). While the team will be comfortable favorites in all, that's far from a cakewalk with a team that may have some depth concerns.

Saban and co. will look for revenge at home against Texas A&M after losing in College Station last year. As well, they host Auburn in the Iron Bowl to close out the regular season.

With a win total of 10.5 heavily shaded towards the over, the expectation is that the Crimson Tide will avoid any major setbacks and drop one game at most in the regular season. There is simply too much talent to expect more than one slip up along the way.

2022 Alabama Football Betting Preview, Predictions, Best Bets

Alabama enters the season as the National Championship favorite, but I'm not interested in betting them at these prices.

Many will point to Saban, Young and Anderson as enough to lift this team up, and while they are very likely to be in the College Football Playoff, I am staying off of them. There is not enough depth and proven talent in the passing game as well as the secondary to justify betting them at +180.

I don't see a massive difference between the Crimson Tide, Ohio State and Georgia, meaning that I'm eyeing teams with longer odds in this market.

There is less talent on this team than last year's, and while there's changes elsewhere as well, I can't recommend betting Alabama to win the National Championship at this number. I'd much rather look (slightly) down the board for a futures bet.

Track all of Reed's bets at Betstamp HERE!