Alabama and Texas meet for the second straight year with former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, leading his Longhorns into Tuscaloosa in search of the signature victory of his tenure.
Last season, Texas had Alabama on the ropes in Austin, but the Crimson Tide rallied late to win 20-19. Now, with a new quarterback under center in Jalen Milroe, can Texas pull the stunner and knock off Nick Saban's group on the road behind the play of Quinn Ewers and a loaded skill group?
Here are the odds, information, key plays and our best bet on Week 2's marquee matchup:
Texas vs. Alabama Odds, Spread and Total
Texas vs. Alabama Betting Trends
- Texas covered last year's game as a 21-point underdog (20-19 Alabama)
- Texas is 1-4 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog under Steve Sarkisian
- Alabama has won its last 21 home games
Texas vs. Alabama How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, September 9th
- Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
- Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Texas Record: 1-0
- Rice Record: 1-0
Texas vs. Alabama Players to Watch
Quinn Ewers: If Texas wants to reach the lofty goals its set for itself this season, Ewers must improve as a downfield passer. The Longhorns have far too many weapons in the passing game with the likes of Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington and AD Mitchell for the team to struggle moving the ball down the field. Last season, Texas was outside the top 100 in explosive pass offense and the team didn't light up Rice as some would hope. Maybe Texas was keeping the play calling vanilla ahead of this game, but if Ewers isn't getting vertical with his passes, the Longhorns will be playing into Alabama's hands.
Jalen Milroe: Milroe won the quarterback competition and looked the part against an admittedly outmatched Middle Tennessee State defense. Milroe is an explosive runner, but he will need to showcase some of his arm talent in order to knock off a loaded Texas front that will look to shut down the run game for the Crimson Tide.
Texas vs. Alabama Prediction and Pick
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Texas defense has a vaunted defensive line that can win at the point of attack against Alabama's offensive line that is still relatively unproven. The Longhorns defense was top 30 in defensive line yards last season and 17th in yards per carry (3.35). If Milroe isn't able to open up run game with his arm, this can be a long night for the Crimson Tide offense.
As for Alabama's defense, this unit is likely going to be among the best in the entire country, but the team is battling injuries to two key players in the secondary. Both Malachi Moore and Jalen Key are day-to-day and key cogs to the back side of the Alabama defense. However, the team's pass rush could give Texas' offensive line fits after the team allowed two sacks and eight tackles for loss against Rice.
If the Crimson Tide are able to generate pressure without sending extra players in blitz packages, that could allow the team to provide more help in the secondary and slow down the already questionable Longhorns' downfield attack.
I believe Alabama wants to muddy this game up and make it into a run-first grind of a game. While the offense may struggle to establish the run, I believe the team wants to keep Milroe's passing out of harms way and play this game slow and try to win on the defensive side of the ball.
All roads lead to the under in this marquee matchup.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!