Texas A&M handed Alabama its lone blemish on an otherwise perfect run to the national title last year - something that had haunted the Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban all summer long.
Peter Korner, founder of Nevada-based odds consultants The Sports Club,
thinks Saban and Alabama will be more prepared this season.
"Knowing Alabama and knowing Saban, and this being a return matchup for them, I think they're going to be a bit more ready than Texas A&M," Korner told Covers.
Aggies' QB Johnny Manziel put up big stats against Sam Houston State in Week 2 with 403 yards and three TDs through the air and 36 yards rushing with one TD. The Aggies racked up 65 points in the rout, but should, perhaps, be alarmed with their defense. The Bearkats put up 28 points in the game, led by a stellar display from running back Timothy Flanders who tallied 170 yards on 19 carries and a pair of TDs.
Alabama, on the other hand, is coming off a bye week and defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-10 in their Week 1 opener. Saban and the Crimson Tide will be out for revenge after their 29-24 defeat to Texas A&M one season ago.
The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas opened Alabama as a 6-point favorite when it released its "Games of the Year" odds back in June. The LVH Superbook had the Tide as high as 7-points on their featured game board as of last Tuesday.
"This was one of our toughest ones and will be a fun game to watch," says Korner. "We had a low of +3 and a high of +10.5 so we set the
line at +7.5. I think Alabama is going to be a bit more ready for this
Here’s a look at a few other interesting games on the horizon, with help from Mr. Korner:
UCLA Bruins at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-4.5)
The Bruins (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) are another team coming off a bye week after a big 58-20 victory over Nevada in Week 1. Sophomore QB Brett Hundley was sharp going 22-for-33 for 274 yards passing and running for 63 yards - including a 37 yard TD scamper in the first quarter.
The Cornhuskers (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) throttled Southern Miss 56-13 in Week 2 after escaping with a 37-34 victory over Wyoming in Week 1.
"Nebraska always seems to be a betting favorite and we had anything from -3.5 to -7 and I put it at -4.5," says Korner. "It's going to be a very tight game and UCLA definitely has the tools to win this one straight up."
Tennessee Volunteers at Oregon Ducks (-28)
Chip Kelly may have left for the NFL, but the Oregon Ducks' (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) offense keeps on rolling. The Ducks are averaging 62.5 points per game through their first two matchups and are second in the country averaging 425 rushing yards per game.
The Volunteers (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) have gotten themselves off to a nice start, crushing the likes of Austin Peay and Western Kentucky. This will be their first real test however, and traveling up the Pacific northwest to face the Oregon attack is a tough task.
"We had this anywhere from -26 to -31 and I put it -28. I like this even higher," says Korner. "Oregon will do whatever they do and it will be fourth quarter time where it will probably be right around there and it will be up to Oregon whether they want to bomb them out or just coast."
Washington Huskies at Illinois Fighting Illini (+10)
The Washington Huskies (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) had a wonderful Week 1 victory over Boise State and had a week off to enjoy it. The Huskies should be very well prepared to go into Chicago's Soldier Field and attempt to knock off another big program.
A tough Week 1 victory over Southern Illinois was softened by a big win over Cincinnati in Week 2 and the Illini (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) will look to continue rolling in Week 3. They boast the 10th most passing yards per game (363.5) but Washington's defense stymied a potent Boise State team in Week 1.
"We had +7 to +10 here so I kept it on the topside at -10 with Washington," said Korner. "Illinois just isn't all that good."