According to sportsbooks for US players, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 25.5-point favorites against the Louisville Cardinals. That sounds about right. Alabama’s fame precedes it. The mere mention of the Tide is enough to instill the fear of the Lord in little souls of opposing players. Especially the offense. But especially the defense. “They have that reputation,” Louisville wide receiver Seth Dawkins said. “There are the elite teams in college football. You think of Bama, Ohio State … I guess (the opponent’s) heart drops.” But like that spankfest based on Twilight fan fiction, there are many shades of gray here. Or, as Alabama head coach Nick Saban put it, the Tide’s defense is a “real work in progress.”
According to Dawkins, himself and his fellow wide receivers have the “upper edge” against Bama’s pass defense. “It’s going to be up to the receivers,” he said. “We’ve got to get off the press and get open.” They are also well aware, like Yogi Berra, that sports are 90% physical and the other half is mental. While reviewing film, Fitzpatrick took note that opposing receivers tend to make rookie mistakes against the Tide. “They’re beating themselves, like dropped balls people don’t usually drop,” he said. “They make them nervous. If we don’t play nervous and we play like we’re playing just a regular team … if we just had that mindset we’re just playing football — at the end of the day, it’s football. We’ve been doing this since we were 7 years old. If you just think like that, they’re just human like us.”
Head coach Bobby Petrino is also confident the Cards can beat the Roll Tide. But only as long as everyone in Louisville believes. “If we can get where we have every single guy on our team, every single coach on our team, to believe like I believe — because I believe we’re gonna go beat ’em — so I need everybody else to believe that. And we will go beat ’em,” he said. In other news, if you clap really hard Tinkerbell will come back to life.
Let’s just hope the Cardinals are not, like Ron Jeremy, getting too cocky. Alabama’s secondary is indeed human. But there is a lot of humanity there. They may be humans, but they look more like the Nephilim. Safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison and cornerback Antonio Averett, Alabama’s top three defensive backs in 2017, were drafted into the NFL. Those are considerable losses. However, it’s the size of Alabama’s defensive backs that allows them to physically and mentally intimidate opponents. And while the names have changed, the size remains the same. Juniors Shyheim Carter, Trevon Diggs and Savion Smith and sophomores Xavier McKinney and Daniel Wright are all at least 6 feet, 180 pounds.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Alabama Crimson Betting Information
- Date: September 1st.
- Time: 8:00 pm ET
- Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Best online sportsbooks odds from MyBookie.ag:
- LOUISVILLE +25½ (-110) 56 (-110) +2250
- ALABAMA -25½ (-110) 56 (-110) -4500
- The Cardinals are 3-2 SU in their last five games.
- The Cardinals are 3-2 ATS in their last five games.
- The total has gone under in the Cardinals’ last four games.
- The Tide are 7-1 SU in their last eight games.
- The Tide are 3-3-1 ATS in their last seven games.
- The total has gone under in five of the Tide’s last eight games.
Our FREE Prediction: Alabama’s secondary may really need a lot of work. But this is Nick Saban we’re speaking of here. He doesn’t have a habit of doing a half-ass job. Perhaps 25-points against Louisville is a bit much to cover, but Bama should get the SU win. Believe that.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) August 7, 2018