Alabama will travel to Nashville for their first SEC game of the year against Vanderbilt this Saturday. While it is no surprise that Alabama is ranked #1 in the country and 3-0, the Commodores are quietly 3-0 themselves and come into this game following an upset win over #18 Kansas State last week.
Alabama started the 2017 season with a huge victory over #3 ranked Florida State 24-7 and proceeded with lopsided wins against Fresno State and Colorado State to stand at 3-0. The Alabama defense is filled with talented playmakers and they have certainly showed it will be very difficult to score when they are at full strength. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has been the focal point on offense by leading the team in passing and rushing. Calvin Ridley is clearly his favorite target catching 15 of Hurts 43 completions.
Vanderbilt enters this game with a lot of optimism despite being 18.5-point underdogs at home. Kyle Shurmur leads on offense and leads the SEC in quarterback passer rating. Shurmur has the pass game running efficiently, but they have struggled to establish a run game with a mere 3.0 yards per carry through the first 3 weeks. The Vanderbilt defense has been extraordinary as they are top in all the nation allowing just 4.3 points per game.
Prediction and Betting Advice:
It is exciting to see these two undefeated teams face off, but the reality is that Alabama clearly has too much weighing in its favor to lose this game. The Crimson Tide has superior talent, experienced coaching, and championship pedigree all around their program. Vanderbilt is over matched, but should pose a threat to Alabama with their highly efficient passing game. I think Alabama will definitely win and there is a good chance they can cover the 18.5 points. However, they will be inclined to control the game and limit Vanderbilt’s offensive possessions leading to a potential low scoring game. Include the top ranked Vanderbilt defense playing at home and the bet I prefer would be the under at 43.