2021 Odds and Analysis for the Alabama Crimson Tide

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| August 18, 2021 8:15 am PDT

Nick Saban and Alabama have been the top program in all of college football for some time now. Other than a few losses to Clemson, they have been the most dominant program we have seen in a quarter of a century.

Saban is entering his 15th season in Tuscaloosa, and dominance is the expectation. The SEC is where the best teams compete, so this could be a challenging season. Nothing is a lock for college football, and even the best dynasties struggle eventually.

It would be one thing if the Crimson Tide were in the ACC or the Pac-12. They play in the best division and conference in all of college football. Losses will be happening, and one loss could be enough to prevent them from appearing in the College Football Playoff.

To gauge what sports bettors can expect in 2021, let’s look at Alabama’s odds and assess how things will go for them this year.

Alabama’s Odds for 2021

To Win National Title+250
To Win the SEC-170
To Reach CFP-370

The Crimson Tide are atop the polls to start the season and are the consensus favorites.

Alabama Crimson Tide Logo

The best college football betting sites have them favored to win their conference, get to the College Football Playoff, and once again win the national title.

Their current preseason odds (+250) to win it all, are among the shortest odds we have ever seen the program receive. They have had more experienced teams with more electric and proven players.

Last season was the best offensive squad we have seen Saban manage.

The SEC West odds (-400) are favorable since there is a lack of premier teams up top. Texas A&M is the lone team on paper that should challenge. Alabama will have to travel to College Station this season, where top squads have fallen before.

The Tide are solid favorites for the SEC (-170), but they will have their work cut out to reach the CFP (-370). The current value to win the national title (+250) isn’t enticing enough.

Plus, this is not one of my favorite Bama squads to capture another title. The odds list them as consensus favorites, but there are several others that bring value.

At the very least, before you bet on Alabama to win the national title, ask yourself why they’re favored, and if they really make sense as the 2021 champion.

Why is Alabama the Favorite?

Nick Saban

Why is Alabama always the favorite? Nick Saban is the greatest coach ever born. There is no stopping this Alabama dynasty from their winning ways. Winning additional titles is bound to happen, and they have been as consistent as it gets.

They have been favorites in 151 of their last 152 games. That is astonishing. Florida State was a dominant program, but the Noles were favored in 54 straight from 1997-2001.

To see where Alabama ranked among our top SEC contenders, check out our odds preview of the conference.

Alabama is as sure of a thing against unranked foes as there is in the history of the sport.

Look at some of the records they have set as a program.

  • Most Consecutive wins against unranked foes: 105
  • Most Coached Games as AP No. 1: Nick Saban, 87 (79-8 record)
  • Saban Record Against Former Assistants: 23-0
  • Consecutive Preseason AP/Coaches Poll Top 5 Starts: 13

Alabama is arguably the most dominant team in sports.

Once upon a time, Florida State finished their season in the Top 4 of the AP/Coaches Poll from 1987-2000. Alabama has not been close, but they played in more games against better competition with a conference title game.

Alabama has not been an underdog since they went to Athens to face Georgia on October 3, 2015. Alabama ended up winning on the road, but we have seen them favored in 72 straight games before that game.

The Crimson Tide are currently on a 79-game streak as favorites entering the 2021 season.

On paper, they are going to be favored in every game yet again. Odds change a bunch during the season, but they should be favorites in every regular-season matchup.

There are plenty of arguments about how or why Alabama is the favorite. I prefer to give reasons on why they will come up short.

Why Alabama Won’t Win the 2021 CFP

The Crimson Tide have had matchups in the SEC West that have been challenging over the years. The game that everybody has circled is a trip to College Station.

Texas A&M has their best team yet under Jimbo Fisher and they pulled off a huge home victory at Kyle Field against Florida last season.

Texas A&M is capable of finally knocking off Alabama, despite making the CFP in all but one season.

Kirby Smart and Georgia look like they will have their best team in his tenure. Programs such as the Bulldogs and Aggies have their top teams in years compared to perhaps an average Nick Saban squad.

The quarterback play in the SEC has some question marks entering the season, but JT Daniels is the guy that can dissect and expose any secondary.

Georgia wished they had him last season at the start of the year, but they managed well until their loss to Alabama. The backups and serviceable game-managers cannot consistently win you the big games.

Daniels can be the best pure passer the Bulldogs have ever seen. Some believe he lacks the elite arm strength like Matthew Stafford, but his accuracy should help him on top of his poise and savvy.

The pressure of being the preseason number one squad is also a kiss of death per se. There has been too much pressure being the top-ranked team entering the season.

Look at the few teams that were able to buck the trend of being atop the polls:

Last Preseason #1 Teams to Win it All
2017 2004 1999
Alabama USC Florida State

These three were some of the better squads we have seen.

The Trojans and Seminoles went wire-to-wire throughout the season. They started number one and never faltered. The number of blowouts for those two squads put them in rarified air among the elite teams we have seen.

DeVonta Smith just won the Heisman as a wide receiver.

Many Alabama drives last season were Mac Jones to Smith for a first down. Some were for touchdowns that were backbreaking to the opposition. Is there a player that can dominate as Smith did?

Jones had a quick release and hardly saw pressure in the backfield. Jones threaded the needle to Smith, but they had another superstar on offense.

Najee Harris was among the best backs ever to play for Saban. Harris was arguably the top pass-catching back in the country last season. He had a remarkable career, and the difference between him and Brian Robinson could be more than one would think.

Grinding out the tough yardage to move the chains is underrated. The line should block at an elite level again, but teams will load the box up even more in 2021.

One of the top reasons why Bama will come up short is the quarterback position. What will we see from quarterback Bryce Young?

Paul Finebaum already has concerns about Young, but the expectations are where Alabama could be in trouble.

I foresee this team losing in the SEC Championship against the best defense in the nation. Georgia will suffocate opposing offenses this season, and they have been knocking on the door for a while.

Should You Bet on Alabama in 2021?

While Alabama has repeated before, they often brought an experienced signal-caller back to their program.

Alabama just lost the most talented offense they had ever seen. They stole the national title from Georgia in 2017, and this will finally be the year for the Dawgs.

Alabama will come up short of winning the national championship because they will fail to reach the College Football Playoff!

The Power Five conferences have all improved since last year. Experienced and talented players have come back due to an extra year of eligibility during the Covid-19 shortened season. It is a blessing for all the Alabama haters out there.

While they will return in due time, 2021-22 will not be the best season for the Tide. Fade your Alabama national title tickets and look elsewhere for the upcoming season.

Excited for the 2021 college football season? Check out these college football articles, as well.

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