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Alabama Penn State Betting: Penn State Will Find It Hard To Score Against Alabama

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/6/2011 5:52:13 PM
alabama penn state betting

One of college football’s early-season non-conference games to keep an eye on is this Saturday’s matchup between two brand-name schools, as Alabama travels to Penn State to face the Nittany Lions.

Alabama Crimson Tide @ Penn State Nittany Lions – Saturday, September 10

Sports betting line: Alabama -10

Why Alabama Will Win

Plainly put, the Crimson Tide are simply going to smother Penn State’s offense. Alabama allowed just 90 yards to Kent State in the team’s season opener on Labor Day weekend. The Crimson Tide’s defense, especially its secondary, was young and often out of position last season. It proved to be shaky and inconsistent in 2010, especially in the Iron Bowl collapse against Auburn. However, in the 2011 opener against Kent State, the Tide’s defense looked like a well-oiled machine. It flowed to the football and make the right responses in every conceivable situation. Alabama’s defense and did not allow any sustained movement by the Golden Flashes’ overwhelmed offensive unit. This is the kind of defense coach Nick Saban expects from his Bama boys. When the Crimson Tide are at their best, they win with defense and use their offense to both shorten the game and establish a field-position advantage. This is the old-time formula of Southeastern Conference football, and Saban is particularly adept at using it to his advantage against high-powered opponents. Penn State’s offense is nowhere near the level of any elite offense in the country, and that’s putting it mildly. Penn State barely topped 100 passing yards this past Saturday in its opener, a cupcake game against Indiana State. If PSU can’t push the ball downfield in the vertical passing game, there’s no way the Nittany Lions will be able to run the ball against a stacked Alabama front four. Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden shows no signs of being ready to handle the defensive fury that Saban will throw at him in this game.

Why Penn State Will Win

Any MLB baseball betting analyst knows that a starting pitcher, if off his game, can sabotage his team’s chances of winning. For Alabama, quarterback A.J. McCarron – who is taking over for national title-winning signal caller Greg McElroy – will have to prove that he can withstand road tests such as this one at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. McCarron was unable to relieve an injured McElroy in the final minutes of last year’s loss to Auburn, and in Bama’s 2011 opener against Kent State, he threw two interceptions. McCarron is under the gun to perform, but he is nowhere near McElroy in terms of his development as a quarterback. McCarron’s reads are poor, and he is simply not a settled or comfortable pocket passer. Not right now, at any rate. If Penn State can rattle McCarron and force a few early turnovers, the Nittany Lions can score without much of any production from their offensive unit. The Nittany Lions could get a 14-0 lead and use their defense to protect the lead in front of more than 100,000 screaming fans in Happy Valley. PSU will win if McCarron plays horribly. 

Who Will Win

When you make your sports bet on this game, you might be tempted to go for the upset, but you shouldn’t. Alabama is far too strong for Penn State and will not give up more than 10 points. Even if Alabama struggles, the Tide should make enough plays on defense to create 20 or 24 points and cover the spread.
College Football Betting Pick: Alabama -10

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