Here are just a few FBS teams Alabama has routed at home and covered the spread against over the past decade: Ole Miss, Texas A&M, LSU, and Auburn. Counter that with an inability to cover against Colorado State and Western Kentucky (twice) and the likes of Florida International and one’s antenna should be raised as high as the stars above.
As legendary as Nick Saban is, he’s only 58-53 against the spread during his time in Tuscaloosa, including 31-34 at home. His team also has a history over the past decade of failing to cover inside Bryant-Denny Stadium against Group of 5 opponents — many of which occurred after huge wins early in the season over nationally ranked Power 5 foes.
So why does Bama throttle USC 52-6 in 2016 as 13.5-point favorites but not against Western Kentucky the following week? It’s due to what I’ve dubbed, “The Bama Theory.”
When the Tide win a colossal showdown in-conference or against a ranked Power 5 squad, it often returns home to sludge its way to a nondescript win over the likes of North Texas. There’s more at play here than complacency, however.
When Alabama dominates big-time opponents before facing Group of 5 programs at home, the betting public loves to jump all over Saban’s crew. That inflates the point spreads dramatically. Throw in a few Crimson Tide turnovers, early appearances by second- and third-string players, and a score here and there by the opponent and voilà: Fans go home happy with a 41-0 victory but the betting public returns home with empty wallets.
I believe this same scenario plays out Saturday against 36-point underdogs Arkansas State?
Check out Alabama’s inability to cover at home to far inferior opponents over the past decade.