As Ben pointed out last week, the fact that Alabama is a very early betting favorite in their season opener against Virginia Tech is far from surprising, although the Tide as a whopping 22-point favorite is certainly an eye opener.
What may come as a surprise to some/most is just how long the Tide has been a darling of the degenerates.
According to Don Kausler of al.com, and if that way-too-early line holds, it would mark the 42nd consecutive game in which the two-time defending BCS champions have entered as the favorite. The last time the Tide went in as an underdog? Florida was a 4.5-point favorite in the 2009 SEC championship game; the Tide won 32-13 a month before claiming the first of three BCS titles under Nick Saban.
In the past 41 games in which the Tide was the favorite, they’ve gone 36-5. It’s unclear in how many of those 41 games the Tide has covered the spread. In the six season openers under Saban, however, Alabama has covered the spread — and most times easily covered it — five times; the only time they didn’t came in Saban’s first opener against Western Carolina in 2007, a game for which there was no line.
The Tide, expected to open the 2013 season No. 1, will face the Hokies in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Aug. 31 in the Georgia Dome.