Alabama vs. Michigan Football: Do the Oddsmakers Have It Right for the Opener?

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 28, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field before playing against the Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Spring football has recently come to an end, and we're still a little over three months away from the regular season kicking off. Although despite such a lengthy period of time, that hasn't stopped oddsmakers from putting together betting lines already and releasing them to the public.

The betting site is one of the few sites to release lines for some of Week 1's biggest college football games. Arguably the biggest week one game of the 2012 season is when the Michigan Wolverines and Alabama Crimson Tide meet in Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

Both teams are coming off fantastic seasons and have huge expectations for the new year. Both of these teams will be highly ranked in the Top 25 poll and the outcome of the game will be sure to shake up the rankings early on.

When the line was first released, Alabama opened up as a 7.5-point favorite. Since it has been put up on the website, the line has skyrocketed to make the Crimson Tide a two touchdown favorite which they currently are right now on

While many may think this is a complete case of disrespect for Michigan, general manager Tony Williams says the dramatic shift doesn't take much. 

“It doesn’t take much money at all to move these lines,” said Williams via “These lines aren’t as much about action as they are for people and writers to have something to talk about.”

Basically he's saying that it's so early in the process that not much money is being placed on these lines just yet. So any amount of money will shift the lines heavily in favor of one team.

Maybe so, but regardless of how many people are betting on Alabama, the line still means that many believe Alabama will win the game. And not just win the game, but win the game fairly easily.

Maybe it's because they're from the SEC Conference or maybe it has a lot to do with them being the defending national champions. But Michigan is a team that won 11 games a season ago and is returning 14 starters, including eight on the defensive side of the ball.

For the line to even be opened up at 7.5 could be considered a lack of respect for head coach Brady Hoke's club. After all, this is a game that's being played on a neutral field, Michigan isn't traveling to Tuscaloosa. The Wolverines have a Heisman candidate at quarterback in Denard Robinson. And defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has done a fabulous job with this defense, finishing ranked 17th in the country in yards allowed.

So did the oddsmakers get it right early on? Does Alabama really deserve to be a 14-point favorite heading into this game? Again, it's still really early, but it seems like the Wolverines have a little added motivation in case they needed any more heading into the big matchup.