Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Odds, Football Betting Pick ColumnistSeptember 18, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 16:  Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide own 21 straight victories in the series with the Vanderbilt Commodores, but the point spread has done its job in keeping the money even, as the teams have split the last 10 meetings against the spread.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide are favored to extend that streak to 22 when they clash with the Commodores on Saturday afternoon in Nashville. 

College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 18.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 41.0-17.4 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)


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Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread

Alabama is 3-0 on the season, after brushing aside Colorado State on Saturday 41-23. The Tide, as 30-point favorites, led 17-0 just 10 minutes into the game and had the spread covered at 41-10 early in the fourth quarter. But they took their foot off the gas and allowed the Rams to score two meaningless touchdowns, creating a slightly misleading final score.

On the day, Alabama outgained CSU 487-391, and a good chunk of the Rams' yardage came in garbage time. Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 103 yards and another score, while the Alabama defense set up two scores with interceptions on back-to-back Colorado State possessions in the third quarter.

The Crimson Tide opened this season with that 24-7 win over Florida State, covering an eight-point spread, then defeated Fresno State 41-10, although they came up just short of covering a 40-point line.


Why the Vanderbilt Commodores can cover the spread

Vandy is also 3-0 on the season, and 2-1 ATS, after pulling off a 14-7 upset of a ranked Kansas State on Saturday, winning outright as a five-point home dog. The Commodores took an early lead on a short Kyle Shurmur touchdown pass to CJ Duncan, then scored the game-winning points on a short Shurmur touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.

The Vanderbilt defense then did the rest, stopping the Wildcats two yards short of a first down on a fourth down just inside the Commodores red zone with a minute to go.

On the evening, Vanderbilt only came up with 270 yards of offense, but the defense held Kansas State to 277 yards and a single touchdown. The Commodores are now 5-0 in their last five home games, with wins over two ranked teams.


Smart pick

These conference rivals haven't met since 2011, but expect Alabama to continue its dominance. The Tide soundly defeated a national championship contender in Florida State, then toyed with Fresno State and Colorado State, leading both by a combined score of 58-13 through the first halves before going easy. Vandy might stick around for a little while this Saturday, but the smart money wagers Alabama at online betting sites.


College football betting trends

The total has gone under in Alabama's last five games against Vanderbilt.

The total has gone under in 15 of Vanderbilt's last 18 games against its conference.

Alabama is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games on the road against teams with winning records.


All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.