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Peach Bowl Betting: Washington vs. Alabama Odds, Analysis and Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2016

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) speaks with Alabama head coach Nick Saban during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Alabama and Florida, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Alabama is 8-2 straight up over its last 10 postseason games, including three straight SEC Championship Game victories and last year's College Football Playoff title. But the Crimson Tide are also only 5-5 against the spread over that span, in part because they're favored by so much so often. Alabama is a double-digit favorite for its national semifinal showdown with Washington in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve in Atlanta.

      

Peach Bowl point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 14-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football pick, via OddsShark computer: 42.2-34.0 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)

      

Why the Washington Huskies can cover the spread

Washington just won its first conference title since 2000 and clinched a spot in the CFP by crunching Colorado last week 41-10 in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Huskies only led the Buffaloes 14-7 at the half, but scored the first 17 points out of the locker room and pulled away for the easy cover as eight-point favorites.

On the evening, Washington outgained the Buffs 383-163, outrushed them 265-82, dominated time of possession by a 39-21 margin and won the turnover battle 3-0.

So the Huskies are now 3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS and averaging 43 points per game since suffering their only loss of the season to USC. Washington has also outgained 12 of 13 opponents this season, outrushing 10 of them.

          

Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread

Head coach Nick Saban's troops extended their winning streak to 25 games with a 54-16 romp over Florida in the SEC Championship Game last week. The Tide spotted the Gators an early touchdown, then scored 16 straight points to take the lead for good. Alabama later let Florida get within two scores at 33-16 but iced the victory and the cover as 24-point chalk with a goal-line stand and three insurance touchdowns.

On the afternoon, the Crimson Tide outgained the Gators 372-261 and outrushed them 234-0 (that's zero rushing yards). Meanwhile, Alabama's defense and special teams got in on the act again, returning an interception for one touchdown and a blocked punt for another.

The Tide have now outgained and outrushed each of their last 10 opponents. They're also 9-4 ATS on the season and 5-1 ATS when favored by less than three touchdowns.

        

Smart pick

What does it take to play Alabama close? Ole Miss gave the Tide a good battle because quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 421 yards, while LSU used a big defensive effort to take the Tide to a scoreless tie into the fourth quarter. Washington can do a little of both, with Jake Browning at quarterback and the 10th-ranked defense in the country. Alabama is still likely to win this game, but the smart money plays the Huskies, plus the points.

       

Betting trends

Washington is 4-0 ATS in its last four games in December.

The total has gone over in five of Alabama's last six games in December.

Alabama is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against teams with winning records.

       

All college football lines 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.

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