Alabama nearly won a second straight national championship last January, but a late Clemson touchdown cost them that game. Still, the Crimson Tide roll on, as this year's team will go off as the betting favorite on every College Football Playoff futures board.
2016 Alabama record: 14-1 SU, 10-4-1 ATS
2017 regular-season wins over/under: 10.5 wins
2017 odds to win SEC: -150 (wager $150 to win $100)
2017 odds to win National Championship: +275 (wager $100 to win $275)
2016 Alabama Season in Review
Alabama opened last year with a total blowout of USC, a victory that looked even better as the season progressed. From there the Tide swept through its SEC schedule, then beat Florida for a third straight SEC championship, earning themselves a spot in the CFP. Once there, Alabama dispatched Washington in the Peach Bowl, then led Clemson by 10 points through three quarters of the national championship game.
However, the Tide couldn't quite hold on against DeShaun Watson and company, giving up a touchdown with one second left on the clock to lose 35-31. Nonetheless, that's now nine straight double-digit win seasons for Alabama, and a 76-8 mark SU (47-36 ATS) over its last six campaigns.
2017 Alabama Season Preview
The Tide return 11 starters for this season, the same number they had last season. Six starters return on offense, led by quarterback Jalen Hurts (completed 63 percent of his throws as a freshman last year, 36 total touchdowns), running backs Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs (combined 2,400 yards last year) and three along the offensive line. Defensively, though, only five starters are back, with five holes to fill among the front seven. But this is Alabama, which reloads with top-notch talent each year.
The Crimson Tide averaged 455 yards and 39 points per game last year, while holding foes to just 262 yards and 13 points per game. It would not be surprising to see Alabama match those impressive figures again this season.
Alabama 2017 Schedule
This program has made it a point lately to open against quality opponents, and the Tide continue along that line this year, taking on fellow national-title contender Florida State in Atlanta on September 2. In early betting Alabama is favored by a touchdown over the Seminoles. From there the Tide must play at potential West Division contenders Texas A&M and at Auburn, but gets the showdown with LSU in Tuscaloosa. Alabama also misses two top contenders from the East Division, Florida and Georgia, at least until the SEC title game.
The Tide have been favored in 97 of their last 98 games, and they should be favored in every game this year as well.
Betting Alabama in 2017
Over the last five seasons Alabama is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in openers, beating Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin and USC by an average score of 39-14. That may bode well for this year's opener against Florida State. The Tide are also a combined 22-3 SU, 15-10 ATS in their last 25 meetings with rivals Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee, and they get all four of those teams at home this year.
Check out the OddsShark SEC Betting Preview for all the details on the 2017 college football season.