Alabama vs. Texas NCAAF Week 2: Longhorns Getting Too Many Points at Home

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The marquee matchup in Week 2 of the 2022 college football season features two of the winningest programs in history as No. 1 Alabama visits Texas on Saturday.

Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Longhorns 

Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium 

You know it’s a big game when ESPN College GameDay is on hand, and that group will be in Austin, Texas, on Saturday when the unranked Longhorns host No. 1 Alabama.

The game itself is on Fox; it’s a little rare for ESPN GameDay to go to a location when an ESPN network (including ABC) isn’t televising it, but it’s clearly the marquee matchup of Week 2

Of course, Texas and Alabama will be SEC rivals in a few years when UT and Oklahoma leave the Big 12 for the SEC. These teams have met nine times overall and UT leads 7-1-1.

They last met in the BCS national title game following the 2009 season and the Tide won 37-21. It’s the fourth regular-season meeting between the programs and first since 1922. 

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Young Takes Heisman Betting Lead 

I’ll flat-out admit I didn’t think Alabama would cover a 42-point spread in its season opener Saturday at home against a pretty solid Utah State team, but the Tide laid a beatdown on the Aggies, 55-0.

Bama quarterback Bryce Young is looking to join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players to win the Heisman twice, and Young has taken over the +300 favored role in the NCAAF odds from Ohio State QB CJ Stroud (+400).

Young threw for 5 touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 100 yards along with a score on only 5 carries against USU.  

Alabama's Defense

The Alabama defense was absolutely outstanding in holding Utah State to 136 total yards and 7 first downs. Shoot, the Aggies nearly had more penalty yards (110) than total offense.

It was Alabama’s first shutout in a season opener in 34 years. Utah State coach Blake Anderson called Alabama “the best team I’ve ever seen put on pads.” Naturally, Bama coach Nick Saban had to find fault with something and he did with the running game.  

“Inconsistent,” Saban said. “Like I said, after the game, it was a big little. We made a couple of really explosive plays in the running game, but the down-in and down-out consistency to have positive runs and not having negative plays was not where we want it. It’s something that we want to improve on, but I wasn’t disappointed at all in the way we played.” 

It appears that Alabama got out of the opener without any major injuries.  

Sarkisian Faces Former Boss 

Of course, the Texas head coach is Steve Sarkisian, the former offensive coordinator at Alabama. The Longhorns also have a former Tide player in tight end Jahleel Billingsley, but he’s in the midst of serving six-game suspension for an issue that stems from his time at with the Tide.  

Another former Alabama player, receiver Agiye Hall, was suspended for UT’s opening 52-10 win over UL Monroe but has been reinstated ahead of this game. He had been serving an indefinite suspension after he was arrested in August on a criminal mischief charge. 

In his first start under center for Texas, former mega-recruit Quinn Ewers was 16-for-24 for 225 yards with 2 touchdowns and a pick against UL Monroe.

Ewers' 225 passing yards were the third-most since 1950 for a freshman starting in the Texas season opener, trailing Shea Morenz's 347 (1993) and Shane Buechele's 280 (2016). 

Longhorns' Numbers

A total of nine Longhorns made their first career starts. Running back Bijan Robinson, who is +3000 at BMR’s top-rated books to win the Heisman, rushed for 71 yards and a score and caught three passes for 40 yards and a TD.

Robinson has scored a touchdown (rushing or receiving) in 12 of his last 13 games. It marked the first time since the season opener against Maryland in 2017 that Texas scored a touchdown on offense, defense and special teams. 

Saturday will be only the third time that Texas hosts the nation’s No. 1 team. It beat SMU in 1950 and lost to Ohio State in 2006. Overall, Texas is 5-11 against the country’s top team. It last beat one in 2008 in Oklahoma.  

I can’t find a time when Texas was at least a 20-point home underdog as it is here. The last time UT was even a 14-point home underdog was in October 2014 against Baylor, which UT lost 28-7. Texas is 10-8 all-time when the Horns are one of the teams in ESPN’s College GameDay matchup, including 5-2 at home. 

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Longhorns: Betting Pick for NCAAF Week 2

Saban had never lost to one of his former assistant coaches until last season when he lost to both Texas A&M (Jimbo Fisher) and Georgia (Kirby Smart) so that curse or whatever is over.

Do I think Bama loses here? Nope, but that spread is just too high, although you may want to buy a half-point to 21 just in case.  

Score Prediction: Alabama 38, Texas 24 

NCAAF pick: Texas +20.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.