[end_tabset] The Washington Huskies blew through every opponent this season except for USC, and they did so by being able to put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as well as winning the turnover battle. But they’ve got a momentous challenge on their hands on Saturday as they line up against the Alabama Crimson Tide, the defending national champions, in one half of the four-team college football playoff, taking place in the Peach Bowl this season. It’s at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and kicks off at 3 PM ET. VietBet customers can get reduced juice on the college football betting odds prior to the game, and then after the opening kickoff they can continue their action using the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
Washington vs. Alabama – NCAAF Betting Line:
In the college football playoff betting odds posted on this game by the people at VietBet, Alabama is the clear favorite:
Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5
Washington Huskies +13.5
Over 52.5 points -110
Under 52.5 points -110
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Washington vs. Alabama – CJ’s Take:
Washington actually leads the nation in turnover margin (+21) and was only slowed down by a Trojan team led by a hot quarterback in Sam Darnold. Otherwise, they have had a little bit of anxiety against Utah and pretty much mode down everyone else. They have scored 40 points or more 10 different times, and they carry a record of 12-1 straight-up, which translates to a 7-6 against the football pointspread.
Alabama lost only to Ole Miss last season, but there is the general opinion that they are head and shoulders above everyone else in the country right now. Nick Saban once again turned to a first-year quarterback, and Jalen Hurts put together a tremendous freshman season for him, completing 65% with 22 touchdown passes, in addition to 841 yards on the ground and 12 rushing scores. It is nothing new for Saban to put an inexperienced quarterback at the helm; he has won three national titles with quarterbacks in their first year as starters.
Alabama has pro-level talent all over the place, and a lot of it shows up on defense, where they have allowed fewer points per game than anyone in the country (just 11.8). And if opponents believe they can get something going on the ground, they’ve got another thing coming, because the Tide rushes in and closes up, allowing just 63 rushing yards per contest. All-American Jonathan Allen is a guy who knows how to stop the run and rush the passer (8.5 sacks) and you’re going to see a lot of first-round draft choices on this stop unit.
Washington has a very talent quarterback in sophomore Jake Browning, who was hailed as a Heisman candidate for much of the year. Browning had a whopping 46 touchdown passes and was intercepted only seven times. John Ross and Dante Pettis are easily among the top wide receiver combinations in the country, combining for 31 touchdown catches, and the Huskies have a lot of balance, as Myles Gaskins and Lavon Coleman put together almost 2200 yards on the ground between them. Coleman is especially explosive, as he averaged 7.8 yards per carry.
So VietBet patrons are naturally asking whether Chris Peterson, who engineered a lot of upsets when he was the coach at Boise State, can do it again. Well, with all of that defense, let’s not forget that Alabama averaged almost as many yards per game on offense as Washington did, and in addition to a speedy and athletic group of wideouts, one of the more important outlets for Hurts will be tight end O.J. Howard, who will certainly be a very important player in the NFL when the time comes. If you recall, last year they had a Heisman Trophy winner in running back Derrick Henry, and they also sent Kenyon Drake to the pros. Damien Harris, who has averaged 7.4 yards per attempt, has to be considered as explosive as either of those guys.
There’s another factor here, which is the fact that Alabama has gotten touchdowns in profusion from places other than their offense. When you combine the efforts of the defense and the special teams, they have had a dozen touchdowns this season, and what that means is that Washington can’t afford to make mistakes of any kind. Also keep in mind that although Lane Kiffin has taken a head-coaching job at Florida Atlantic, he does remain in place as Alabama’s offensive coordinator for this game.
By Charles Jay
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