The case for betting against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2022

John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2022 college football season steadily approaching, now is the best time to take a look at how to approach betting some of the top teams in the nation. This year features no shortage of contenders from the Power 5 conferences.

Doug Kezirian kicks things off with a preview the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

College football betting preview schedule

Thursday: Betting Alabama
Friday: Betting Ohio State
Saturday: Betting Georgia
Monday: Betting Clemson
Tuesday: Betting Notre Dame

Pick: Alabama under 7.5 SEC wins (regular season)

Best case: The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 in the initial coaches' poll for good reason. They return quarterback Bryce Young, who won the Heisman Trophy and is poised for another stellar season. Nick Saban usually gets his coaching staff raided, but he returns both coordinators, which is particularly important with offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. And while the Tide lost several players to the NFL, this is a program that just reloads with more stars. And after losing in the national championship game, this is a team that will be on a mission.

Worst case: The SEC is typically known for quality football, but truthfully, Bama and Georgia have been on a different tier over the past decade (aside from LSU's national title season). However, teams on that second tier have really improved recently and seem poised for solid campaigns. Brian Kelly figures to turn LSU around and has always maximized talent. Jimbo Fisher has Texas A&M headed in the right direction, including last year's upset of Bama, and transfer QB Max Johnson should shine. Lane Kiffin has made Ole Miss dangerous, and Sam Pittman has Arkansas in a groove. And thanks to transfers, Tennessee should be much better this season. I singled out those schools because Alabama has to face all of them, in addition to rival Auburn, which the Tide needed overtime to beat last year.

Betting spin: I am taking under 7.5 conference wins because I think Bama could slip up against any of those opponents. The juice of -160 translates to 61.5%, and I think there's a better chance than that. Alabama lost as an 18-point favorite against Texas A&M last year, so it's not that wild to think the Tide stumble. They get every opponent's best shot, and for the first time in a while, several SEC foes have narrowed the gap. Saban and the Tide are the gold standard, but they are still capable of being upset by a ranked team. We never see two regular-season losses, but we only need one.