There's no doubt tonight's game between the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 8 Michigan Wolverines is the biggest in college football on the day. The game is going to be nationally televised on ABC with a start time of 8:00 pm EST. Alabama has the odds in this one, coming into the game as a two-touchdown favorite over the Wolverines.
Alabama is coming off an impressive 2011-12 season that saw them win a National Championship, but not an SEC title. Tonight's game is going to be played at Jerry's World down in Arlington, Texas. It's officially being called the "Cowboys Stadium Classic." It's clearly a big game for each team. Michigan has hopes of a potential National Championship this season and Alabama is coming off winning their second in just three seasons last year. A win tonight would prove to be huge for either school.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke suspended starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark for the game on Friday. However, many believe the Wolverines and Crimson Tide were both practicing and getting ready for tonight's game as if the two Michigan players wouldn't see the field anyway. Everyone on the planet knows what Michigan will do to try and win the game — keep Denard Robinson with the football. Alabama has one of the best defenses in the country, despite losing seven starters to the NFL in the Draft.
Alabama returns starting quarterback AJ McCarron, who guided the team to a title last season. Tailback Eddie Lacy will have a lot of eyes on him as well as he is the next in line, following up Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson from last season. The Crimson Tide have a massive, veteran offensive line as well. Michigan's defensive line will be breaking in a couple of new players and that could be a major key to this game tonight.
Nick Saban and his squads are very good in these types of games. Saban sports a record of 18-6 against ranked opponents and is 10-4 overall against Top 10 teams over the last four seasons. That's saying something. This is the first time Alabama and Michigan have met in the regular season. Michigan has been using the point spread as motivation the past few weeks and with a talented defense coming back from a season ago, they're going to give Alabama a very good contest.
Free Pick: Two touchdowns certainly seems like too much in a battle of Top 10 teams, especially when the game is being played on a neutral field. Are oddsmakers really saying that if this game was played in Alabama that Saban's team would be favored by nearly three touchdowns? That seems like a bit of a stretch. Sure, the Crimson Tide are a very big, physical team but Michigan is coming off an 11-win season and a Sugar Bowl victory. A total of 14 starters return for Michigan this season and they've got the weapons to keep this game closer than most think.
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CFB Free Picks: Michigan vs Alabama BettingWhat Football bettors need to know about Michigan vs Alabama on Saturday (9/01/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner, Marco D'Angelo, Johnny Detroit and host RJ Bell.