Image for Andre Viljoen Andre Viljoen - October 14, 2022

2019 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team Preview - Odds and Predictions

2018 Season in Review

Alabama started the season as the number one ranked team in the nation and stayed there all the way until the conclusion of the season. The Tide dominated their regular season schedule, scoring 50+ points in eight of those games, while also shutting out ranked opponents LSU and Mississippi State.

Saban’s team was not challenged until the SEC Championship game against Georgia, when backup quarterback Jalen Hurts had to relieve injured Heisman runner-up, Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama would escape with a 35-28 win over the Bulldogs, before taking out Oklahoma in their College Football Playoff semi-final and losing to Clemson after that.

Also check out our preview of the 2019 Clemson Tigers team.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • QB Tua Tagovailoa (Junior) – 3,966 Pass Yards | 43 Pass TD | 6 INT
  • RB Najee Harris (Junior) – 783 Rush Yards | 4 Rush TD | 6.7 Yards per Carry
  • WR Jerry Jeudy (Junior) – 68 Receptions | 1,315 Rec Yards | 14 Rec TD
  • LB Dylan Moses (Junior) – 86 Total Tackles | 45 Solo Tackles | 3.5 Sacks

After getting his Heisman hopes dashed by Kyler Murray, Tua Tagovailoa returns to Tuscaloosa looking for redemption. The junior from Hawaii will have last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner, Jerry Jeudy, as his top target along with receivers Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. Alabama’s run game will be powered by Najee Harris, who will likely be the cowbell back.

As far as the defense is concerned, leading tackler Dylan Moses returns, as does outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings, who is the Tide’s top returning pass rusher with 5.5 sacks in 2018.

Key Departures

  • DT Quinnen Williams (NFL Draft)
  • OT Jonah Williams (NFL Draft)
  • RB Josh Jacobs (NFL Draft)
  • QB Jalen Hurts (Graduate Transfer – Oklahoma)

Another year, another class loaded with NFL draft picks; such is life for the Crimson Tide who churn out prospects with ease, as evidenced by their nation leading 10 draft selections. Although they are just as capable of recovering from such a loss of talent, many of their departures hit hard, particularly in the trenches.

Three starters on the offensive line are now gone, as left tackle Jonah Williams, center Ross Pierschbacher, and guard Lester Cotton are now on NFL rosters. Likewise, the defensive line lost a chunk of talent in third overall pick Quinnen Williams, edge rusher Christian Miller, and defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs. Top two rushers Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs are the cherry on top for what proved to be a deep draft class.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • RB Trey Sanders – 5 Star | 6-1, 205lb | IMG Academy | Bradenton, FL
  • OL Evan Neal – 5 Star | 6-7, 360lb | IMG Academy | Bradenton, FL
  • DT Antonio Alfano – 5 Star | 6-4, 285lb | Colonia HS | Colonia, NJ
  • S Jordan Battle – 4 Star | 6-2, 185lb | St. Thomas Aquinas HS | Fort Lauderdale, FL

Operating an NFL pipeline requires strong recruiting, an area that Saban’s staff has completely mastered. The most recent crop is no exception, ranking second in the nation with an overall average rating of four stars among their 27 signees.

The Tide went after two pairs of recruits from dominant high school programs in Florida, nabbing Trey Sanders and Evan Neal from IMG Academy, while also signing Jordan Battle and Braylen Ingraham from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Alabama went outside their geographic area to gain a commitment from the top defensive tackle recruit, Antonio Alfano from New Jersey, who is also the fifth overall ranked prospect in the class of 2019.

2019 Schedule

Date Opponent
August 31st Duke (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta)
September 7th New Mexico State
September 14th at South Carolina
September 21st Southern Mississippi
September 28th Mississippi
October 12th at Texas A&M
October 19th Tennessee
October 26th Arkansas
November 9th LSU
November 16th at Mississippi State
November 23rd Western Carolina
November 30th at Auburn

With only four true road games on the docket, Alabama’s road to the College Football Playoff is not overly intimidating. Perhaps the biggest test for the Tide will come in College Station against Texas A&M, with Kyle Field always a tough venue to play in. LSU could possibly trip them up, although hated rival Auburn should be a bigger obstacle, as Alabama lost the last meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2017.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Playoff Odds in New Jersey

Like their ACC nemesis, the Clemson Tigers, Alabama will have to go undefeated to reach the over on their 11 win projection at 888Sport. Given the schedule and their talent, another SEC title and playoff berth should not be out of the question.

SEC Conference Winner

Sportsbook Alabama Link
888Sport NJ -150

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Alabama Crimson Tide to Make the Playoffs

Sportsbook Yes No Link
888Sport NJ -250 +200

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Number of Games Won – Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

Sportsbook Over 11 Under 11 Link
888Sport NJ +100 -121

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Image for Andre Viljoen

AUTHOR

Andre Viljoen

150 Articles

Andre has been writing for WSN since February 2019, covering college basketball and college football. A graduate of Florida State and UNC-Chapel Hill, he lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing sports and Magic: The Gathering.

Email: [email protected]

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