Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Texas is big underdog to Alabama, but Longhorns’ talent should keep game close

Oddsmakers favor Alabama by nearly three touchdowns, but Texas has the talent to surprise in Saturday’s showdown.

Action Network Use Only - Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (#9) will face his toughest test of the season against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)
Action Network Use Only - Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (#9) will face his toughest test of the season against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)Read moreKevin C. Cox / MCT

Is Texas really back? We’re about to find out on Saturday, when the unranked Longhorns host No. 1 Alabama in the team’s biggest challenge in years.

Both teams walloped overmatched foes in Week 1, and oddsmakers expect another blowout in this one by the visiting Crimson Tide. Don’t sleep on the talent on this Texas squad, though, which is as skilled as it’s been in years.

Here’s how we’re betting Saturday’s contest, which kicks off at noon ET on Fox.

  1. Learn more about the BetMGM Promo Code

  2. Check out more of the best sports betting sites

Texas vs. Alabama Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Alabama -20.5 (-110), moneyline -1400

  2. Texas +20.5 (-110), moneyline +800

  3. O/U 65 (-110)

Texas vs. Alabama Prediction: The Analysis

This game originally opened at Alabama -14.5, but a rush of money on the road favorites bumped this line a full six points and nearly across another key number at 21. That’s how confident bettors are in the Crimson Tide – and it’s easy to see why.

Bryce Young is back after his scintillating Heisman run a year ago, and he hasn’t skipped a beat even after losing his top two receivers and leading rusher from 2021. The junior quarterback threw for five touchdowns in last week’s 55-0 dismantling of Utah State, who managed just seven first downs the entire game against this vaunted Alabama front.

Texas’ offense should fare better than that behind freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers, the former No. 1 recruit who nearly pushed current Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud out of a job at Ohio State ahead of last season. Twelve months later, Ewers has the reins to an explosive attack featuring running back Bijan Robinson and receiver Xavier Worthy – two of the most talented skill-position stars in the country – who are both lethal weapons in Steve Sarkisian’s RPO-heavy offense.

That’s a tough task for any defense to stop, even one as brilliant as Alabama’s. The Longhorns dropped 52 points on Louisiana-Monroe last week and are sure to connect for a big play or two in this one. From a betting perspective, that’s key. Texas doesn’t need to win this game to cash your bet – it just needs to hang around. And it has the firepower to do just that.

Conversely, how will Young perform against this Longhorns defense, which was among the worst in college football a season ago? Defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski has talent to work with on that side of the ball and it showed last week against the Warhawks, who scored just three points through the first 56 minutes and allowed three sacks.

Pressure will be an X-factor in this week’s affair. Can fifth-year senior DeMarvion Overshown and sophomore Barryn Sorrell – who had 1.5 sacks in last week’s win – generate enough pressure against this developing Alabama offensive line? When Young and co. are humming, they’re nearly impossible to stop. But if Texas can muster a few third-stop stops or even force a turnover or two, that puts immense pressure on the Crimson Tide to convert nearly all of their other scoring opportunities to cover such a sizable spread.

This really is a significant number to be laying in a hostile environment like the one we’ll see in Austin. Sure, Alabama is 11-4 against the spread in its last 15 non-conference games, but few of those came against a team like Texas, which has covered five straight as a double-digit underdog. No, the Longhorns probably won’t win this game outright, but they have the horses to (mostly) keep pace in arguably the biggest game of the Sarkisian era.

Texas vs. Alabama Pick

Texas +20.5 (-110 BetMGM)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.