Friday, September 05, 2008

Roll Tide, Roll Wave

The New York Post puts the Alabama Crimson Tide a neat thirty over the Wave- second biggest ‘dog this weekend (Ohio State is -34 over Ohio University). For one, I was hoping that the Toledo improvement would have advanced to the point that- even if Tulane was a four touchdown ‘dog- we could be spared the indignity of the "hook plus more" on that four TDs.

These games that are exercises in psychology, as opposed to actual football, make me crazy. I’m not really good at them- missed here and here. I’m unsure of the approach of others too. One poster on nola is comparing the average weight of the rosters (post 7893)? Jeez. I dunno. Does one include the mass of the punter(s)?- 'cause the Tide has a bunch on the roster. The yogwf weighs in here- some good comments.

Look, Alabama is a whole class better than Tulane- and probably can go a long way to naming the score. But I am struck the over/under is a mere 44- which, when dealing with a thirty point spread, is indicative that Vegas doesn’t think Tulane can score at all. In contrast, Nebraska is -27 over San Diego- but the o/u is 57.

Frankly, you can probably take the Wave to cover and play the over- and pretty much get a free bet that pays off if the Wave can score 17 points or so. To wit, Tulane probably cannot fail to cover unless Alabama goes a long way toward busting that 44 number- so the bets are a wash. And you actually get paid on both bets if the Wave can score some- get the cover and bust the over.

To me, that is the wager right there: can the Wave get into the teens? I don’t think Alabama is looking to score fifty in this spot- so 14-17 Tulane points would probably make the Green Wave a decent play here.

I sort of think they can. There are a lot of ways for Tulane to get to that second/third score: outright play well on offense, play okay on offense and get just a single outright mistake by Alabama, get a break or two on defense.

While not exactly a trap game for the Tide (Western Kentucky is up next), Alabama is at the very least coming off a big effort this weekend. Are they really going to be looking and motivated to deliver the sort of beating they laid last year on Western Carolina?

I guess it is the home opener... but still, hard to see the Tide real dialed in. This is a big exciting game for Tulane- and an exercise for Alabama. Last season’s UL-M disaster probably inoculates Alabama against a real let-down- but the Wave just doesn’t need to do much here, just get a garbage time score, something- to stay within four scores of an Alabama team that was not as good as last year’s version of LSU (where the Wave played pretty credibly).

Tentatively, I will take the Tulane +30 and root, root, root for the clock.

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