Mercer vs Alabama Betting Preview | 2021 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Mercer vs Alabama Betting Preview | 2021 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Top-ranked Alabama smashed No. 14 Miami in Week 1, so it’s downright scary to imagine what the Crimson Tide might do this week in their home opener against little FCS school Mercer. Alabama is a massive favorite on the NCAAF odds. It’s time we take a look at both Mercer and Alabama programs to see how they arrive to this match so you can bet against their NCAAF Betting Odds.

College Football Odds and Predictions – Mercer Bears vs Alabama Crimson Tide

How to Bet Mercer at Alabama NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 4 PM ET
  • Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: TBA

Why Bet on Mercer?

Drew Cronic is in his second season as head coach at Mercer. In his first season, Cronic led the Bears to their best Southern Conference season since joining the conference with five league wins, including three over ranked foes. He also guided the Bears to a No. 23 ranking in the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 poll for Mercer’s first-ever appearance in the poll.

Mercer opened this season with a 69-0 whitewashing over something called Point in Week 1 – I honestly don’t know what that school is. The Bears scored their most points ever in a game (69), accumulated the most yards in one contest (778) and most rushing yards in a game (539). Mercer scored more than 60 points for just the second time program history. The Bears scored 61 points in a 2013 victory against Warner.

The Bears’ 10 touchdowns and 9.1 rushing yards per play, as well as Devin Folser’s nine extra points, were also school records. He surpassed the previous record of eight, which originally set by Jagger Leib in 2014 and tied by Cole Fisher in 2018.

The Orange & Black averaged 9.3 yards per play, the second-best average in program history. Carter Peevy went 9-for-12 with 139 yards and a TD while Tommy Pollack rushed for a career-high 111 yards and a team-best two scores.

Defensively, the Bears held Point to just 99 yards, the second-lowest total for an opponent in team history. The only time the Bears held an opponent to less than 100 yards came when they defeated Berry College in 2013. Mercer limited the Skyhawks to only 41 rushing yards (T-5 lowest) and 58 yards through the air (T-7 lowest). The shutout was the Orange & Black’s first since a 2015 win over SoCon opponent ETSU.

The Bears have battled Alabama three times on the gridiron, with the last meeting, a 56-0 loss, coming in 2017. That meeting was the Bears’ first with the Crimson Tide in the modern era.

Why Bet on Alabama?

The Tide smashed No. 14 Miami 44-13 in Week 1. In his first NCAA start, new Heisman Trophy favorite Bryce Young went 27-of-38 for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Two of his touchdown passes were to Cameron Latu, while John Metchie III and Jameson Williams accounted for one each.

Young’s 94-yard touchdown pass to Williams in the third quarter tied for the second-longest touchdown pass in program history. The longest touchdown pass in program history is AJ McCarron’s throw to Amari Cooper at Auburn on Nov. 30, 2013 (99 yards). Young’s yards and TD throws were a school record for a QB in his first start.  Placekicker Will Reichard extended his streak of made field goals to 18 with successful attempts from 38, 51 and 40 yards out. He also tacked on all five extra points.

The win improved Nick Saban to 63-7 (.900) in non-conference games while in Tuscaloosa, a number that is made up of only two losses to nonconference opponents during the regular season, both of which came in 2007 (14-21 vs. Florida State (Jacksonville) and 14-21 vs. ULM).

Alabama is the current FBS leader for scoring at least 30 points in consecutive games with 27 in a row. The Tide’s streak is the second-longest in major college football history with only UCF having a longer run of 31 games from 2017-19. The Crimson Tide have now won 42 straight games when scoring a touchdown on the first offensive possession of the game. The Tide’s last loss after finding the end zone on its first drive was to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

This is Bama’s home opener and it has won 54 of the last 56 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama boasts the best all-time home winning percentage in the FBS with an .834 (277-54-3) mark at Bryant-Denny Stadium since its opening in 1929. The Tide are 88-8 (.917) at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the tenure of Saban, including an 84-5 (.944) record since the 2008 season.

Alabama has defeated 98 consecutive unranked teams under Saban, the longest streak in FBS history. The current streak began with a win over Colorado on Dec. 30, 2007 in the Independence Bowl. Saban is 3-0 against Southern Conference opponents in his Tide career: 56-0 vs. Mercer on Nov. 18, 2017; 50-17 vs. The Citadel on Nov. 17, 2018; and 66-3 vs. Western Carolina on Nov. 23, 2019.

Expert Prediction

  • Alabama 52, Mercer 3

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