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Two teams dreaming of a national title this season will be looking to avoid a nightmare on Saturday night as the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the Michigan Wolverines in the top matchup on the first weekend of action around college football.
The Crimson Tide, who head into the season at No. 2 on the AP Top 25 poll, are listed as big 14-point favorites for the contest, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium. Alabama is coming off a national title last year, going 12-1 overall and 9-4 against the spread on the college football lines at Bovada. Their lone loss came against SEC rival LSU.
The Wolverines sit at No. 9 in the current AP Top 25 rankings, and they went 11-2 overall last season and 8-4-1 against the spread. Like Alabama, Michigan ended up second in its division last year (behind Michigan State) but still managed to get an at-large BCS bid.
And on the BCS National Championship odds heading into the first week of action the Crimson Tide are at 5/1 to claim their second title in a row, while the Wolverines are farther back at 30/1 on that list.
Alabama is also the 2/1 favorite (ahead of 5/2 LSU) to win the SEC title this year, and they’re at 7/5 to claim the SEC West division. Michigan is behind 3/2 Wisconsin at 2/1 to win the Big Ten, but they’re the 6/1 favorites to win the Legends Division title this year.
Kickoff for the Michigan/Alabama game on Saturday night is set for 8 p.m. ET in Texas. The last time these schools met on the gridiron was back in the Orange Bowl in 2000, with Michigan winning 35-34 in overtime that day; the Crimson Tide had been favored by 2.5 points in that OVER result. Alabama beat Michigan 17-14 in the Outback Bowl in 1997.