Daily Bet: Alabama (-12) vs. Tennessee, First Half (Saturday)

The answer is: broccoli, Monday mornings and the San Francisco 49ers.

The question is: What are three things I hate with the intensity of 1,000 suns? Well, that hatred of the 49ers is now off the charts after the way that game against Seattle ended last night. In case you missed it, trailing 13-6 and backed up against San Francisco’s goal line with less than a minute to go, the Seahawks on fourth-and-long completed a pass that was inches short of the first down. But on the play, Seattle was called for a chop block in the end zone. Result: automatic safety, San Francisco’s 13-6 lead grows to 15-6 and I cash a ticket on the Niners minus-7. Except jackass Jim Harbaugh declined the penalty (and thus bye-bye safety), San Francisco took possession for one kneel-down play, 13-6 final. Oh, and then there was 49ers QB Alex Smith in the fourth quarter throwing an inexcusable interception in the end zone when in chip-shot field-goal range.

Did I mention I freaking hate the 49ers? I’m guessing plenty of others share that opinion
today, seeing that the odds yesterday jumped from 49ers minus-7 to minus-8½ or 9—meaning while I at least got a push, most bettors suffered an all-time bad beat. To quote Frank Costanza: Serenity now!

Anyway, with very limited Friday action I’m looking ahead to Saturday’s college football card and coming with a rare first-half play, and it’s on Alabama. The top-ranked Crimson Tide have rolled to a 6-0 start, but they’re just 3-3 ATS, so laying 20 points at Tennessee is a bit dicey, especially when Nick Saban is likely to insert scrubs in the fourth quarter. Asking the Tide to take a two-touchdown lead into the locker room at halftime, however? Much more enticing. Here’s why: Alabama has given up just 21 points in the first half all season—and not a single point in the second quarter. At the same time, the Tide’s offense averages 26.8 points in the first half (as opposed to just 13.7 points in the second half). And while Alabama’s D is allowing just 3.5 points in the first half, Tennessee is surrendering 18.4 points in the opening two quarters (compared with 13.1 points in the second half).

Finally, while Tennessee lost its biggest home game to date (37-20 to Florida, part of the Vols’ current 1-3 slump), Alabama won its first two road games (Arkansas and Missouri) by the combined score of 94-10 (52-7 in the first half).

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Wednesday’s Result: Yankees-Tigers UNDER 7 runs (Loss)

Thursday’s Result: 49ers (-7) vs. Seahawks (Push)

Record: 56-49-1