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Dr. Saturday

Three in a row? Alabama favored in every game, and by at least 17 points in all but two games

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Other than Tuscaloosa, the city in which Alabama football receives the most respect might be Las Vegas.

The folks who set the betting lines hold the Crimson Tide and coach Nick Saban in the highest esteem, and the power ranking they're giving Alabama this season might be unprecedented.

According to R.J. Bell of the gambling site, Alabama is favored by at least 17 points in all but two games, according to betting lines set by the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. The Golden Nugget released early lines on the college football games of the year, including 10 Alabama games. Even in Alabama's biggest game this season at probable top five team Texas A&M, Alabama is favored by six points. The Crimson Tide are favored by 11.5 points against LSU in the only other Alabama spread that's less than 17 points.

In other words, Las Vegas fully expects Alabama to roll to at least the SEC title game in its quest for an unprecedented third straight national championship.

Some of that is Alabama's schedule, which happens to be quite favorable this season. But giving Alabama the respect of being favored by six points at a team as good as Texas A&M (which of course beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa last season) is pretty remarkable.

So if you're rooting against Alabama, just know that if the Crimson Tide don't run the table in the regular season it'll be because of a pretty big upset along the way.

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