The closer we get to Alabama's 2018 season opener, the less favorable Vegas oddsmakers are viewing Bobby Petrino's Louisville Cardinals.

Alabama is considered a heavy favorite for its showdown vs. Louisville in Orlando with the line now moving to 31 points, according to 5Dimes Sportsbook. The Crimson Tide opened as 27-point favorites at most spots in January and the line continues to surge.

Alabama has been favored in 111 of its last 112 games, the only outlier being a road game at Georgia in 2015, and should be the betting favorite in every game this fall based on preseason projections.

Nick Saban's team has played in six straight neutral-site openers and has won each of them by double-digits. If the current line holds at kickoff, it'll be the widest expected margin of victory for the Crimson Tide in their first game since 2011 vs. Kent State.

Alabama's last six season openers

  • 2012: vs. No. 8 Michigan (Win, 41-14)
  • 2013: vs. Virginia Tech (Win, 35-10)
  • 2014: vs. West Virginia (Win, 33-23)
  • 2015: vs. No. 20 Wisconsin (Win, 35-17)
  • 2016: vs. No. 20 USC (Win, 52-6)
  • 2017: vs. No. 3 Florida State (Win, 24-7)

Alabama's opener is not considered one of the Crimson Tide's most challenging games in 2018, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. Louisville is replacing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, a few notable starters defensively and is expected to take a step back in the ACC, per Vegas' projected win total for the Cardinals.

Jawon Pass, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound redshirt sophomore out of Columbus, Georgia, is Louisville's new starting quarterback. The fifth-best dual-threat passer nationally in the 2016 class according to the 247Sports Composite, Pass was recruited by Lane Kiffin and Kirby Smart at Alabama, among several others and is a dynamic athlete.

Alabama will take the field with a somewhat new-look offense of its own with first-year coordinator Mike Locksley handling play-calling duties, more expected snaps for rising sophomore ballcarrier Najee Harris and perhaps a new starting quarterback with Tua Tagovailoa leading the charge. Saban said in March he isn't against using both quarterbacks in a two-player system this fall and hasn't shown his hand as to who is leading the competition.

"All I’ve told both players is that they’re both going to have the opportunity to compete, and that’s all any competitor ever wants," Saban said. "We’ve won with both, and the kids on our team respect both guys."