Turn away for one second and you will no doubt miss a significant, BCS-shaking development on the college football field. The National Championship odds fluctuating more frequently than Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe. For now, Alabama has returned to favorite status with Notre Dame second. For now….
All odds provided by Sportsbook.ag.
Alabama (-140) – The Tide weren’t celebrating a championship on Saturday night, but there was ample reason for their excitement. In the span of a few hours, ‘Bama went from a +600 underdog to win it all to a -140 favorite. Christmas came early in Tuscaloosa, courtesy of Santa Kansas State and Santa Oregon.
Notre Dame (+300) – When the season started, who had Notre Dame being the last undefeated FCS team (other than bowl-banned Ohio State)? Yeah, nobody. Yet the Irish are, in fact, the last men standing, and all that stands in their way of the title game is USC. The Trojans have home-field advantage, but they don’t have Matt Barkley.
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Georgia (+400) – You want a college football playoff? You got one (albeit in scaled-down form). Assuming Alabama and Georgia take care of Auburn and Georgia Tech, respectively, the SEC Championship will be for a spot in the BCS title game. Get your popcorn ready.
Oregon (+1000) – If things are already this crazy, what’s to say they can’t get crazier? What if USC beats Notre Dame? What if Georgia loses to Georgia Tech then beats Alabama? What if Florida beats Florida State? What if Kansas State loses to Texas? Everyone as far down as seventh-ranked LSU has a chance. Oregon is fifth…but right on Florida’s heels in the BCS.
San Francisco 49ers (+175) – Prior to Monday night’s beatdown of Chicago, the 49ers were slight +250 favorites ahead of Atlanta and Green Bay, both at +350. But with backup Colin Kaepernick doing a stellar job at quarterback and Aldon Smith leading a dominant defense with 5.5 sacks, San Francisco looked nothing short of scary.
Atlanta Falcons (+350) – Normally when you’re an MVP candidate playing on a team that improves to 9-1, you’re making history in a good way. Not so for Matt Ryan, who became the first quarterback since Bart Starr in 1967 to throw five interceptions in a game and still win. The Falcons have to start showing a lot more in order to inspire confidence.
Green Bay Packers (+350) – The Packers’ surge is gaining more and more steam. Not only have they won five in a row, but now they’re even getting help from Chicago. If you blinked, you missed it: Green Bay is tied atop the NFC North, currently has the tiebreaker over the Bears, and is all of a sudden a -170 favorite to win the division.
Chicago Bears (+600) – While the 49ers’ performance bumped both Atlanta and Green Bay from +300 to +350, Chicago remained as the fourth conference favorite at +600. The explanation, of course, has to be that the Bears were playing with Jason Campbell instead of Jay Cutler. Still, things are starting to get blustery in the Windy City.
Indiana (+400) – The top-ranked Hoosiers are off to a 4-0 start. They were tested against their only “real” opponent on Monday, as Georgia stayed even with Tom Crean’s crew until early in the second half. Cody Zeller and Christian Watford are both averaging at least 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jordan Hulls is draining 57 percent from beyond the arc.
Louisville (+800) – Only one other team is receiving first-place votes in the two polls. It is, of course, Rick Pitino’s Louisville squad that was one year ahead of schedule when it reached the Final Four last season. Peyton Siva is dishing out nine assists per game, and Russ Smith has been the beneficiary, averaging 21.3 points through three contests.
Kentucky (+1000) – The Wildcats are down at No. 8 in the rankings because they lost to Duke on Nov. 13 in the Georgia Dome. But their setback against the Blue Devils was of little to no importance. A young Kentucky squad clearly showed that it will be a force to be reckoned with come March. Alex Poythress: man-child.
UCLA (+1000) – Facing tough competition for the first time this season, UCLA went down to Georgetown on Monday, 78-70. But there’s good — and much more meaningful — news for the Bruins. Freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been cleared to play and he promptly scored 15 points in just 25 minutes against the Hoyas.
Duke (+1200) – There may not be a changing of the guard on Tobacco Road after all. While N.C. State is getting blown out by teams like Oklahoma State, Duke and UNC are rolling. The Blue Devils featured their balanced attack in a 75-68 win over Kentucky, with Mason Plumlee controlling the paint and Seth Curry stroking the three.
NBA Atlantic Division
New York Knicks (+140) - The Atlantic is the lone division in the NBA in which no team is less than even money to come out on top. It's wide open between the Knicks and Celtics, and the Nets are not too far behind. New York finally lost a game (at Memphis in the second of a back-to-back) but bounced back with a convincing win over Indiana. The big question is how Amar’e Stoudemire will blend into the lineup when he returns.
Boston Celtics (+150) - The Celtics have been up and down, standing at 6-5 and 2.5 games back of New York. They have a big stretch over the next eight days, with home games against San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Nets (+300) - It's hard to beat the hype of a season-opening showdown, but perhaps the hurricane-induced postponement wasn't a bad thing after all. The Nets and Knicks are a combined 13-3 with the rescheduled game looming large on Monday. If there is such a thing as a big regular-season NBA game, this is it.
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