Bookmaker's Corner: BCS National Championship Game Betting
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 1/5/2010
Oddsmakers would have you believe that the Texas Longhorns are gaining ground on the Alabama Crimson Tide. In early December, the Longhorns were getting as many as six points at a few online books. Now you’ll be hard-pressed to find +4.5 as Thursday’s BCS National Championship Game draws near.
Over at Bodog Sportsbook, we opened the betting at Texas +5 but have since moved to +4.
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All season long Texas has been criticized for having easy schedule (or so most everyone thought). When the Longhorns narrowly beat Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, people grew even warier and a few more eyebrows were raised.
Then again, because Nebraska beat Arizona 33-0 in the Holiday Bowl, a game that featured the Huskers holding the Wildcats to 109 total yards, perhaps a few people were tempted to think that a one-point win over Nebraska is pretty good after all.
Try selling that argument to Alabama backers.
As far as impressive wins go, not many could be as impressive as the one the Crimson Tide got over Florida, 32-13, in the SEC title game.
So then, consider this: the most interesting betting number for the BCS National Championship Game may not be the pointspread – but rather the total.
Allow me to explain…
This championship game pits two of the top defenses in the nation against each other. Alabama led all schools by surrendering just 11.0 points per game while Texas finished tops in run defense, allowing a ridiculous 2.0 yards per carry.
Both teams know how to score. The Longhorns averaged 40.7 points per game – tied for third with TCU, behind only Boise State and Houston – while the Tide features the Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram, in the backfield.
Would a 13-10 finish shock anyone? Or what if the score was 35-28? (Both outcomes are entirely possible. And that’s what I mean by interesting.) Most online sportsbooks have settled on 45 as the over/under, though it’s worthwhile to shop around to find the best number.
This year’s BCS National Championship Game could prove to be a classic.
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