Bookmaker's Corner: College Football Betting Season in Review
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 1/13/2010
The 2009-10 college football betting season started off great, but then ended on a not-so-great note for us over at Bodog Sportsbook. We saw a late flood of money come in on Alabama, which moved the number from -4 to -5, and we paid the price. Crimson Tide fans, on the other hand, had to be pleased with the way Alabama finished off the season; beating Texas 37-21 in the BCS National Championship Game is about as good as it gets.
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And was that a collective gasp I heard when Marcell Dareus hit Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy early in the contest, injuring McCoy’s shoulder and knocking him out of the game?
At that exact moment, all our handicapping work went out the window. Them’s the breaks, s they say; these are the things you just can’t predict when it comes to betting on sports. But I should add that we had a very successful college football betting season overall. With the struggles of high-profile programs like USC and Oklahoma, the book had many a good day.
The Trojans went a woeful 4-9 against the spread this season, one of the worst betting records in the nation. Notre Dame was almost as bad as USC, finishing 4-8 ATS. (Not surprisingly, both programs will feature new coaches in 2010.)
The Connecticut Huskies were one of the brightest spots for bettors in 2009. Randy Edsall’s squad lost just twice against the spread in the regular season and then beat the number in the Papajohns.com Bowl for good measure.
The Huskies were hardly national-title contenders, finishing 8-5 straight up, but their ability to keep their losses close made them a great bet. (Plus, they were able to fly relatively under the radar all season and they didn’t have to beat many big numbers in their victories either.)
Central Florida, Central Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, Temple and Wyoming did well against the spread this season. Low-profile colleges like these don’t give sportsbooks like Bodog much to worry about when setting a soft line for their games.
That a high-profile school like Ohio State managed to finish 10-3 against the spread was a big story in sports-betting circles. The Buckeyes tend to draw a lot of attention, but their early-season loss to USC didn’t exactly win them any new fans over at the book. Oh well, there’s always next year…right?
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