Ohio State vs. Florida State Is Open for Betting Business, But Vegas Still Likes Bama
On Saturday, after Ohio State’s nail-biter against Michigan and Auburn’s thrilling upset of Alabama, the BCS debate began in earnest.
I asked six bookmakers: What would you make the spread between Auburn and Ohio State on a neutral field? Only one of the six would favor Auburn. Southpoint’s Jimmy Vaccaro felt the strongest about Ohio State, making the Buckeyes a 4-point favorite in this hypothetical matchup.
The most likely BCS title matchup is open for betting: Florida State is currently favored by 9.5 points over Ohio State (at the Golden Nugget). This is no hypothetical point spread: The Nugget is taking up to $3,000 bets at this number, with refunds for all if these two teams do not face off. Before the most recent weekend, the spread on this same matchup was the Seminoles favored by only 6.5 over the Buckeyes. Obviously the market is reacting — with a significant three-point adjustment — to Florida State’s continued domination and Ohio State’s close calls.
The team Vegas considers to be the best in the country needs a miracle to make the title game. Polling the same six bookmakers, Alabama would still be favored against any team in the country. Five would make the Tide clear favorites over Florida State, with Bovada’s Kevin Bradley being the only exception. If you disagree, keep in mind that Vegas isn’t always right … but it’s always willing to bet you that it is!
The proposal would strike a major blow to up-tempo spread offenses that often run plays before the opposing defense is set. Coaches like Alabama’s Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema last summer said that up-tempo offenses are likelier to cause injuries for defensive players who can’t get off of the field in time.
“When we got to the party about eight o’clock it was a packed house at the hotel,” Evans told AL.com. “We walked in and the first people we saw was the entire Auburn staff standing there on our left and to my right was Kirby Smart and the Bama staff. I was like ‘This has never happened in Auburn before and probably never will again.’”