While there is no official record of individual game handle like the Nevada Gaming Control Board does for the Super Bowl, Lucky’s sports book director Jimmy Vaccaro believes LSU-Alabama could reach levels never seen before for a regular season college football game.
“It’s right up there with all the classic games in history, whether it was Nebraska-Oklahoma or Ohio State-Michigan at the end of the season when those games meant something,” Vaccaro said. “I don’t think you’ll see the game go below -4 or get up to -6.”
The LSU-Alabama hype has been on overload this week across television, radio, print and especially in Las Vegas sports books. Despite all the action, Alabama has stayed a 4½-point favorite throughout the week with equal action coming in on both sides.
Most of the sharp money that wanted LSU took it the week or two prior when books posted Alabama at -6½. Bet they wish they could have had the +9 the Golden Nugget posted on the game in June.
“The big thing for us, besides it being just a game between No. 1 and No. 2 that everyone has waited all season for, is the timing of the date. We have the Breeders’ Cup going on in the race books with lots of additional cash in town which should boost action significantly on the sports side.”
The only movement from the game of the year this week has been on the total. The Las Vegas Hilton Super Book posted 43½ and it’s been down to 41. When you have two teams that allow less than 17 points per game between them, it’s hard to reason with the logic of taking the UNDER. But doesn’t it always seem like the hyped games, whether it’s in college or the pro, always seem to take an unexpected turn in regards to game flow expectations?
Beyond the marquee matchup, we also have quite a few little Big Games this week with lots of BCS implications. From a betting perspective, the one that has received the most attention from sharp money has been Oregon’s visit to Washington on Saturday night. Oregon opened as a 14 ½-point favorite and was bet up to -16½.
Stanford, the other part of the Pac-12 equation into the BCS, hasn’t seen any movement for its game at Oregon State. The Cardinal opened -21 and stayed. A few books had variations at -20½.
Is it so unreasonable to think that Stanford could win big again? Even the small money with their parlays are feeling somewhat reluctant betting on Stanford, a team that hasn’t lost a spread for them all season (7-0-1 ATS).
Perhaps it’s the feeling that there is no way Stanford can get back to the high felt last week in beating USC in triple-overtime. This could be a letdown spot, or maybe a game that the Cardinal doesn’t take seriously enough with a Nov. 12 date circled. That’s when Oregon visits Palo Alto for a huge game that could put the winner on a path to play the LSU-Alabama winner for the BCS title.
Oklahoma State, the other team in that whole BCS equation, plays an over achieving Kansas State squad who had its bubble burst rudely by Oklahoma last week. The public is all over Oklahoma State, laying the -21 all week long in parlays. Sharp money is either taking a pass or waiting for more value with the underdog. The line has held steady.
Regardless of what Oregon and Stanford do next week, Oklahoma State is still in the driver’s seat and controls its own destiny. Vaccaro posted a line on the big Dec. 3 game in Stillwater with the Cowboys a 3-point home favorite over Oklahoma.
There’s no line posted on next week’s Stanford-Oregon game, but Stanford -7 looks to be a good number, maybe -6½. In June, The Golden Nugget made Oregon a 1-point road favorite. The Nugget also made Oklahoma a 2-point road favorite over Okie State at that time.
The Sooners opened as 14½ point favorites at Wynn Resort for their game Saturday against Texas A&M. Most sports books had it -13 where it has stayed untouched all week.
Georgia is taking a week off of SEC action with a tune-up game against New Mexico State. The Dawgs opened -34-point and are now at -32 after a few players were suspended, including RB Isaiah Crowell. It’s hard erase the 2-10 season the Aggies had last year when we see this big number, but they are drastically improved. New Mexico State’s offense can actually move the ball and score on teams, going 6-2 ATS.
Air Force and Army hook up in Colorado Springs this week with their 696 yards of combined rushing offense a game. Air Force opened at -14½ at the Hilton and is currently -17.
The Wynn opened Texas -8 for its game in Austin against Texas Tech. Most sports books opened it -12 ½ and since moved up to -14.
There hasn’t been a lot of activity on the pro side.
Buffalo rose a half-point to -2 for its home game against the Jets. The Raiders dropped from 8-point favorites to -7 for its home game against Denver. The Patriots have moved up a half to -9 against the Giants and the host Chiefs dropped from -5½-to -4 against the Dolphins.