Alabama Opens as Huge Favorite in Hypothetical National Title Matchups

Sep 19, 2018 4:19 PM EDT
  • The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas has opened lookahead lines for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
  • Alabama is included in each of the four matchups, taking on Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Oklahoma.
  • Based on The Action Network's college football power ratings, Alabama is clearly overvalued in each of the four matchups.

Golden Nugget in Las Vegas is already offering lines for four College Football Playoff National Championship Game matchups, according to Sportsbook Director Tony Miller.

  • Alabama (-9.5) vs. Ohio State
  • Alabama (-10.5) vs. Georgia
  • Alabama (-11.5) vs. Clemson
  • Alabama (-14.5) vs. Oklahoma

Is anybody surprised that Alabama, the odds-on favorite to win the national title, is included (and favored) in all four matchups?

There is certainly a method to the madness of posting lines this early. Books are trying to take advantage of Alabama’s recent performances and the perception that the Tide are unbeatable.

In fact, The Action Network’s college football power ratings suggest that there is value betting the underdog in each of these four matchups. Here’s a look at lines on a neutral field based on our ratings:

  • Alabama (-5) vs. Ohio State
  • Alabama (-5.5) vs. Georgia
  • Alabama (-5.5) vs. Clemson
  • Alabama (-7) vs. Oklahoma

Alabama is 3-0 against the spread so far and is covering by an average of 19.8 points per game, the best mark in the country. Nick Saban’s team is somehow still underrated.

If the Tide keep playing like this, they might be a double-digit favorite in every regular season game. The only teams since 2005 to do that were 2008 USC and 2013 Oregon — both won at least 11 games, but fell short of a national title.

Alabama was -10.5 at home against Auburn in Westgate’s Game of the Year lines, which were updated last week but aren’t currently on the board.

While betting limits were not disclosed in Miller’s tweet, it’ll be interesting to monitor whether bettors take advantage of these early numbers.

Credit:

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Saban

Follow PJ Walsh on Twitter
@PJWalsh24

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SCHEDULE
OPEN
CURR
# BETS
MSST
MISS
--
+8.5
--
+10
TEX
KU
--
--
--
--
ECU
CIN
--
-18
--
-18
UCF
USF
--
+13.5
--
+14.5
OKLA
WVU
--
+2
--
-1
WASH
WSU
--
-3
--
-3.5
MICH
OSU
--
+3
--
+4
FLA
FSU
--
+3
--
+4
GT
UGA
--
-17
--
-17.5
SYR
BC
--
--
--
--
AUB
BAMA
--
-24
--
-24.5
MD
PSU
--
-14
--
-13.5
ILL
NW
--
-18
--
-18
UK
LOU
--
+17
--
+17.5
SC
CLEM
--
-25
--
-25
KSU
ISU
--
-14
--
-14
LSU
TA&M
--
-2
--
-1
ND
USC
--
+8
--
+10.5
BYU
UTAH
--
-13.5
--
-13.5
USU
BSU
--
-3
--
-3