NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide and head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers pose with The Coaches' Trophy during the Allstate BCS Championship Press Conference on January 8, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
It's tough when a betting trend is guaranteed to repeat itself and you still don't know which team to put your money on.
Not only has the SEC won the BCS National Championship Game five years in a row, the powerhouse Southern Conference has covered the point spread each time.
But now that two SEC schools are in the game, the trend will continue, but will it be LSU or Alabama emerging victorious?
"Handicapping the game based on head-to-head history points to LSU, but the tricky part is that the point spread is so tight," explained Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. "If LSU is favored, they are lights out as chalk. If Alabama is favored, they have trouble in that role against LSU."
Looking back on their regular-season meeting, a 9-6 slugfest won by the Tigers, there isn't much to help handicappers peg a winner on Jan. 9. In that game, LSU went to Alabama and won as 5.5-point underdogs.
And looking back at recent head-to-head history, LSU has dominated the Crimson Tide, going 7-2 SU in the past nine seasons. In the past 12, LSU is 9-3 SU.
Bettors are clearly conflicted as well, as various online sportsbooks still offer a wide range of betting odds. Bovada and Topbet for example have LSU favored by a point, according to the BCS matchup report. BetOnline and Intertops have Alabama favored by 2 points and 1.5 points respectively.
Over-under wagering is split right down the middle, according to the OddsShark college football consensus data on the BCS title game. The point spread however is a different story as 60% of theOddsShark.com audience was backing Alabama.
While the game is a neutral site, handicapping the game as a ‘road' game for each team yields some interesting recent data.
LSU played five road games this season and gave up more than seven points just once, a 47-21 pounding of West Virginia. They easily covered the spread each time.
Alabama was also 5-0 on the road, 4-1 ATS and just missed a fifth cover with a 24-7 win at Mississippi State as 18-point chalk. They allowed just under 10 PPG.
If LSU is favored, bettors can take comfort in the fact they are 20-0 the past 20 times as chalk. Alabama has lost three times as a favorite in the past two seasons (they are 16-4 SU overall as chalk), twice against LSU.
If Alabama is a dog, bettors should brace themselves for trouble, assuming history repeats itself. They are just 4-10 SU the past 14 games as a pup.
Check out the latest bowl previews and line moves at OddsShark.com, SBNation's officials odds partner.