On Wednesday, the Golden Nugget Sportsbook in Las Vegas released four college football National Championship game lines. All four involved Alabama, and the size of the lines was somewhat stunning.
If you place a bet on these, know that only the actual National Championship matchup will have action, and all others will be voided and refunded. Meaning if you place a bet on Alabama vs. Oklahoma, and the title game features some other matchup, your bet is refunded.
Here are the lines:
- Alabama -9.5 vs. Ohio State
- Alabama -10.5 vs. Georgia
- Alabama -11.5 vs. Clemson
- Alabama -14.5 vs. Oklahoma
Yes, Alabama would need to win by double digits to cover in any of these. Remarkable.
There seems to be an “Alabama Tax” here. True, the Tide through three games look like one of the most dominant teams of all time, but this is still an inflation of three to four points on each line, based on my numbers.
I would have Alabama favored by six over Ohio State, 7.5 against Georgia, 10 against Clemson (as long as the Tigers keep playing Kelly Bryant), and 12 against Oklahoma.
So at these prices, I would take the underdog in each matchup. And I might be wrong in doing so.
If Alabama keeps playing like this, it might smash everyone it plays. But it’s likely that the Tide will have some weakness exposed at some point, even if it does not result in a loss.
And the teams that could exploit those losses are pretty much those listed above because they can hold up on the lines of scrimmage, forcing Alabama to work for points on offense and get out of its two-deep shell on defense. So far, the Tide have not had to do that very much.
It’s also worth noting that the Playoff’s championship game is played at the San Francisco 49ers stadium, so there likely won’t be a substantial home-field advantage for either team.