Pointspread Dominance: Alabama Still Chasing USC

Published on: October 18, 2012 | Written by: Todd Fuhrman

Most dominant college football team is a subjective argument. Each season a team gets off to a hot start and we’re ready to call them the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, there is one constant to gauge relative strength to the competitive set; the vegas pointspread.

Roll Tide is apropos considering Alabama is in the middle of a streak where they've been favored in 46 of their last 47 games, including 35 straight with their 20.5 price tag at Tennessee this weekend. The most remarkable component of this point spread dominance is that unless the wheels completely come off and the Tide plays like Auburn, Alabama will be favored in their 5 remaining regular season games, the SEC title, and subsequent bowl game running their streak to 42 straight by the end of the year.

“The Crimson Tide were favored by 484 points, an average of 18.6 PPG, over the last 26 games (entering 2012) and were 17-9 against the spread during that stretch,” David Purdum, senior writer for the Linemakers on Sporting News told me earlier. Purdum has covered the Vegas side of sports as a journalist for the last 5 years. If we think 18.6 PPG seems like a lofty impost, it pales in comparison to the 28 PPG average bettors are laying when betting Alabama games in 2012.

Alabama owns the betting market right now but they have a long way to go before they can match Pete Carrol’s USC dynasty.

“USC was favored in 58 consecutive games from 2003 to 2007, the longest streak in the BCS era.  Matt Leinart and the Trojans were 3.5 pt underdogs at Auburn in the 2003 season opener and it wasn’t until a road trip to Eugene in 2007 they were dogged again,” Purdum added.

During the peak of the Trojan empire, USC’s average point spread was 21 points per game and were favored by a combined 1,222 points over the course of 58 games. Every Alabama fan eager to call Saban's program the greatest dynasty during the BCS era needs to keep their bottles of champagne on ice a few years longer if the goal is to beat the streak.

It’s not an upset if…

Favored WVU knocks of Kansas St as 2.5 pt favorites. Tv analysts can look at pointspreads and do us all a favor by having a clue rather than using the polls to justify their claims

Don’t be surprised when…

Alabama needs a drive late to put away Tennessee

Sports books will need…

Texas A&M +3.5 right out of the gates to disrupt the heavy volume of single game wagers and parlay tickets that are tied to the Tigers.

Weekend Betting Trends

BCS conference games receiving one sided action (more than 70% of all tickets being written):

Oregon: 74%
Georgia: 70%
Stanford: 73%
Ohio St: 73%
Michigan St: 70%
Colorado: 84%

Teams seeing money from the professionals:

Uconn
Tennessee
Louisville

College football best bets

BYU +14 and Kansas +35.