Odds and lines for the 2013 season, beginning with the Crystal Trophy game and the teams you should (and should not) count on being there.
With the season fast approaching, it is time to discuss the elephant in the room; something that we casually reference when talking about probable winners and losers; something that may be illegal, but as we know, is actually for entertainment purposes only: betting lines and odds. Don’t act as though you don’t care. As both empirical and anecdotal evidence data show, Alabama has some of the highest amounts of
gambling casual interest in who beats whom and by how much.
But, don’t look to me (or anyone, really) for actual betting advice, tricks or tips: in fact, knowing the sport is of absolutely no help. Besides, at the end of the day, this all for entertainment purposes only. That said, let’s dive right in, beginning with some Future Prop Bets that
may be decent investments will be fun to track as the season progresses. But, do me a solid and read below first,* and I promise this will be first and only time you have to do so…
There are quite a few very good values that immediately jump off the board. They can be divided into roughly three groups: "Safer," "worth a shot," and "overvalued"
Alabama 3:1. With the best coaching, a hella’ scary offense, and one of the easiest paths of any of the preseason favorites (lookin’ at you, Buckeyes), Alabama is a boring homer pick but it may be the Coca Cola of BCS prop bets at this point. Leave your Gump aside, and ask yourself this as a football observer and investor: What team would you trust with a hundred dollars?
State 5:1. The consensus Number 2 poll team also appears second on the chalk. The reasons are simple: scads of talent, great coaching, a B1G where its main competitors have too many question marks, and a schedule that features just three ranked teams (and none of those are ranked higher than 17th). Urban is going to get mad love this year for destroying a 12-game slate of St. Jude’s rejects before facing a three game finale of Michigan, B1GCG and very likely the BCSCG.
South Carolina 25:1. If Sakerlina plays for the SEC title, it will be based upon getting a revamped UGA team early, and Florida’s lack of a proven running game. The East’s other power running team has a violently fun defense, a vastly underrated senior QB, and a schedule that sets up just two ways: either finish the regular season 12-0 or 11-1 or the wheels come off en route to a 3-loss season. Still, no one wants to see Steve Spurrier in a one-off game on a neutral field.
Louisville 28:1. Underrated value. The defense is nasty, the schedule is manageable, the conference is –for national title purposes, a joke. There’s also a little guy named Teddy Bridgewater who is a legit Heisman candidate. Strong may not be the best gameday coach, but with the talent he’s brought in, and a demonstrated ability to pregame with the best of them, I like Louisville to fill the void should Alabama or the Buckeyes stumble.
State 40:1. With OU rebuilding, Texas still in its post-2009 funk, and K State having to replace do-it-all Heisman runner-up and the heart and soul of its defense, I simply love the Pokes’ chances of running the table. The only questions are: 1. A good, deep Big Twelve affords Okie Lite few off-weeks. Consistency is a must. 2. The defense, particularly the secondary, is prone to the occasional shootout. Can they bend without shattering for twelve straight games?
Hon. Mention: Georgia. At the end of the day, that schedule is just too much though.
Clowney exited the womb and suplexed his mom
"Worth a Shot"
Oregon 8:1. We know generally what to expect: Belotti/Kelly off their meds, and a fast, undersized defense that specializes in opportunism and forcing turnovers. We don’t know how
Oregon will respond to the offseason turmoil, coaching staff turnover, or how they will gameplan for a bigger, stronger Stanford team that only gets better the longer Shaw is at the Farm.
LSU 28:1. Overlooked and underrated: Two words I never thought I’d type about LSU. The offense returns practically intact, and the defense –though taking some heavy losses (like Alabama), will be their typically well-coached, physical, talented selves. The schedule is brutal, and no one is going to confuse Les Miles for Bear Bryant, but it’s hard to not believe they won’t be in contention till the end.
Notre Dame 50:1. Notre Dame is not going away. They have the cache, the talent, and a coach who knows how to win. The defensive line and secondary are very good. The running game has gotten steadily better, and QB play will only improve as Brian Kelly finally gets his pieces in place. The schedule this year is not a joke though, including a season road finale at Stanford, a trip to Michigan, and an early four-game home swing of Michigan State, Arizona State, Oklahoma, bye, and arch nemesis USC. (Ed. Note: I really, really despise Notre Dame, and a shotgun-based offense only makes me loathe them more, if that’s possible).
Stanford 18:1. I’m a fan of power running and throwing just enough to exploit vulnerabilities. Stanford is brutish on both sides of the line, very deep at RB, and has one of America’s best coaches (certainly the best in the PAC-12). The schedule sets up very favorably, as well. The only thing keeping me from going all-in on the TREEEEES is middling quarterback play, and a tendency to play it too close to the vest in a wide-open conference where few leads are vouchsafed. The winner of the Stanford-Oregon game will be in the mix with the SEC and Big 10 winner for BCS (and, as I believe).
Hon. Mention: Miami. Let’s see how they deal with one season as a conference front-runner of sorts first.
I want to believe...show me how to love, Coach Shaw.
Florida 30:1. A power running team with no proven power runner. A VHT at QB who can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and when he does, it’s to opposing jerseys. Wide receivers who hate catching the ball. A coach that doesn’t seem to have put together a complete game yet (not that I think he’s particularly bad, though. He just needs time to grow into this role). This is the snow globe of college football: shake up a lot of 5-star recruits, tell your guys to put a body-on-a-body, and hope for the best. Hard to justify laying cash on this kind of entropy-made-flesh.
State 20:1. Losses on the DL hurt a lot for a team that specializes in punishment in the trenches. Jameis Winston (sight unseen) has to be an upgrade over EJ Manuel who has moved on to
tormenting me and the Bills the NFL. Still, the window of guaranteed 10-11 win seasons has narrowed, as the ACC slowly gains on the ‘Noles talent-wise. Frankly, I do not like, and have never trusted, Jimbo Fisher as a head coach. Can he recruit? Sure. But the name "FSU" and/or fat bags of cash have the same effect. Can he coach? Inconsistency and a tendency to play down to the competition suggest he’s just a guy –or worse, the Houston Nutt of the ACC.
Texas 20:1. As long as Mack Brown is your Longhorn coach (and Vince Young is in the NFL),
Oklahoma will expose every miserable tendency of the ‘Horns: Soft defense, poor tackling, inconsistency, poorly-evaluated, poorly-schemed. As many question marks as
Oklahoma has this year, and with an offense starting anew, I still fully expect them to blow the doors off the ‘Horns. Those negatives aside, I love the running game, which will be among the best in a conference that forgot how to smack people in the mouth. Still, a fool and his money are soon parted: Don’t be a fool.
Clemson 22:1. Several reasons to dislike this team to run the table. 1. I neither like nor trust the defense. Should Ellington, Boyd or Watkins miss any appreciable snaps do you trust Clemson to win a defensive struggle? Remember, just 18 months ago they were giving up 70 points to West Virginia. 2. Too much SEC, Pawwwl. Welcome to your OOC schedule, guys: Two top-10 SEC teams. Oh, and one of them is your instate, archrival. Getting past one is possible. Sweeping them both? Not going to happen. 3. Let’s play an analogy game here. Gus Malzahn : Gene Chizik ::
Chad Morris : Dabo Sweeney. Dabo’s chief talents appear to lie in hiring exemplary coordinators who in turn run the team, and in allegedly turning a blind eye to the also alleged dirty deeds required to get that much talent to come to Auburn With A Lake.
Texas A&M 12:1. How can you pass up a 10-win, top-10 team with a returning Heisman winner, a point-a-minute offense, an aggressive coach and an underrated defense? Two reasons: intangibles like discipline. Taking the latter first, it’s hard to be sanguine about a team that’s heard nothing and read nothing but positives since beating Alabama last year. But, the fact remains, either Manziel is a djinn and can dominate his coach through wizardry, or Sumlin can’t keep his headcase star on a leash. This smacks of an ill-disciplined team at heart, and that lack of discipline (and offseason puffery) has a way of rebounding. There is also the uncertainty surrounding Manziel’s eligibility; the more reports and allegations that surface, the less he tends to be exonerated. Add to these issues losses along both lines, and an unforgiving SEC-West, and I can’t buy this team.
Field 50:1. This year, moreso than year’s past, seems to be a restrictive field. There just aren’t other teams that instantly jump out as being able to run the table. It’s hard to believe, at the end of the day, that your BCS Champion won’t come from someone already discussed .
Pictured: Jessie Williams giving Manziel an Aussie autograph.
This weekend, we’ll start taking a look at the 2013 Games of the Year, and how you to parlay that home-equity line of credit and 2nd mortgage into instant profit!**
* (dry cough, reads aloud in monotone:) Nothing above is meant to be a source of professional advice as to in any way gamble, place bets and/or wager, and no reliance is to be placed on the same. We do not undertake any responsibility and/or liability for any losses and/or damages sustained by any person or persons, and we shall not be responsible and/or liable for any losses or damages due to any information or otherwise contained on this web site, whether due to inaccuracy, error, omission, your own bad judgment or any reason whatsoever. Roll Bama Roll and SBN do not provide gaming or gambling capabilities on this or other site/s. Roll Bama Roll is a sports information site, and odds and betting lines are part of that information. It is very important to check the laws and regulation in your own country or state regarding gambling. Everything herein is for entertainment purposes only.
** Seriously, don’t do this. Please. Ever. For the love of god, don’t.