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Pointspreads are not predictive indicators of future results. Games aren’t played in the sportsbooks of Las Vegas. We were reminded again this past weekend that just being favored doesn’t give you a free pass to the national title. Lines are used to indicate relative strength between teams while also including public perception, recency bias, or conference affiliation to force gamblers into tough decisions. With only a week to go in the regular season, here’s how Vegas views the potential match-ups that we could see in Pasadena.
Here are your up to the minute national championship projected pointspreads courtesy of the oddsmaking team at LVH
Alabama -3 vs Florida St
Alabama -10.5 vs Ohio St
Florida St -10 vs Ohio St
Florida St -9 vs Auburn
Florida St -9 vs Missouri
Auburn -1 vs Ohio St
Missouri -1 vs Ohio St
Last week I said on twitter that my power numbers made Alabama vs Florida St a virtual coin flip and I stand by that as my true number. However, Alabama’s edge in experience and coaching would force sportsbooks to install them as a short favorite against the Seminoles and that’s what you’re seeing from the LVH. I’m sure the casual fan finds it fascinating that Ohio St would be underdogs to all 4 other schools DESPITE being the only other team besides Florida St capable of controlling their own destiny with an undefeated record. Unfortunately in the final year of the BCS we may not even get to see how any of the remaining 1 loss SEC teams would stack up with the ACC or Big Ten champion if form holds this weekend.
Anyone that reads my weekly column knows I haven’t given Auburn or Missouri appropriate credit all season long for their onfield accomplishments. Both teams befuddled oddsmakers during the regular season compiling matching 10-2 records against the spread. Neither team cracked our Vegas top 10 once all year and didn’t when we completed our final regular season numbers However, that doesn’t diminish in any way, shape, or form what both schools have done to get to this point even if their respective power ratings don’t compare with the Alabama’s or Florida St’s of the world. Even in a relatively down year for the conference the three 1 loss SEC teams have all played markedly better opposition than the 2 remaining unbeaten sides. Ohio St’s SOS will come very close to matching FSU when the Buckeyes wrap up their season against MSU while the Seminoles finish with a lay-up against Duke.
Florida St 100.7
Ohio St 99.5
I understand Jay Jacobs argument about the SEC deserving a shot however the BCS isn’t designed to put the 2 best teams in a title game or they’d implore the help of Vegas. Instead the BCS rewards the most “deserving” programs. Don’t believe me? There’s not a soul out there who can make the argument that Notre Dame was the 2nd best team in the land last year yet it was their undefeated record which persuaded people otherwise. The same scenario will hold true with Ohio St assuming the Buckeyes come away with a win Saturday.
The Winston Effect
The question still lingering in the back of everyone’s mind regarding FSU and their ability to win the national title is obviously Jameis Winston’s tenuous legal status. His impact to a FSU pointspread at this point in the year is roughly 10 points. Even with extended time for the Seminoles to get Sean Maguire there’s no possible way he could offset the absence of Winston. If you’re wondering what other QB’s are worth as much to their team’s pointspread as Winston the list includes (but isn’t limited to) Rakim Cato (Marshall), Jordan Lynch (NIU), Derek Carr (Fresno St), David Fales (SJSU), and of course Johnny Manziel.
Updated Odds to win the BCS
It’s still not too late to take a stab at a futures longshot…
OHIO ST 7-2
FLORIDA ST 1-3