USC most popular bet in Vegas once again
Southern Cal is once again the most popular BCS bet in Vegas – and it’s not even close.
Both the MGM and LVH SuperBook have taken more than twice as many bets on USC to win the 2013 BCS title than any other team.
“The ticket count on them is obscene,” said Superbook manager Chris Bennett on Thursday.
The Trojans passed up LSU in early April at the MGM and are now +300 (3/1) favorites to win the national title. Southern Cal’s 15 returning starters, including Heisman frontrunner Matt Barkley, has a lot to do with the betting surge, but so does the Trojans’ proximity to Las Vegas, says Todd Fuhrman, senior sportsbook analyst at Caesars Palace.
"It's also important to keep in mind their road to the title game not nearly as treacherous considering they will be favored in in all 12 of their games," added Fuhrman, who has the Trojans listed at 7/2.
Still, LSU remains the favorite at the LVH and Lucky’s sportsbooks and as well as at most offshore shops.
Michigan, somewhat surprisingly, has attracted more betting action than defending national champion Alabama. The Wolverines are second behind USC in number of bets to win the national title at the MGM.
The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, have seen very little support. In fact, MGM sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback recently dropped Alabama’s odds from 5/1 to 6/1.
Michigan and Alabama will play Sept. 1, at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The Crimson Tide are a 14.5-point favorite over the Wolverines at the offshore sportsbook 5Dimes.com.
Petrino is no Tressel
When Jim Tressel resigned as head coach of Ohio State last Memorial Day, the Buckeyes’ national title odds went from 25/1 to 50/1.
Bobby Petrino’s departure from Arkansas didn’t have nearly the impact. Most books didn’t move the Razorbacks’ BCS odds at all. John Avello, sportsbook director at the Wynn, bumped them up from 20/1 to 25/1. But the reaction was pretty tame overall.
“We actually had taken quite a bit of action on them at 20/1 and now they’re all the way down to 10/1,” said Stoneback from the MGM. “But we haven’t any bets on them since Petrino news. That’ll shut that down.”
Petrino does have something in common with Tressel, besides a tendency to tell tall tales. Both ex-head coaches were excellent at covering the spread. Petrino was 60-38-3 ATS in his time at Louisville and Arkansas; Tressel went 76-47 against the number at Ohio State.
--College football’s popularity is growing, but the NFL is still king. The handle on the BCS title odds is 1/10th of what has already been bet on the Super Bowl at the MGM, according to Stoneback.
--The Golden Nugget sportsbook says it is looking at posting its college football Games of the Year on either June 8th or 15th. The Nugget has been posting some of the earliest college football game lines for the past six years.
--Florida linebacker/end Ronald Powell, who led the Gators with six sacks last season, suffered a torn ACL in the spring game and will miss four to six months.
--College football season win totals at 5Dimes.com: (Odds as of Thursday)
Alabama – 10.5 (-190u)
Georgia -- 9.5
LSU – 10.5 (-230u)
Marshall -- 6.5 (-140u)
Michigan State – 8.5 (-140o)
Ohio State – 8.5 (-180o)
Oklahoma – 9.5 (-185o)
Southern Cal – 9.5 (-245o)
Texas – 8.5 (-130u)
West Virginia – 8.5 (-140o)