NCAAF BCS Bowl line watch: Act now if you like Stanford

Steve Merril
Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at the odds for the five BCS bowls and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now 

Stanford Cardinal (-4.5) vs. Michigan State Spartans

Early money has already shown on the Rose Bowl with Stanford quickly getting bet up from the 3-point opener. The Pac-12 was the strongest power-rated conference this season, slightly higher than the almighty SEC. The Big Ten was rated fourth and for that reason alone, money is against the Spartans.
Michigan State and Stanford are also two similar teams in that they both play power football combined with stout defense. But bettors trust the Stanford offense more and since they also played the tougher schedule, upward line movement was easily predictable. If you like the Cardinal, you should lock in your number now even though you missed the key stop at three. The professionals will play the dog at post and that may come after some more line manipulation on the favorite.

Spread to wait on

Alabama Crimson Tide (-15) vs. Oklahoma Sooners

The public will be on the name underdog in this game, especially since they are getting over two touchdowns. Alabama will also be a play-against team because “they must be disappointed” after winning the BCS title game in three of the last four seasons. The conventional wisdom will be that a trip to the Sugar Bowl means nothing to the Tide.

Oklahoma has the reputation and everybody remembers the Sooners winning at Oklahoma State as 10-point underdogs in their last game. It also coincides with Alabama losing at Auburn as a 10-point favorite in its last game. We expect this line to come down closer to kickoff. Alabama will be available at a cheaper price come gametime.

Total to watch

Auburn Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles (67)

It will be interesting to see what the bettors do with this total over the next three weeks.The oddsmakers opened the BCS Championship total around 64.5 or 65 depending on where you looked. Bettors liked the Over as the number now sits around 67 at most sportsbooks with 67.5 also available in some locations.

My personal totals power ratings make the game 67, so I can see why the total was bet up from the opener. But with five weeks off, we often see offenses struggle early in this game. And long scoring droughts can really hamper high totals, especially in big games. Auburn played in just one game with a higher total this season, going Over the 73-point number against Texas A&M. Florida State also played in just one game with a higher Over/Under, going Over the total of 70 (on their own) against Idaho.
Overall, Auburn only played four of its 13 games Over the posted total of 67. Florida State only played three of its 13 games Over 67. Combined, the Tigers and Seminoles would have been 7-19 Over/Under based on the current posted total of 67 points.

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Posted by jhumphrey
3 years ago

LAS VEGAS BOWL PREDICTION & PREVIEW Fresno State Bulldogs (11 – 1) @ USC Trojans (9 – 4) Saturday, December 21, 12:30 PM on ABC Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada USC comes into Saturday’s game as 6.5 favorite against the 11 – 1 Fresno State Bulldogs. The total is set at 62. The Bulldogs can and will move the chains against a stingy USC defense. Led by their outstanding NFL prospect Quarterback Derek Carr the Bulldogs lead the nation with 73 pass plays of 20 yards or more. Sophomore Davante Adams also leads the nation with 122 receptions and 23 TD’s while posting second in yards with 1,645. What a crazy year for USC as these players will be playing for third head coach this season! Kiffin – out. Orgeron – out. Helton – in. USC’s offense is led by Marquise Lee who is arguably the most skilled Wide Receiver in college football. Although he’s had a down year adjusting to a new QB look for him to make an impact in this his likely last college football game. Fresno State has played the 110th hardest schedule where USC has played the 14th. This will be an entertaining game with explosive playmakers on offense. Fresno State comes in having lost 4 straight Bowl games and we predict USC makes it 5. USC will lead the game throughout with Fresno putting up some late garbage points to make it look closer than it really was. Prediction: USC 38 – FRESNO STATE - 27. PLAY over 62.

Posted by mjm1012
3 years ago


Posted by 37fendog
3 years ago

would not bwe surprised if the auburn/fsu total hit 70 points
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Posted by jhumphrey
3 years ago

"LAS VEGAS BOWL PREDICTION & PREVIEW Fresno State Bulldogs (11 – 1) @ USC Trojans (9 – 4) Saturday, December 21, 12:30 PM on ABC Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada USC comes into Saturday’s game as 6.5 favorite against the 11 – 1 Fresno State..."