Oddsmaker Pete Korner has some advice for college football bettors:
Forget everything you’ve seen and read about Alabama over the past two weeks.
“Don’t anyone get excited about those wins,” says the founder of the Las Vegas-based The Sports Club, which sets lines for many Vegas sportsbooks in referring to back-to-back 49-0 Tide victories over Western Carolina and Auburn.
Alabama and Georgia battle on Saturday night for the SEC title and – assuming the BCS computer software doesn’t go haywire – a chance to face Notre Dame for the national championship. Korner has suggested Alabama -9 to his clients, with an O/U total of 50.
“Everything that you say about Alabama can also be said about Georgia,” says Korner of the Bulldogs, who have met little resistance over the past four games on their own road to the SEC title game. “They are a solid team.”
Korner points out that because of equalized ticket distribution, there will be little home-field edge for Georgia even though the game will be played in the Georgia Dome (Saturday night).
A look at a few other interesting games on the horizon:
UCLA (+10.5, 52) at Stanford (Friday night)
The Bruins and Cardinal will be playing for the second time in six days, and Korner says that his team of oddsmakers all had this one is the same range despite Stanford’s 35-17 win on Saturday night. “In a 7-game NBA playoff series things tend to tighten up,” says Korner, “but I don’t think so here. There might be some adjustments, but each team has seen everything the other has.”
Louisville (+2, 43) at Rutgers
Both of these teams are 9-2 and will be trying to earn spots in a BCS bowl game, and both teams are coming off tough losses – Louisville to Connecticut in overtime and Rutgers to Pittsburgh. Korner: “Decent teams and an even game, with a few points to Louisville because of Rutgers’ home-field edge.”
Texas (+11.5, 63) at Kansas State
Korner’s crew had this one between 10 and 13.5 points, settling at 11.5. “Kansas State needs this one to get to the best possible bowl game,” says Korner. “There’s millions of dollars at stake.” Texas backers should jump if the 11.5 number holds, but the Longhorns (8-3) have been streaky this season and looked shaky in a loss to TCU last Thursday.