NCAA Football Week 14 Betting Recap
This season's SEC Championship Game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia actually lived up to all the hype, as the Tide beat Georgia 32-28 in a thriller. Now Nick Saban's club faces Notre Dame on Jan. 7 in Miami with a chance to become college football's first repeat consensus champion since Nebraska in the mid-1990s.
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Most everyone expected a defensive battle between the Crimson Tide and Dawgs considering they had two of the nation's best units and both are stacked with future pros. Bettors certainly expected a lower scoring game as more than 71 percent of the lean on the total was under 49 points. The only other team to score at least 28 points this season on Alabama was Texas A&M when the Aggies upset the Tide in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 10.
Alabama rushed for 350 yards on the Dawgs, the most in SEC Championship game history. Georgia's defense allowed a season-high 512 total yards, only the second time the Bulldogs allowed 500 yards in the last seven seasons. It was a dual win for bettors in that Georgia took more than 57 percent of the action as an 8-point dog, but Alabama took nearly 59 percent at -310 on the moneyline. Alabama opened as a 9-point favorite against Notre Dame at the book.
The biggest game result of the week for bettors was Oklahoma's 24-17 win at TCU. Nearly 82 percent of the action was on the Sooners giving 6 points and almost 88 percent on OU at -270. Alas for the Sooners, the win wasn't enough to get them into a BCS bowl as they were squeezed out by Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois. The Huskies, who play Florida State in the Orange Bowl, are the first MAC team to crash a BCS bowl. OU heads to the Cotton Bowl.
The two top player prop results for bettors were from Baylor's 41-34 win over Oklahoma State. It was Cowboys receiver Josh Stewart over eight catches as well as OSU quarterbacks over 23.5 total completions.
The book's top game was Wisconsin's surprising 70-31 victory over Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers finished third in the Leaders Division but earned a trip to Indianapolis because Ohio State and Penn State were both ineligible (and both beat UW). Wisconsin is the first Big Ten team to reach three straight Rose Bowls - where it will face Stanford - in more than 30 years. UW was a 3-point dog to the Huskers and took only about 30 percent of the action. At +150 on the moneyline, Wisconsin took a little more than 34 percent.
The book's top player prop results were: Georgia Tech quarterbacks under 6.5 completions versus Florida State; FSU QB's under 240.5 passing yards; and Louisville quarterbacks over 22.5 completions against Rutgers.
Also open in the SEC is the Tennessee job and former Bucs and Raiders coach Jon Gruden has been linked there. He was 2/1 to take the job but his agent has already said Gruden isn't interested. Other options for the UT job were Miami's Al Golden (21/4), former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis (3/1), Mississippi State's Dan Mullen (5/1), former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel (9/2) and current North Carolina coach Larry Fedora (15/4). Bettors were leaning heaviest on the field at even money.
Meanwhile, Oregon's Chip Kelly and Stanford's David Shaw figure to be in high demand by NFL teams this offseason. Kelly, who almost took the Tampa Bay job last year, was listed at +200 to be an NFL coach next season and -300 not to (bettors like yes). Shaw, who has worked wonders with the Cardinal after Jim Harbaugh's departure, is +175 to be an NFL coach next year and -260 not to (bettors like no).
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