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Added January 7th, 2010 by David Glisan

College football betting free picks:  BCS Championship Game

Well, we’re down to one last college football betting opportunity…er….game of the season as Alabama takes on Texas in the BCS Championship.  Nick Saban could probably already run for governor of the state as it is, and if he pulls off the win tonight would win in a landslide.  For someone who grew up and went to college in SEC country its hard to believe that ‘bama hasn’t won a National Championship since 1992 and obviously that has been a lot harder for Crimson Tide loyalists to deal with than anyone.  Texas is going for their 2nd title in five years, having upset USC with Vince Young at quarterback back in 2005.

Having spent much of my life on the west coast it always amuses me when a fan of Oregon or Washington talks about what a ‘big deal’ college football is at th0se schools.  They don’t even know.  The SEC schools in general and Alabama in particular take their football *very* seriously.   Case in point:  currently the southeastern US is having unseasonably cold weather and there’s a chance of snow, ice or what meteorologists call a ‘wintery mix’  in Alabama tonight.  Southerners react to snow like there’s a nuclear attack forthcoming, and weathermen in the region live for the chance to provide wall to wall ‘Storm Team’ coverage.  But they better not interrupt the BCS Championship with any of their severe weather nonsense if they know what’s good for them.  Crimson Tide fans have taken to sending preemptive threats to the local news outlets to make sure they know what’s really important.  The good news is that the game itself shouldn’t have any weather issues as its taking place at the Rose Bowl in Southern California.


For sports handicappers such as myself, this is one of those games you *have* to have an opinion on along with the Superbowl, NCAA hoop finals and the Kentucky Derby.  The problem is that such high profile events seldom offer much wagering value.  The line is usually pretty sharp and the game has been so heavily scrutinized by bettors and the sports media that there is seldom any salient aspect of the matchup that isn’t common knowledge.  Still, as a handicapper you’ve gotta have an opinion on it and here’s mine.

With all due respect to Texas, I think Alabama takes this by a couple of touchdowns.  The Crimson Tide style of offense is old school, hard nosed and fundamentally sound SEC football with a power running game led by Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.  Nothing the Longhorns have faced in the Big 12–which was exceedingly pass oriented this year–has prepared them for this style of game.  While Texas ranked #1 in the country in rushing defense, that’s as much of a function of the style of play in the Big 12 this year as anything else.  The Longhorn’s real strength on defense is their secondary, which led the nation in interceptions.  The problem here is that Alabama QB Greg McElroy only threw four interceptions all season.  He’s got a good head for the game and doesn’t make a lot of bad throws, and with the way his team plays he is seldom in a position where he needs to make risky downfield plays.

Alabama’s defense ranked #1 in the country in scoring defense, allowing a mere 11 points per game.  They really don’t have a weak spot for the Longhorns to attack, but they’re particularly strong up front and at the linebacker position.  The closest comparison that Texas ran up against this year was the nasty Nebraska defense which held the Longhorns to 13 points and nearly kept them out of this game altogether.  Texas prevailed because of the Cornhuskers pitiful offense, but they won’t have that luxury here.  On the other side of the ball, its hard to forget about the utter devastation that Alabama laid on Florida in the SEC Championship game.  Florida’s offense is very similar to Texas’, and won’t really hold any surprises for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama’s physical style on both sides of the ball takes this, and I see the Tide winning by 10-14 points easily covering the -4 point spread.


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