Finally the BCS championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame is here. Who finishes #1 and take home the 2013 BCS Championship crystal trophy? The Crimson Tide are heavily favored in the national championship odds at sportsbooks worldwide and many do not see why.
Notre Dame arrives in Miami without a blemish on its 2012 record, in possession of the No. 1 BCS ranking and emotional leader Manti Te'o's who pushing the Fighting Irish to heights no one saw in the early BCS Rankings, yet the Notre Dame team will take the field as an underdog of as far as oddsmakers are concerned. Currently the Irish are 9.5 point dogs at Diamond Sports, Bovada has pushed the number to 10 and across the pond PaddyPower has Alabama at -9.5 (-115). Regardless of which online sports betting company you look at this number seems a bit high. Both times the Irish were underdogs this year they won the games outright. In addition Alabama was just 6-7 against the spread this season, while the Irish went 7-5 ATS.
The Fighting Irish have had the underdog tag all year and perhaps they like it that way. Notre Dame may use some of the blueprints set forth by Texas A&M back on November 10. We may see a coming out party for Everett Golson and according to recent reports we will see Brian Kelly attack the Alabama defense. But this is going to be a grind it out kind of game. Both teams run the ball effectively, both teams have great defense and both coaches have been at the top of their games all season.
The number that may be a winner for gamblers worldwide is the total in the BCS championship game spread. The over/under for the national championship games sits currently at 40.5 at Diamond Sports and has trended lower since opening at 42. Bovada recently moved thier number down to 40.These teams only gave up a little more than 10 point per game on average each all season long with the Irish only allowing more than 17 points in just one game this year, against Pitt back on November 3. Notre Dame allows just 10.3 points per game while Alabama gives up a minuscule 10.7 per game.
The tradition of Alabama and Notre Dame will not help either team. The weather conditions are going to be pristine yielding no advantage to either team. But the Fighting Irish excel on defense in the Red Zone and have a front seven that is the best in the country. Notre Dame and Alabama have each given up 111 points this season, the fewest in big time college football. Both teams have held six opponents to 10 points or less. Both teams have allowed just six pass touchdowns and rank in the top 11 in pass efficiency defense.
Unless something goes horribly wrong tonight in Miami for the BCS Championship game, an under play on a total of 40. 5 or slightly under looks awfully juicy. Do not wait until game time as this number will trend downward as ESPN highlights Manti Te'o and company in the pregame, pre-pregame and SportsCenter broadcasts right up until game time.
Enjoy the 2013 BCS Championship tonight at 8:30 PM on ESPN and good luck with all of your wagers.