We finished the year strong and are sitting healthy. We’ve a year of perspective to draw upon. As many of you know, we typically shade the public because when the public goes one way, they create value the other direction.
However, sometimes the public is just flat out correct. This happens more so in college than it does in the pros. In the National Championship Game, early betting is going the way of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The line started at 6 and is now up to 7. Once it goes over 7 we envision money coming in on the Clemson Tigers.
We would normally shade towards Clemson in this situation generically speaking. However, even though Clemson performed better than our expectations against Oklahoma and looked impressive, we provide some context.
Clemson plays in a weak conference. The #2 and #3 teams (UNC and Florida State) in that conference were decimated in their bowl contests. Oklahoma may have been the last team standing in the Big XII’s round-robbin schedule, but they were likely the 3rd best team in the conference. Baylor was the best, but suffered an unusual amount of injuries to key personnel. TCU was the 2nd best when they had Trevone Boykin, but losing him for a brief stretch proved their undoing.
If this was the old BCS system and it was one game with no playoffs between Clemson and Alabama, we’d take Clemson and the seven points. Our reasoning is Clemson would have all these weeks to prepare for the game against one opponent. But with Clemson having to prepare first for Oklahoma and only one week to primarily focus on Alabama, we feel the Jimmy’s and Joe’s will prove even more important than the X’s and O’s.
That all being said, we feel the line is about where it should be. We suggest placing a casual bet on Alabama now before the line gets greater than 7. If it drops below 7, we suggest upping your bet a bit to get that value.
Alabama Crimson Tide -7 (casual bet only unless the line drops)