Okay, we might be able to stop saying that “Vegas always knows.”
When it comes to the 15-year history of the BCS Championship Game, the point spread has rarely been right. Or even close.
The 2013 version—which ended in a 42-14 Notre Dame curb-stomping at the hands of Alabama, giving the Tide their third title in four years—had a closing line of Alabama -9.5. In the days leading up to Monday’s contest, we kept hearing that the sharps liked the favored Crimson Tide (even Billy Walters!), while the squares were taking the points with the Irish.
Now, we know how that ended. Alabama scored on its first three drives, led 28-0 at halftime and left zero doubt as to who’s the best team—or best conference—in America. The Tide covered the spread by 18.5 points (for the second year in a row), which probably seems like a ton at first glance and, really, it is.
But it’s almost always been like this in BCS title games.
This was the 12th time in 15 years that the spread has been off by at least 10 points. Only once has it been within a field goal, and that was in the first-ever BCS Championship between Tennessee and Florida State in 1999, when the Volunteers won 23-16 as 5.5-point favorites.
Here’s the breakdown of the 15 championships:
Point spread within one touchdown: 3 times
Off by double digits: 12 times
Off by 17 or more: 6 times
When you add it all up, the point spread has been off by an average of a whopping 15.4 points in the BCS Championship. So much for any drama in the betting community.
|1999||Tennessee||Florida State||Tenn -5.5||Tenn 23-16||1.5|
|2000||Florida State||Virginia Tech||FSU -5.5||FSU 46-29||11.5|
|2001||Florida State||Oklahoma||FSU -11||OU 13-2||22|
|2002||Miami||Nebraska||Miami -8.5||Miami 37-14||14.5|
|2003||Miami||Ohio State||Miami -12||OSU 31-24||19|
|2004||Oklahoma||LSU||OU -6.5||LSU 21-14||13.5|
|2005||USC||Oklahoma||USC -1||USC 55-19||35|
|2006||USC||Texas||USC -7||Texas 41-38||10|
|2007||Ohio State||Florida||OSU -7||Florida 41-14||34|
|2008||LSU||Ohio State||LSU -3.5||LSU 38-24||10.5|
|2009||Florida||Oklahoma||Florida -4.5||Florida 24-14||5.5|
|2010||Alabama||Texas||Bama -3.5||Bama 37-21||12.5|
|2011||Oregon||Auburn||Oregon -1||Auburn 22-19||4|
|2012||Alabama||LSU||Bama -2.5||Bama 21-0||18.5|
|2013||Alabama||Notre Dame||Bama -9.5||Bama 42-14||18.5|
|AVG DIFF: 15.4|