I mentioned the other week that maybe college football ought to outsource the selection committee’s work to Vegas books. Note that the team that just squeaked in to the CFP field is favored to win the whole shootin’ match. Also note the betting distribution for the Sugar Bowl:
“Alabama got some money from a group who moves numbers,” Westgate Superbook assistant manager Ed Salmons said. “The public likes Clemson.”
At MGM sportsbooks, eight times as much money has been bet on the Crimson Tide as has been bet on Clemson in the first week since the matchup was set. The number of bets on the Sugar Bowl, however, was equally divided among the two teams, MGM vice president of race sports Jay Rood said.
Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology also reported taking early “sharp” action on Alabama. CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal said Sunday that he had taken more bets on Clemson, but there was three times as much money on Alabama.
“The most action, by far, on any bowl game is on Alabama-Clemson,” Simbal said. “That could end up being the most-bet game of the year. It might end being more heavily bet than the championship game.”
There’s a “what do they know that I don’t” aspect to this that reminds of the betting patterns in the week leading up to the SECCG. And we know how that game went.
I know it’s been a weird week in college football, but still, this…
Just curious: what exactly does one have to do to be greatly respected by a Vegas book? Besides throwing away a shit ton of money, I mean.
I mentioned yesterday that letting Vegas set the playoff field makes at least as much sense as the way the CFP goes about its business now. With that in mind, it looks like things would be different if the books had their way.
Alabama and Ohio State are the two teams that appear squarely on the bubble and not in control of their own national-championship destiny heading into the final set of games before the bracket is revealed. They’re also the two teams that have sat on top of oddsmakers’ power ratings for much of the season.
Alabama would be favored against any team in the country on a neutral field despite last week’s 26-14 loss at Auburn as 4-point favorites. Ohio State would lay points against everyone except Alabama.
Maybe we should split the difference and require that the selection committee members bet on the field.
I’m not an ESPN Insider subscriber, so I can’t read the entire piece, but this Phil Steele post about how Vegas’ top 25 looks begs the question, at least for me: would the process of selecting the four teams for the CFP be better served by outsourcing the whole thing to Vegas bookmakers? I don’t see how they would be worse at it than the experts on the selection committee, and at least we’d no longer have concerns about conflicts of interest. (As Randy Newman might quip, they could leave their hats on.)
Just a thought…
Kind of interesting to see which conference teams have exceeded bettors’ expectations…
… and which haven’t.
Kirby’s been doubted, which is only to be expected. But I think I’m most amazed by Kentucky. As I mentioned in the latest Power Poll, the ‘Cats are 7-4, despite being underwater in points differential. It turns out they’ve also flopped against the spread. How in the hell are they doing that?
To give you an idea of how unbalanced the top of the conference is from the rest of the SEC, Vegas is having a problem setting lines in games involving Alabama and Georgia. No, really.
How are the odds makers handling Georgia and Alabama in that they are blowing out a lot of people?
We are seeing some really historic lines in the SEC. Alabama is being favored by 30 points or more over several teams in the SEC. There just haven’t been many of those in history and now Georgia is kind of creeping up there. It’s difficult for (odds makers). How do they gauge how big a gap has been created between these top SEC teams, Alabama and Georgia, and then the rest of the league, which really has kind of fallen off? This is the biggest point spread on a Georgia-South Carolina game going back to at least 1997 and it’s not even really close. The next-closest one was 18.5 in 2005. This is not just a Georgia-South Carolina thing, this is an SEC thing where these top teams have really separated themselves.
How do the smart gamblers figure out when Alabama and Georgia become overvalued?
You are looking at your power rankings, and your power rankings are based specifically on the talent that these kids have. Some people focus on coaching. Some people will add on little things about recruiting in terms of depth. You are strictly looking at your power rankings now and your power rankings are saying Georgia is 24 points better. Now Georgia has beaten teams by plus-30 so it’s a tough spot for them. The talent and the metrics are saying 24 but you look at these scores with Georgia and you’re seeing 30-point victories. It is a tough thing, and you will often see the sharp guys with these big inflated lines, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some late money on South Carolina as these guys sit there and wait and wait and wait and see how much this line gets driven up and then take the other side. They are just looking at their metrics.
If they’ve been doing that lately with Georgia, their metrics are screwing them out of some major bucks.
Check out the early point spread for the Cocktail Party.
UPDATE: Moar Vegas craziness.