College Football Point Spreads: Openers
The SEC title contest has basically become a second National Championship Game, as both Georgia and Alabama are favored over Notre Dame in potential BCS National Championship Game matchups.
At Sportsbook.ag, the Crimson Tide are 9.5-point favorites over the undefeated and top-ranked Fighting Irish, while Georgia started the week as a 2.5-point favorite in that hypothetical matchup.
Alabama opened as an 8-point favorite over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game when BetOnline posted its numbers on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs received the early action, though: Alabama was only giving 7.5 points on Monday morning.
This is the second straight season Mark Richt has led the Bulldogs to the SEC Championship Game. LSU hammered Georgia 42-10 in last year’s conference championship game at the Georgia Dome.
Alabama lost a ton of credibility in its home loss to Texas A&M this season. In October, folks were arguing whether or not Alabama could hang with an NFL team. Now, the doubters are out in full force.
Still, Alabama is more than a touchdown favorite to beat Georgia and advance to the National Championship Game, where it will be an even bigger favorite to win its third national title under Nick Saban in four seasons.
College Football Opening Lines (from BetOnline)
Louisville at Rutgers (-2), Thursday
This game could have been for the outright Big East Championship but Louisville and Rutgers both lost Saturday, creating a logjam at the top of the standings. Nevertheless, the winner on Thursday will increase their chances of winning the conference crown and their bowl stock. The early action was on Rutgers, driving the line up to -3 as of Monday morning.
MAC Championship: Northern Illinois (-6.5) vs. Kent State, Friday
The Golden Flashes have been one of the best bets in college football this season, going 10-2 against the number. However, Northern Illinois is not too shabby, either, as the more-talented Huskies are 10-3 against the spread.
Northern Illinois has won 11 straight games since an opening loss to Iowa. Kent State has won nine straight since losing to Kentucky in Week 2. The early action was on Kent State, with the line shrinking to -5 by Monday.
Pac-12 Championship: UCLA at Stanford (-10), Friday
In a rematch of Stanford’s 35-17 win at UCLA on Saturday, the Cardinal host the Bruins in Friday night's Pac-12 Championship Game.
Stanford dominated UCLA on Saturday, racking up 220 yards on the ground and holding the Bruins to just 73 yards on the ground. Looking back, it’s hard to believe the Cardinal were only 2.5-point favorites in that game.
However, oddsmakers have adjusted in a big way, making Stanford -10 this week. Bettors think it might be a little bit of an over-adjustment and had bet down the line to Stanford -9.5 by Monday.
ACC Championship: Florida State (-13.5) at Georgia Tech, Saturday
In the biggest dud of all the conference title games, the ACC Championship Game features two teams freshly battered by in-state rivals.
The Seminoles could not handle Florida, which mowed down Florida State in the second half. The Yellow Jackets were pummeled by Georgia and are only in the title game because Miami ruled itself ineligible.
Florida State received most of the early action, and the Seminoles were 14-point favorites on Monday.