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Miss State Biggest No. 1 Dog vs Alabama

If you looked at the AP Top 25 rankings and saw Mississippi State at No. 1 and then looked at the point spread for their game this week, you might wonder – has any No. 1 ranked team ever been such a big underdog?

It’s a great question and the answer is that the Bulldogs, as 9.5-point underdogs at Alabama this weekend in college football betting, are the biggest regular-season dogs in 20 years.

[ Online shop Bovada usually has the best college football underdog lines – but they are giving more respect to the Bulldogs – see the latest line ]

When oddsmakers give points to a top-ranked team, it’s usually in the playoffs or a bowl game.

Since 1998, the Odds Shark NCAA football database shows only 11 cases where a top seed was an underdog. Five of those games happened in national championship games and BCS title games. Three more occurred in conference championship games.

Matchup Report | Predicted Score: 27-26 Mississippi State

Only three times in that time period was a No. 1 seed an underdog in the regular season. This is the biggest spread by far. LSU got 5.5 points against Alabama in 2011, while Miami (+2.5 in 2002 vs Florida) and Ohio State (+3 vs Texas in 2006) were the only other regular-season cases.

The biggest spread was 11.5 points for No. 1 Oklahoma in the 2001 Orange Bowl. They defeated Florida State 13-2. Two other games had 10-point spreads for the top-rated schools, most recently Alabama was 10-point chalk against No. 1 Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship Game.

Interestingly, the past two times this situation has occurred, Alabama was the school getting love from oddsmakers. Alabama also defeated No. 1 LSU in the 2012 BCS final.

Overall, in those two games when Alabama was favored against a No. 1 team, they outscored the top seeds 63-14. Can they do the same this week against SEC-rival Mississippi State?

Date  No. 1LineResultNote
04/01/1999TennesseeFlorida StateTennessee5.523-16 Tennessee1999 Fiesta Bowl (national title game)
03/01/2001OklahomaFlorida StateOklahoma11.513-2 Oklahoma2001 Orange Bowl (national title game)
07/09/2002FloridaMiamiMiami2.541-16 Miami 
09/09/2006TexasOhio StateOhio State324-7 Ohio State 
01/12/2007MissouriOklahomaMissouri338-17 OklahomaBig 12 Championship Game
07/01/2008LSUOhio StateOhio State438-24 LSUBCS Championship Game
06/12/2008FloridaAlabamaAlabama1031-20 FloridaSEC Championship Game
10/01/2011AuburnOregonAuburn122-19 AuburnBCS Championship Game
05/11/2011AlabamaLSULSU5.59-6 LSU 
09/01/2012LSUAlabamaLSU2.521-0 AlabamaBCS Championship Game
07/01/2013Notre DameAlabamaNotre Dame1042-14 AlabamaBCS Championship Game

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