Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 5/1/13
We're roughly four months away from the start of the 2013 college football season, but that hasn't stopped the bookmakers from pandering to degenerates. Offshore book 5dimes has already started rolling out point spreads for the first week of the season. A few observations based on the early numbers: *Alabama is a huge favorite over Virginia Tech – and it says more about the Hokies. Back in 2009 Alabama kicked off a national championship run with a season-opening win over Virginia Tech in a bare-knuckle brawl. The Crimson Tide prevailed 34-24 in a hard-hitting game that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter. Fast forward four years, and the Hokies are getting more than three touchdowns. Yeah, I know – Nick Saban has built himself a juggernaut at Tuscaloosa. The Tide will deservedly garner more respect from bookmakers than any other team in the country in all likelihood for the entire season. Sure, there’s also that SEC tax to pay. But, damn, we’re talking about Virginia Tech. Has Frank Beamer’s program really fallen that far in four years? Bookies generally lead the market in these cases. That’s a bad sign for the boys from Blacksburg. *Horned Frogs Tiger bait? LSU opened as a 6-point favorite against Texas Christian in their season opener at Cowboys Stadium. Apparently, the Bayou Bengals took some decent action right off the bat, because the spread moved to 7.5 within a few hours. TCU is generating plenty of talk in Big 12 country as one of this year’s surprise teams and a top competitor for the conference title. Given the respect that Gary Patterson tends to command, I wouldn’t be surprised if pro bettors come back on the underdog. This game gets more and more interesting the longer you think about it. *Rebels for reals? Vanderbilt has had Ole Miss’ number as of late, taking four of the last five games against the Rebels. James Franklin’s Commodores have built up plenty of public goodwill in the last two years, so it makes sense that they would open the season as a favorite in a Thursday night game in Nashville. Personally, this looks like a good spot for Ole Miss to me. The Rebs improved as the 2012 season wore on, and Hugh Freeze will have just about every key contributor from that team back in ‘13. On the other hand, I saw a little fools’ gold in Vanderbilt last year - only two of the team’s nine wins came against opponents that finished the year with winning records. The ‘Dores also have to break in a new quarterback and running back to start the year. *See, Mike, it’s not so bad. Mike Gundy and his athletic department got crossways a few months back over scheduling. Specifically, Oklahoma State’s head coach objected to his athletic director, Mike Holder, taking games with teams from major conferences. Teams like Mississippi State, the Cowboys’ first opponent in 2013. OSU opened as an 11.5-point favorite.
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