When the BCS championship game point spread was posted a month ago, Alabama was a 10-point favorite over resurgent Notre Dame.
Fast forward to game day and the Crimson Tide remain a big favorite at most Vegas and online sportsbooks. But bettors are giving lots of love to the Fighting Irish, with some books reporting as much as two-thirds of the betting volume on Notre Dame .
Most shops have Alabama as 9.5-point chalk today, but one still had them at -10, despite seeing a vast majority of bets on Notre Dame.
"Money keeps pouring in on Notre Dame even getting 10 points," said Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada .
Indeed, other shops are reporting that more small bets from recreational bettors are on the Irish, while the `sharp' or more experienced bettors are backing Alabama. Some handicappers point to the fact that the SEC has dominated this game, winning all six BCS title games and covering the spread each time as more evidence that Irish bettors should rethink their positions.
They also point out that Notre Dame, despite their excellent season and legacy hype, are lucky to be here. They needed a Kansas State upset at the hands of Baylor and an Oregon upset in overtime against Stanford to leapfrog contenders to the No. 1 BCS slot.
Point Spread: Alabama -9.5 to -10 (as of Monday morning)
Total: 40.5 to 41 (both teams allowed just 10 points per game this season)
Consensus Betting: 61.7% of bets on Notre Dame (according to Odds Shark Consensus )
Betting Volume: 65% of money on Notre Dame (according to Bovada) *Note: other sportsbooks have the spread at -9.5 and saw far more large wagers on Alabama than on the Irish
Offense edge: Alabama 38.5 PPG - 26.8 PPG
Defense edge: Notre Dame 10.7 PPG - 10.3 PPG
Differential: Alabama 27.8 PPG - 16.4 PPG
BCS Game Trends:
- 10 of past 11 Notre Dame games went UNDER the total
- Alabama just 1-4 ATS past 5 games overall
- Notre Dame 2-8 ATS past 10 bowl games
- Alabama 3-0 SU and ATS past three bowl games
- Favorite is 4-1 ATS past 5 BCS title games
- SEC has won & covered all 6 BCS title games