Bowl Betting Bonanza: BCS title game 

January, 8, 2012

A bettor has to be, by nature, two things:
1. Supremely, almost obstinately and obnoxiously, confident.
2. An unabashed optimist (even if he comes off as a curmudgeon who thinks everyone around him is an idiot).

Which is why, after the experts in the Bowl Betting Bonanza started the college postseason going 5-13 with five passes, they can look back at their record in the eight games since Jan. 2 and say, "Hmm, not so bad."

During the past week they have gone 4-2 with two pushes, correctly predicting the sides in Stanford-Oklahoma State (Cardinal plus-4, God bless replay and that downed Cowboys knee in overtime), Michigan State-Georgia (Sparty plus-3, God bless that last-minute, game-tying touchdown drive that led to an OT win), Clemson-West Virginia over and SMU-Pitt (SMU plus-3.5). They pushed on Wisconsin plus-7 and Virginia Tech plus-3. And they outright lost Penn State plus the points versus Houston and K-State plus the points versus Arkansas.

Heading into the BCS title game, the money has largely flowed in the direction of Bama. The Tide opened as one-point underdogs, and almost immediately, wiseguys took the point and the number flipped, with LSU becoming the 'dog. It stayed at that number for more than a month. But beginning Friday and heading into Saturday, the public started getting involved, and money flooded in on the Tide. (There is also an unconfirmed rumor that a large syndicate put down a nice chunk of change on Bama to push that number from one to two.) Now, with a little more than 24 hours 'til kickoff, Bama is up to a 1.5 to two-point favorite across the board.

You may have noticed a pattern throughout the Bowl Betting Bonanza series: wiseguys like 'dogs. Given that info and the eight factors they rely on during the postseason, how will the BCS title game play out? Will they see value in buying back the Tigers at plus-2?

Let's break it down: