After months of anticipation, speculation and prognostication, the 2013 BCS National Championship, pitting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the Alabama Crimson Tide, is finally upon us.
It is the NCAA's equivalent to the Super Bowl, primarily most important in determining a champion for the season. That's why the true fans watch.
But, also like the Super Bowl in professional football, this game is secondarily important among handicappers. The BCS National Championship is one of the premier betting events on the calendar, an appetizer to slake our palettes until the Super Bowl February 3.
But don't take my conjectural words for it. Here's a tweet from B/R's own Adam Kramer:
Via @rjinvegas, it's estimated that $2 billion will be bet on tonight's game. Three time more than any bowl game.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) January 7, 2013
That's a lot of scrill.
Whether you're playing with real money or fake, dollars or jermajesties, here are three prop bets that could cash out this evening.
*All lines via Bovada*
Manti Te'o Will NOT Record an Interception (-340)
It's tempting to go with a +210 underdog and even more tempting to bet on the likes of Manti Te'o. But this line is ridiculous for many reasons.
Te'o's ability to pick off passes from the linebacker position became legendary in 2012, as he finished the season with seven interceptions. But here's a breakdown of the six quarterbacks who threw those picks:
|Trey Miller (NAVY)||59||3||19.7|
|Denard Robinson (MICH)||167||9||18.6|
|Riley Nelson (BYU)||308||13||23.7|
|Landry Jones (OKLA)||555||11||50.5|
|Chase Rettig (BC)||467||13||40.0|
|Max Wittek (USC)||69||5||13.8|
Not exactly the most prudent quarterbacks in the nation, right? For comparison sake, here's what McCarron's numbers look like:
|A.J. McCarron (ALA)||286||3||95.3|
So, yeah: I also like McCarron at -130 to NOT throw an interception tonight. For God's sake, he's only been picked off in two of the Tide's 13 games. But I like betting against Te'o much more.
His odds might be three times worse, but I feel over three times safer in this wager.
T.J. Yeldon WILL Record a Touchdown (-160)
Try as I may and might, it's been impossible for me to shake images of Alabama's 2010 National Championship over Texas. In that game, the Tide had one Heisman trophy winner demanding most of the attention, but they also had an equally talented freshman waiting to spell him.
I'm not sure Eddie Lacy is any Mark Ingram, but T.J. Yeldon is just as explosive of a freshman as Trent Richardson. And just like Richardson three years ago, I expect Yeldon to be the breakthrough performer of this game.
Lacy will get the start, and I wouldn't put a big game past him either. But look for him to spend most of his time wearing down the Irish defense, while Yeldon comes in to reap the benefits of that fatigue.
Tyler Eifert OVER 4.5 Receptions (-110)
The Crimson Tide's linebackers can hang with the best of them and they'll be primarily responsible for shutting down Tyler Eifert. But I think he grabs five passes anyway.
The 2012 Mackey Award recipient has been Notre Dame's most efficient offensive player all season, grabbing 44 passes for 624 yards. It doesn't look like much on the surface, but in this offense that's a lot.
With Notre Dame's outside receiving threats even more overmatched than usual, Brian Kelly and Co. would do well to keep the game inside the numbers. Instead of exploiting poor matchups on the third level, they'll keep things on the first and second.
Eifert had six receptions in three of his last four games. I'm not sure how much yards he'll account for but, on a night where his number should be called a lot, I'd be surprised if he didn't get there again.
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