The Vegas odds have premiered for many of this season's bowl games, and the results are intriguing.
Some of the spreads and over/unders were a pleasant vote of confidence, or a slap in the face, depending on your sympathies.
I picked 12 of the most intriguing spreads—including the five BCS games—and took a closer look at what the Vegas guys might have been thinking.
Get your checkbooks out—a few of these lines might be worth betting the farm on.
Vegas clearly isn't buying my BCS Rose Bowl preview—the line opened up at -2 for Oregon and has already jumped to -3.5.
This could move up to -5 or more—as much as a touchdown if things get jittery—if the bettors don't buy Ohio State's speed on defense or grow wary of the Buckeyes' bowl performances in the past few years.
At 50, the over/under sounds spot-on. Oregon is averaging 37.7 points per game, but the Ohio State defense is only allowing 12.2 while averaging 29.3 points on offense. Movement in any direction might give us a little more breathing room. For now, practice patience.
Vegas opened skeptical of Michigan State's 103rd-ranked pass defense against Mike Leach's Air Raid offense. The Spartans were gifted 8.5, but this line has closed to only a touchdown.
I'd say this is a great bet—State is playing up and will have to face the Red Raiders' prolific offense without wide receivers Fred Davis, Mark Dell, and B.J. Cunningham, as well as cornerback and team fourth-leading tackler Chris L. Rucker, who were involved in an off-the-field incident on MSU's campus and are suspended indefinitely.
Bet the farm if this gets tighter. The Spartans are 0-2 in bowls under Dantonio and will have their hands full again.
A Big Ten team favored over an SEC team? Shocking!
Yes, Vegas buys Joe Paterno's stepped-up play in bowls, opening the line with the Nittany Lions as a narrow favorite over the LSU Tigers.
This will almost certainly tighten up in LSU's favor—some lines already have it at -2—so keep an eye on it.
At -4, this was a terrible line that has already bounced up to -7 and could go higher. TCU is recognized as a far more legitimate team than Boise State, the Broncos' win over Oregon aside.
It could reach double digits unless Gary Patterson signs a contract somewhere else in the meantime.
Weird opening, until you consider that Jim Harbaugh might go elsewhere and Cardinal QB Andrew Luck is out. This line has actually bounced up to -9 and could go higher if Harbaugh goes to South Bend.
Vegas shows skepticism of national leading rusher Toby Gerhart and the Stanford defense, but the Sooners are coming off a shutout of Oklahoma State in Bedlam. I'd probably still take Stanford.
I buy into the Bearcats, but Vegas sure doesn't: Florida opened as a two-score favorite, and the line will only get bigger as the Brian Kelly situation becomes more unstable.
If Kelly stays, on the other hand, the line will probably remain at or near this level—a more-than-one-touchdown favorite.
At 62, the over/under sounds a little high, unless you think Cincinnati can break through the Florida defense as well as Alabama did. God forbid it's Florida scoring most of those 62 points.
Vegas bettors are not a believer in Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats. This line has already jumped up to -8.5 in some circles despite Auburn's losing record in the SEC.
Clearly they were encouraged by that tight performance against Alabama, considering what the Tide did against Florida in the SEC championship.
At 56, the over/under is a little high—Northwestern's specialty is defense, not scoring. If you believe this game will be close, bet the under.
Pete Carroll will attempt to shore up his non-BCS bowl game winning percentage as a touchdown favorite over Boston College.
This line should climb steadily given the love for the Trojans, who were banged up at the end of the year but should have plenty of talent to overwhelm the so-so Eagles on the day after Christmas.
The Vegas predictors think it will be close—a fair bet considering how tight the Hawkeyes have played their opponents all year—so this line shouldn't be going anywhere.
If you fancy Ricky Stanzi, take a risk, but I've got Georgia Tech covering this one with ease.
Clearly Vegas believes Georgia doesn't need defensive coordinators to defeat the inconsistent Aggies.
The Bulldogs will be playing in the bowl without Willie Martinez and a handful of assistants, but the bettors are probably remembering how badly Arkansas beat up on A&M in October and are probably expecting something similar—this line has already jumped up to a touchdown.
I wouldn't be so certain. Jerrod Johnson put on an outstanding performance against the Longhorns and might find success confounding a bad Bulldogs secondary. Watch this line, and if it gets to favoring the Bulldogs too heavily, I might take the Aggies in an upset.
The Hurricanes fell off the face of the earth by season's end but are still a near-touchdown favorite over the Badgers.
Vegas is betting the Hurricanes will have success taking down Big Ten All-Conference running back John Clay and that Jacory Harris will be able to avoid the pass-rushing skills of O'Brien Schofield.
I think this one is a bit high, and several other predictors have Miami as only a field goal favorite. Look for this line to tighten up.
This line climbed up to -5, and for some of us, should be higher, but Vegas will probably vouch a little confidence in the Texas defense and bank on Alabama playing it close.
At 45, the over/under might go down in anticipation of a defensive struggle as well.
And hey, Lisa Horne has Alabama at -12, so if anyone is looking for a good bet, you know where to find her.