Once again, I would like to issue the disclaimer that I am a full-fledged Alabama supporter.
I am confident that Alabama has every chance to win the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome this weekend.
Like everyone else, I was interested to see what oddsmakers felt about who the favorite would be and by how many points. Monday morning it became official that Alabama would be the early underdog to Florida by 10 points.
And here we go again.
The vocal contingent of Alabama faithful had another perceived slight. How could any team ranked number one unanimously be an underdog? Have they no respect? Do they not know who we are? Don't they understand that we are Alabama? Moreover, don't they know who our coach is?
I am going to explain this ONE TIME. Oddsmakers do not care about respect. They do not care about 12 National Championships. They do not care about 21 SEC Championships. They don't care if "Bama's Back". They don't care if they piss off the entire lot of Alabama supporters.
What oddsmakers do care about, however, is money. It is that simple. Money. Cash. Juice. Business.
A point spread is simply a means to an end. Any oddsmaker's goal is to set the point spread where they have an EVEN number of bets on BOTH sides of the line. That way THEY win regardless of the outcome. Ten points is what the Las Vegas oddsmakers felt would set up said number of even bets.
Now, here would be the reaction of your average (gambling) Alabama fan upon hearing the news on the early point spread: "Oh my God. Ten points? This is a LOCK. I'm going to go clear out what's left in my 401K and lay it on 'Bama. No WAY they can beat us by ten. No way!"
Now, here would be the reaction of your average (gambling) Florida fan: "Ten points is the line? Somebody give me a phone. We'll have that covered by the end of the first quarter!"
As an Alabama fan, here is what troubles me. The guys in Vegas know their craft. It is not all that often that they miss by very much, although it does happen from time to time. I guess my point is that you can make whatever you want to out of a point spread.
What you can not do, however, is take it personally. I promise you that the ones making the odds have no personal feelings on the subject.
I am not qualified to give gambling advice. If I were to give any advice, it would be not to gamble. I stay up to date on point spreads because it is the BEST INDICATION OF WHO THE WINNER WILL BE.
However, as much you think you know about it, I can guarantee that Vegas knows more than you. They knew more yesterday and will know more tomorrow.
So, if you are comfortable enough to lay your hard-earned dollar on a football game, knock yourself out. But heed this warning: do not gamble on what you see as a disrespect of your team. You may come out on top this Saturday, but in the long run, that "disrespectful" bunch in Vegas will be counting your money, laughing all the way to the bank.
As a Crimson Tide fan, I can't help but believe that we can win this game. I will not be laying cash down to prove my point. Win or lose by any number of points, the amount of money in my wallet will be the same when the game is over. I will yell and scream and dance when we score, and I will curse when we are scored upon. I will hope that this is one of the few miscalculations by the number-crunchers.
Remember that when it is all said and done, the only way to beat Vegas is to hold onto your money.