BCS Bowl Games: Alabama Crimson Tide Headline a Trio of First-Time Underdogs

Jeff Grant@@JeffGrantSportsContributor IDecember 4, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball during the first half of the game against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Alabama Crimson Tide are still listed as one-point underdogs in their rematch with the LSU Tigers in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game inside the Louisiana Superdome on Jan. 9.

Oddsmakers certainly had to establish the Tigers as slight betting favorites, but early action has been clearly one-sided in the Crimson Tide's direction due to being 5.5-point home favorites when suffering a 9-6 loss in the first meeting on Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa.

From a handicapping perspective, it's always appealing to take a team that's getting points for the first time, especially when averaging out to be a 23.6-point favorite in 12 games this year.

The program hasn't dressed up in this type of role since handing the Florida Gators a 32-13 loss in the 2009 SEC championship game as 4.5-point underdogs, leading directly to a 37-21 national title win over the Texas Longhorns.

Bettors should also take a closer look at the Stanford Cardinal and Wisconsin Badgers—two teams that are also underdogs for the first time this year.

Stanford covered its first nine games of the season before finishing out with a 10-2 against-the-spread record, with Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck sitting as a 3.5-point underdog against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, to be played inside University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Badgers are currently receiving 4.5 points in matching up with the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl, providing tremendous value in backing the Big Ten Conference champions that have been favored by at least seven points all year.

It's definitely going to be exciting to see these barking dogs in action.