BCS Championship Betting -- Florida State Lays Double Digits to Auburn in Title Game

Is analyzing this game simple, or complicated? That's what needs to be explored for this showdown, taking place between the Florida State Seminoles of the ACC and the Auburn Tigers of the SEC, scheduled to get underway at 8:30 PM ET at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA.


As we move into this game, Florida State has a record of 13-0 straight up, and there pointspread record has been outstanding, at 11-2. They are ranked #1 in the country, across the board. Auburn (the #2 team) is 12-1 on the season, and they also have a record of 11-2 against the NCAA odds. Florida State is quarterbacked by the Heisman Trophy winner, redshirt freshman Jameis Winston. Auburn running back Tre Mason was a Heisman Trophy finalist.


In the BCS championship betting odds that have been established for this game by BetAnySports, Florida State is a double-digit favorite:


Florida State Seminoles  -10.5

Auburn Tigers  +10.5


Over 68 points  -110

Under 68 points  -110


Of course much of the Florida State story centers around Winston, who came into his starting position with much hype but has exceeded all expectations. His college debut against Pittsburgh produced 25 completions at of 25 attempts, with four touchdown passes. It was onward and upward from there, as he threw 38 touchdown passes on the season and very rapidly gained support for his Heisman cause. Of course you can't do that without outstanding receivers, and Winston has those in abundance. And he has spread the ball around very well, with three of his targets catching passes for better than 900 yards. The Seminoles (listed as the -380 money line favorites at BetAnySports) have the kind of balance that is necessary to get the job done as well, when you consider their depth at running back, with Devonta Freeman (943 yards, 5.8 yards per carry) and Karlos Williams (8.2 ypc). 


Defense was a strong suit here as well; the 'Noles were first in the nation in scoring defense and passing defense, as well as third in total defense. They also allowed just 3.1 yards per rushing attempt, which is something that should be of significance to BCS Championship bettors. 


What we mentioned at the top of this piece with regard to the "conference vs. conference" angle cannot be ignored, however. This was not a banner year for the ACC, and that is irrespective of any bowl results. Florida State encountered very few road blocks along its way, beating a Clemson team 51-14 that went on to win the Orange Bowl but who also fell to South Carolina (of the ACC) by 14 points. That was the most substantive opponent, by far, but then there were opportunities to run up scores against teams that may have appeared in bowls, but were only so-so, like Pitt, Maryland, Syracuse, Miami, even Duke. And the Florida team they beat in the big in-state rivalry game was just a shell of recent editions. 


Meanwhile, Auburn had more drama than that, although no one expected them to contend in the first place. Gus Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator when this team won the national title with Cam Newton just a few years ago, came back to campus as head coach, and after an early loss to LSU, there have been nothing but wins (and covers against the college football odds) since - nine straight coming into this one. 


Malzahn's has more than earned his reputation as an offensive guru, and this year may have been his masterpiece. Auburn led the nation in rushing, getting 1621 yards from Mason (who ate up Missouri with 304 yards in the SEC title game), 1023 from quarterback Nick Marshall and more than 600 each from Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne. Their read-option attack is based on a lot of misdirection, and even though Florida State unquestionably has athletes with plenty of speed and quickness, it is the kind of thing that, if piloted by someone very capable, is difficult for an opponent to prepare for, no matter how much time they have. 


And no one at all should discount the fact that Auburn plays in a conference that has won SEVEN consecutive national championships. Granted, only one of those came as an underdog against a team outside the league (Florida, when getting points against Ohio State), but there is enough tangible evidence to suggest that this can be an "X Factor" any BCS Championship bettor should take into account. 


One of the keys here, in the event FSU does indeed have some success slowing down the run, may wind up being the passing ability of Marshall, who completed 60% of his throws but for only 1759 yards and 12 TD's - modest numbers for sure. One of the other things that may have moved people to the FSU side is the fact that Alabama (a standard-bearer for the SEC) played so poorly against Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, but we actually discount that to an extent, because for that deflated 'Bama side, it was probably "national title or bust." 


What remains, however, is that we have an SEC team that hardly backed into this position, having beaten top-five teams (Alabama and Missouri) in each of its last two games, runs the ball better than anybody, and is catching double digits, against a team that ran up some scores to advance in the polls and has admittedly been lightly tested. Maybe, just maybe, the underdog Tigers (+310 to win straight-up at BetAnySports) are worth a good look. 


There's no place better for BCS Championship betting odds, props and exotic bets than BetAnySports - there's plenty of time to sign up for an account!

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