This should be fun.
To say the least, there was quite a bit of kvetching going on over the weekend after Ohio State both held off Baylor and leapfrogged TCU to claim one of the four prized spots in the College Football Playoff. The committee’s decision left the Big 12 as the only Power Five conference without a seat at the playoff table, which led, and will continue to lead, to some significant soul-searching and bickering and backside-covering on the league’s part.
They do, though, have the following going for them, which is nice.
According to an ESPN report, oddsmakers from sportsbooks at CG Technology, the Wynn and the Aliante casinos, as well as the Westgate Superbook, stated that Baylor and TCU would be favored over Ohio State had the teams been paired together in the semifinals on a neutral field.
“Ohio State numbers are hard to make because of the quarterback situation,” head football oddsmaker at the Westgate, Ed Salmons, told the website. “I would say TCU probably would have been 4½ and Baylor about 2½ or 3½ (over Ohio State). Somewhere in that range. But Ohio State definitely would be [underdogs] to both those teams.
Not all of the books in Las Vegas were in agreement, however, as both the Stratosphere and the Golden Nugget would’ve had the Buckeyes favored over the Big 12 teams, with the latter having OSU a 4½-point favorite over either one in November. The sportsbook at Caesars also stopped short of saying it’d have OSU as an underdog against the Big 12 teams.
Earlier this week, Bovada.lv installed Alabama as a 10½-point favorite over Ohio State. Some oddsmakers are wary of the large number on that game after OSU’s impressive blowout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game..
“I personally think the Bama number is absurd,” said William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich, told ESPN.com, with Hugh Citron, sportsbook supervisor at the Stratosphere, warning, “I wouldn’t want to be fading Ohio State right now.”