Miss State Biggest No. 1 Dog vs Alabama

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If you looked at the AP Top 25 rankings and saw Mississippi State at No. 1 and then looked at the point spread for their game this week, you might wonder – has any No. 1 ranked team ever been such a big underdog?

It’s a great question and the answer is that the Bulldogs, as 9.5-point underdogs at Alabama this weekend in college football betting, are the biggest regular-season dogs in 20 years.

[ Online shop Bodog usually has the best college football underdog lines – but they are giving more respect to the Bulldogs – see the latest line ]

When oddsmakers give points to a top-ranked team, it’s usually in the playoffs or a bowl game.

Since 1998, the Odds – VSB
NCAA football database shows only 11 cases where a top seed was an underdog. Five of those games happened in national championship games and BCS title games. Three more occurred in conference championship games.

Matchup Report | Predicted Score: 27-26 Mississippi State

Only three times in that time period was a No. 1 seed an underdog in the regular season. This is the biggest spread by far. LSU got 5.5 points against Alabama in 2011, while Miami (+2.5 in 2002 vs Florida) and Ohio State (+3 vs Texas in 2006) were the only other regular-season cases.

The biggest spread was 11.5 points for No. 1 Oklahoma in the 2001 Orange Bowl. They defeated Florida State 13-2. Two other games had 10-point spreads for the top-rated schools, most recently Alabama was 10-point chalk against No. 1 Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS Championship Game.

Interestingly, the past two times this situation has occurred, Alabama was the school getting love from oddsmakers. Alabama also defeated No. 1 LSU in the 2012 BCS final.

Overall, in those two games when Alabama was favored against a No. 1 team, they outscored the top seeds 63-14. Can they do the same this week against SEC-rival Mississippi State?

Date     No. 1 Line Result Note
04/01/1999 Tennessee Florida State Tennessee 5.5 23-16 Tennessee 1999 Fiesta Bowl (national title game)
03/01/2001 Oklahoma Florida State Oklahoma 11.5 13-2 Oklahoma 2001 Orange Bowl (national title game)
07/09/2002 Florida Miami Miami 2.5 41-16 Miami  
09/09/2006 Texas Ohio State Ohio State 3 24-7 Ohio State  
01/12/2007 Missouri Oklahoma Missouri 3 38-17 Oklahoma Big 12 Championship Game
07/01/2008 LSU Ohio State Ohio State 4 38-24 LSU BCS Championship Game
06/12/2008 Florida Alabama Alabama 10 31-20 Florida SEC Championship Game
10/01/2011 Auburn Oregon Auburn 1 22-19 Auburn BCS Championship Game
05/11/2011 Alabama LSU LSU 5.5 9-6 LSU  
09/01/2012 LSU Alabama LSU 2.5 21-0 Alabama BCS Championship Game
07/01/2013 Notre Dame Alabama Notre Dame 10 42-14 Alabama BCS Championship Game
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