USA TODAY Sports
A big favorite and a big underdog won and covered in the first FBS college football playoff, setting up what amounts to a traditional Rose Bowl – except that it will take place at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Pac-12’s Oregon Ducks will take on the Big 10’s Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 12, after those two teams posted impressive semifinal victories Thursday night.
Oregon boatraced defending national champion Florida State 59-20 in the Rose Bowl, cashing many times over as a 7.5-point favorite. And Ohio State, which trailed 21-6 in the second quarter and appeared on the verge of suffering its own blowout, outscored Alabama 36-14 the rest of the way to claim a shocking 42-35 Sugar Bowl victory as a 7.5-point underdog.
John Lester, senior lines manager for bookmaker.eu, said he’s opening the game at Oregon -7.
“The Ohio State name brings a lot of supporters, certainly more than Oregon, but all the gamblers that lost with Alabama will probably come right back and take the Ducks here,” Lester said late Thursday night. “Our numbers suggest that Oregon is between 8 and 9 points better than Ohio State on a neutral field. But given the fact that the Buckeyes have more backers in their camp, we opened Oregon as touchdown chalk to be safe.”
With scoring aplenty in the semifinal games – both of which easily went over the total – Lester set the total for the title game at 73.5 points.
Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @ColinPKelly29.