Alabama-Clemson Preview: Perception and Value

by Tyler Wright – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer

So here’s the issue. Everyone knows Alabama is good, really good. So good in fact that they have skewed a -3 line against the defending national champions…..yea, that good. But something has to be driving this betting action that everyone sees but rarely debates. Its called public perception and its what the boys in the dessert use to drive the lines and persuade the public into thinking they are right.

Now I’ve been betting on sports for years, I mean 365 days a year across all sports grind it out betting, so I’ve been lucky enough to observe a few things along the way, and these are things I don’t mind sharing with the public in hopes they make a few hundred or so throughout the week. After all, that’s why we all do this right? Right! So we will start our conversation on one of the most prominent and most bet upon sports in our great country, College Football. And not only that but maybe the most celebrated college football teams of all time in Alabama. Listen I get it, I’m from the south I watch SEC football like it’s a Westworld marathon, people from the south are all about their football everyone knows that. EVERYONE knows that. That’s why putting a non-conference champion final four college football team as a 3 point favorite against an ACC conference champion ( which I think was probably the toughest conference top to bottom this year), defending champion, is not all that big of a surprise to me.

Like I said before its a lot about public perception when it comes to setting lines for the public to bet on. Go anywhere in the country ( except for Ohio) and ask who the most dominant team in the country is, the resounding answer most likely will be Alabama, its just that simple. All Vegas is worried about is getting close to 50% of bettors on each side of the betting line and then collecting the juice. That’s it. So to think they wouldn’t add in public perception as a factor when creating a line is ludicrous. Look at the trends and look at the stats. Clemson should be a -3 to -6 favorite in this game. But because they play in the SEC and bare the name Alabama on their chests they are the favorite……and that’s fine. That’s what we are looking for. Weak lines based on obvious stats that we can look into and get answers. Vegas knows that Clemson is a better football team, so they set the line to reflect that they believe Alabama is the better team to even out the action on the line. Almost a reverse psychology tactic.

Kind of like how Ohio state was even in the conversation of being a top 4 team this year. Common since and numbers says Ohio state isn’t a top 4 team. But public perception of Ohio state has them coming in there right around the number 4 slot thanks to the help of ESPN, public fan base and other news outlets.

Now I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke and say Alabama isn’t going to win this game. They are a hell of a ball team and I never bet against Coach Saban. What I am trying to relay to you is the psychological side of this betting world that most people don’t account for. The line is a tool to make Vegas money. And it does a damn good job of that. Understand the way the majority of the public, as well as the media, value ball teams and you’ll be on your way to building a solid bankroll.

By the way if I were betting on this ball game I would take Clemson +3, Dabo has had Saban’s number the last few years and the Clemson defense is good enough to roll with Bama.


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