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Would you take the Boise State Broncos as 10-point favorites versus Oregon?

I stumbled upon this interesting tidbit yesterday and spent the remainder of my afternoon and evening in a cold sweat, clutching my Phil Steele and eating my feelings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Boise State (-9.5) vs. Oregon (TP=60 Odds=.610)

The favorite is listed first with the projected margin of victory (i.e., the line) in parenthesis. 'TP' represents the total number of points expected to be scored in the game and 'Odds' represents the odds of the favorite winning straight-up (not against-the-spread).

A 35-25 Boise State win? Some Bronco fans wouldn't even go that far.

A line of 9.5 points seems too good to be true. And it is.

The official betting lines for the first week of games are not out yet, meaning that this 9.5-point spread is nothing more than the opinion of the writer. Still, the thought of being a 9.5-point favorite against a BCS school like Oregon? I thought only I had those thoughts and that they only came to me when I was being particularly unrealistic.

Then the high spread got me thinking: Would I take the Broncos to win by that many? If I were a betting man (Note: OBNUG does not condone betting unless you are pretty sure you will win), I'm not sure what I'd do. The Broncos would have to win by at least 10 points in order for me to win the bet. If they win by nine or fewer, I'm out of luck. Decisions, decisions.

But is a 9.5-point spread only difficult for us diehard Bronco fans? Are Oregon fans seeing the number and scoffing into their DIY hemp coffee jackets? If the roles were reversed, if Boise State were the nearly double-digit underdog versus the Ducks, I would jump on that betting line faster than an Oregon fan on a thinly veiled Ellis-Powers-is-not-a-cheapshot-artist reference. It would be an easy decision.

When it comes right down to it, I would back the Broncos. I always back the Broncos. This is why I have no money in my savings account and a living room filled with Bronco bobbleheads. But how many other Bronco Nationers would join me? Half? One-third? The rich ones with money to blow?

I believe that when the point spread for this game is announced the Broncos will be favored to win. But they won't be favored by nearly 10 points. Give them a 3.5-point to 5-point edge, keep the over-under at 60, and get out of the way between me and the Jackpot, Nevada sportsbook.

That'll be a much easier decision.