Saturday, June 14, 2014 | 2 a.m.
The college football season is still more than two months away. In Las Vegas, though, it began Friday for handicappers.
The Golden Nugget downtown posted betting numbers on certain marquee games of the upcoming season, making defending national champion Florida State a double-digit favorite in every game. Also, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon are favorites in all of their games.
The Golden Nugget is the first Nevada property annually to post college numbers, taking a small risk because of the unknowns — injury to a star player or wrongly evaluating a team. The betting limit is just $1,000 to minimize the potential damage. It has lines on about 200 games.
Sharp bettors are typically the first to wager, looking for the chance for a middle bet during the fall.
For instance, Oregon is a 10-point favorite at Stanford Nov. 1, but if Heisman Trophy hopeful quarterback Marcus Mariota of Oregon were to go down with an injury, the line would be adjusted. So, someone with a wager on the game in June could re-bet, taking the other side with hopes of the final score landing between the opening number and the adjusted number.
Golden Nugget oddsmakers will monitor wagers through the weekend, quickly adjusting the number based on significant wagers. By Tuesday, the numbers should settle. NFL numbers for every game have been posted for a few months at multiple properties.
Alabama has what appears to be the toughest road to college football’s new four-team playoff. The perennial power is a small favorite on the road against its two biggest rivals — minus-2.5 on Nov. 8 at LSU and minus-6 at Auburn on Nov. 29 in the Iron Bowl.
Oklahoma, despite being a favorite in all of its games, is still listed at 15-to-1 to win the national championship. Florida State is 11-to-2; Oregon is 13-to-2.
Hometown UNLV is an underdog in both its games with an early betting number. The Rebels are a 5-point underdog Nov. 29 against visiting UNR in the Fremont Cannon game, which is also UNLV’s last game of the season because it isn’t bowl eligible. Also, UNLV is a 23.5-point underdog Aug. 29 at Arizona in the season opener.
Here’s a link to the Golden Nugget’s early numbers. Below are some of the highlights.
South Carolina -9 vs. Texas A&M
LSU -7 at Wisconsin
Georgia -9 vs. Clemson
Stanford -3.5 vs. USC
Notre Dame -3.5 vs. Michigan
UCLA -8 at Texas
Iowa -9.5 vs. Iowa State
Alabama -21 vs. Florida
Auburn -6.5 vs LSU
Stanford -6 at Notre Dame
Alabama -9 at Ole Miss
LSU -9 at Florida
Oklahoma -9 vs. Texas (in Dallas)
Alabama -16.5 vs. Texas A&M
Michigan State -7.5 vs. Michigan -7.5
Georgia -9 vs. Florida
Oregon -10 vs. Stanford
Texas Tech -1 vs. Texas
Alabama -2.5 at LSU
Florida State -14.5 at Miami
Boise State -7.5 vs. San Diego State
UCLA -4.5 vs. USC
UCLA -3 vs. Stanford
Ohio State -8 vs. Michigan
South Carolina -3 at Clemson
Alabama -6 at Auburn
USC -10 vs. Notre Dame
Florida State -17 vs. Florida
Georgia -14 vs. Georgia Tech
Washington -4.5 at Washington State
Oregon -13 at Oregon State
Oklahoma -11 vs. Oklahoma State
Navy -13 vs. Army (in Philadelphia)
• Aug. 29: Arizona -23.5 vs. UNLV
• Nov. 29: UNR -5 at UNLV