Brent Musburger, probably my favorite football announcer today – apologies to Verne and Nantz and Al Michaels – loves talking about point-spreads on air, and here’s why:
Because it is an especially big part of football in this country, and I think there are a lot of people that are interested. For example, I was in Las Vegas recently and I made it a point to go to a sports book to ask about this game. They told me the first game had the most money wagered on it of any college football game this year, and they expected this one will exceed that but it would be late action….I think [sports betting] should have been legalized and taxed. One of the first things people ask about a football game is: Who’s favored? And by how much? I know coaches who will look at the point spread and then in a staff meeting say, “What do these guys know that we don’t?” It is a big part of the success of football in this society. I mean, the National Football League, some of the early founders were bookmakers, and horse betters. These were people I really appreciated and liked.
How eloquent. Musburger will call Monday’s National Championship. LSU opened as 1-point favorites, but are now 1-point underdogs. If the public likes LSU – and it appears they do – but the line is swinging toward Alabama, you can be sure Musburger will be with the big, smart money on the Tide. Brent, everyone wants to know – will you double down your Rose Bowl winnings on Alabama?
And if you’re out there, Mr. Musburger … fantastic job mentioning how Stanford miraculously covered against USC earlier this season in overtime when the Trojans fumbled out of the back of the end zone. I believe your mention of the spread came within the first minute of the game ending. Really excellent job. [SI.com]