Despite Lack of BCS Playoffs, Sports Betting Fans Are Still Lining Up In Droves for this Exciting Bowl Betting Season

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Although the BCS system is not the playoff format many fans, pundits and politicians pined for this holiday season, BetOnline.com is reporting that enthusiasm for bowl betting is as high as ever. Despite great controversy over who wound up in each game, the BetOnline.com Sportbook says its clients have proven one thing certain: no matter how much fans complain about the flawed BCS system, they'll keep coming if the match-ups are interesting. From intriguing appetizers like TCU and Boise State, all the way up to the main entrée between Florida and Oklahoma, fans are ready to feast on college football.

The debate over the Bowl Championship Series rankings will never end until there is a playoff system in place, but at least most college football fans can agree on one thing: they'll line up for the 2009 BCS Championship game no matter how the teams are choosen.

Despite great controversy over many of this season's college bowl game selections, BetOnline.com is reporting the debate hasn't affected interest in this year's matchups. Each bowl game is being bet on as much as ever, making it apparent that it doesn't matter how the teams are picked, so long as they provide excitement.

The No. 2 Florida Gators will square off with the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners in a sexy matchup of two explosive offenses, and sportsbook odds list Florida as an early favorite.

Led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford, the Sooners set a record by scoring at least 60 points in five consecutive games. The Gators, who are led by Heisman finalist Tim Tebow, tore up the rugged SEC by averaging nearly 51points per game over their last eight contests.

While the BCS Championship Game might be the matchup made in heaven, there are plenty of other couplings in the bowl season that have fans love struck.

Cinderella was invited to the BCS ball as the No. 6 Utah Utes will get a chance to prove smaller schools can compete with big programs. The Utes will challenge the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and the Utes better put up a good showing or the non-BCS conference might start suffering in the rankings next season. The Hawaii Warriors were stomped by the Georgia Bulldogs in this very bowl game last season.

The No. 3 Texas Longhorns wanted to dance in the BCS Championship game and have a case after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 45-35 on a neutral site earlier in the season, but they will have to settle the Fiesta Bowl. The Longhorns are big favorites over the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes, who were the preseason favorite to win the BCS Championship.

People who are into betting sports generally like to see high-scoring contests but they won't likely see many sparks flying in the other two BCS bowls.

The No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats and No. 19 Virginia Tech Hokies will match up in the Orange Bowl, while the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions and No. 5 USC Trojans will battle in the Rose Bowl. Both games should be defensive showdowns and offshore sportsbook odds makers are expecting exactly that. All four defenses allow less than 20.2 points per game.

Speaking of defense, the No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs and No. 9 Boise State Broncos have two stingy units of their own that will clash in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. College bowl betting handicappers are excited to see this matchup of two small conference teams that just fell short of the BCS. Boise State has won six straight WAC Conference Championships but feels somewhat snubbed that the Buckeyes, who rank one spot behind them, were invited to the BCS while they were left out.

Another attractive bowl matchup for handicappers has the No. 25 Mississippi Rebels versus the No. 7 Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Cotton Bowl. The Red Raiders were not BCS-bound even though they finished with a high ranking, but they will play in their home state, which means the crowd should be in their favor. They might need that advantage as Ole Miss stands to be a dangerous opponent. The Rebels won their final five contests and defeated the Florida Gators earlier in the season.

This contest will be the last for senior quarterback Graham Harrell and might also be the final college game for star receiver and two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Michael Crabtree.

A few other potential NFL prospects might be turning pro after the college football betting season, and the trio meeting up in the Capital One Bowl should be playing on Sundays in the near future.

Junior quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is already projected among the top quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL Draft, leads the No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs against the No. 18 Michigan State Spartans. This matchup will also pit two Doak Walker finalists--Michigan State's Javon Ringer and Georgia's Knowshon Moreno--against each other. They ranked 4th and 13th nationally in rushing average, respectively.

With plenty of evenly matched bowl games, this college football postseason looks like it will be an exciting one.

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Jennifer Carrasquillo
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