Few experiences are as paradoxically confusing as watching a meaningful football game in which you have no fantasy interest. You really tried to enjoy NFL Wildcard Weekend, though Arian Foster's heroic effort, as well as Seattle's stellar defensive showing, was just wasted on you.
Tonight is the BCS National Championship game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama's Crimson Tide. It's a match up of college football's true No. 1 and 2. The culmination of some fifty or more bowl games, which will decide the NCAA's most enviable sports program, until March. And you are wondering whether you're even going to watch it.
You don't know any of the players. You think Nick Saban might be one of the coaches. Indeed you are more than a little surprised to see Notre Dame is good again. But can you skip the de facto College Super Bowl and call yourself a sports fan? What you need is some action.
Initiating a fantasy league/team for this single game would be silly. It's not unheard of, mind you, but it's a stretch. For one big game, certainly a game that doesn't involve your team, prop bets are the way to go. Included are a few of the more interesting options, and we would like to thank Bleacher Report sportswriter Alex Kay for his analysis and inspiration:
Notre Dame v Alabama - 9.5
Nine seems like a lot for a Championship game. You can take the points and hope for a barn-burner. Or if you are a hedger, pick Alabama, then be less disappointed if it's a boring blowout.
FF Examiner's pick: Notre Dame +9.5
Will there be a D/ST score?
Two spectacular defenses, who do score touchdowns, are not expected to score tonight. Rooting for a score is always more exciting than not, and at +145 the payoff is better.
FF Examiner: Yes +145
Will there be more points scored in the:
1st Half -125
2nd Half -105
The payoff here is not extreme, but a wager like this does (should) keep you interested in the whole game.
FF Examiner: 2nd Half -105
First turnover of the game:
No turnover +700
The best payoff on the board is, by definition, the least likely to occur. In tonight's contest it is "No turnover." Exciting as a 7-to-1 prospect may be, don't count on it, and certainly don't bet on it. There are going to be turnovers.
FF Examiner: Interception -170
First score of the game:
Field Goal or Safety +150
Good defense on both sides make the field goal option promising, especially with these odds. And a safety is always a possibility. You will spot the guy who has a lot of money on this when Alabama kicker, Dillon Drake, misses his first attempt.
FF Examiner: Field Goal or Safety +150