'Bama loss a win for books; public split on title game
League: NCAA Football
Posted on: 02 Jan, 2024 at 07:44 PM
Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
Two of the most dramatic semifinals in the history of the College Football Playoff has created an early split among the public ahead of Monday night's title game between top-ranked Michigan and No. 2 Washington.
The Wolverines opened as consensus 4.5-point favorites after beating No. 4 Alabama 27-20 in overtime. They'll face the Huskies, who never trailed against No. 3 Texas but had to survive a furious comeback attempt before winning 37-31.
Michigan has drawn 69 percent of the early spread-line money wagered at BetMGM, while Washington has been backed by 59 percent of the total bets. The same line at BetRivers has seen a slightly different split, with the Huskies supported by 52 percent of the money and the Wolverines backed by 51 percent of the total bets.
Both books are also offering the same moneyline odds: Michigan at -190 and Washington at +155. The Huskies have been the more popular play in that market, drawing 61 percent of the money and 70 percent of the bets at BetMGM and 60 and 68 percent, respectively, at BetRivers.
Oddsmakers are expecting a relatively high-scoring final, with both books setting the Over/Under at 55.5 points. The early action has seen the Over draw 94 percent of then money and 78 percent of the bets at BetMGM and 52 and 64 percent, respectively, at BetRivers.
Alabama had been backed by the most CFP title money with 27.9 percent at BetMGM, easily out-pacing Michigan's 13.2 percent. The Crimson Tide's loss was a victory for the book, which is now rooting for Washington to win a low-scoring title game.
"With Alabama losing, both Michigan and Washington are winners for BetMGM on the futures market," senior trading manager Tristan Davis said. "The sportsbook will likely need Washington to cover and the under in the championship game."
The first semifinal result was similar for BetRivers, which reported Michigan-Alabama led all bowl games in total money (10.8 percent) and bets placed (10.5 percent). The Crimson Tide's moneyline was the most popular play, drawing 2.9 percent of the money and 2.5 percent of the bets.
However, the book did suffer a hit with Georgia covering it's 20.5-point line against Florida State, providing a win for the 76.5 percent of the bettors who backed the Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl. Oregon also paid out the 70.0 percent who wagered on the Ducks to cover 17 points against Liberty.
--Field Level Media