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NCAA football betting: Public and sharp money pouring in on Alabama ahead of national championship game

Sam Cooper
·2-min read

The College Football Playoff national championship game is still six days away, but there’s already a significant betting favorite at BetMGM.

According to numbers released Tuesday by BetMGM, both the public and sharp bettors are heavily backing Alabama in next Monday night’s game against Ohio State in Miami.

Alabama, a 7.5-point favorite at BetMGM, is receiving 74.2% of the bets on the game so far. On top of that, 83.5% of the money bet on the title game has come in on Alabama’s side. Alabama opened up as a seven-point favorite, but the spread moved half a point to -7.5.

If the betting trends continue in this direction in the lead up to Monday night’s game, MGM will be rooting hard for Ohio State.

“The public is on Alabama and we have seen sharp bettors take the Tide as well. The best outcome for BetMGM would be for Ohio State to pull an upset,” said Jason Scott, the VP of Trading for BetMGM.

What about the total?

Alabama, the playoff’s No. 1 seed, is coming off a 31-14 CFP semifinal victory over Notre Dame and is poised to compete for the national title for the fifth time in the seven-year history. The Tide closed as 18.5-point favorites, but Notre Dame covered the spread with a touchdown in the final minute. The game game also stayed under the total, which was 65.5

Ohio State, meanwhile, was a 7.5-point underdog against Clemson in its semifinal. The Buckeyes, behind a gutsy performance from quarterback Justin Fields, won 49-28 in a surprising blowout as Fields threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns. Ohio State covered the spread easily, and the game went over the total of 69.

After opening at 76.5, the total has dipped a bit down to 75.5. Most of the action — 66.4% of the bets, 68.1% of the money — is on the under.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Wide receiver DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver John Metchie III #8 in the first quarter of the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One against Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Alabama is the heavy betting favorite at BetMGM ahead of the national title game against Ohio State. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

National championship futures on the line, too

There will also be national championship futures bets on the line on Monday. Alabama opened the year at +450 to win it all, but currently sits at -275. Alabama received 19.2% of the tickets and 32.1% of the money.

Ohio State opened the year at +320 and is currently +220 with 12.8% of the tickets and 18.1% of the money coming in on the Buckeyes at BetMGM.

Clemson received 23.2% of the bets and 29.3% of the money while Notre Dame received 15.9% of the bets and just 5.5% of the money.

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