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NCAA football betting: Public money 'flowing in' on Alabama, Notre Dame in conference title games

Sam Cooper
·2-min read

We’ve reached conference championship weekend in college football, and BetMGM has already seen heavy betting action with the games still a few days away.

One game in particular has attracted a huge amount of public money. According to BetMGM, nearly 40% of the money bet on the upcoming weekend of college football has been on the SEC title game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 7 Florida.

Undefeated Alabama is a 17.5-point favorite. Despite the big number, approximately 75% of the money bet on this game has flown in on the Crimson Tide. Alabama is 8-2 against the spread this season and has covered its last six outings.

Alabama has been favored by an average of 27.4 points over its last six games, so it’s understandable why the public has been so eager to pick the Tide to cover the big number. Sportsbooks will be rooting heavily for Florida.

Notre Dame popular as underdog vs. Clemson

In addition to Alabama, BetMGM Head of Trading and Analysis Joshua Byrne said that public money has been “flowing in” on Notre Dame as well.

Like Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame is also undefeated. But the Irish are significant underdogs — 10.5 points — against No. 3 Clemson in the ACC title game. Notre Dame beat Clemson 47-40 in double-overtime on Nov. 7 in South Bend. Clemson played that game without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who many expect will be the top pick in next year’s NFL draft.

With Lawrence available, the game being held in Charlotte and Clemson looking to win its sixth consecutive ACC championship, the Tigers are significant favorites. However, the Irish are receiving the bulk of the action so far this week at BetMGM, with “twice as much money” coming in on Notre Dame to cover the spread.

On top of that, 72% of the ACC championship tickets at BetMGM are on Notre Dame. The book will be rooting for the Tigers.

In the rest of the Power Five, MGM will be rooting for No. 14 Northwestern to cover the 20-point spread against No. 4 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. MGM also currently has a “small lean” toward No. 13 USC winning outright and covering the spread as three-point favorites Friday night against Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.

In the Big 12 title game between No. 6 Iowa State and No. 10 Oklahoma, MGM said the early action has been “evenly split.” There is no rooting interest for the sportsbook as of Wednesday afternoon. The Sooners, winners of the last five Big 12 crowns, are a 5.5-point favorite.

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams (23) fends off Clemson Tigers safety Nolan Turner (24) on his way to a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. (Matt Cashore/Pool Photo via AP)
Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams (23) fends off Clemson Tigers safety Nolan Turner (24) on his way to a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in South Bend, Ind. (Matt Cashore/Pool Photo via AP)

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