Early Betting on College Football Playoffs Favor Alabama Over Clemson

Posted on: December 12, 2017, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: December 12, 2017, 03:55h.

Despite barely getting in the College Football Playoffs, bettors placing wagers on who will win the national championship are putting their money on Alabama to defeat Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Nick Saban
Alabama Coach Nick Saban is hoping he can lead his team to its second national title in three years. (Image: USA Today Sports)

The Crimson Tide was the final team selected in the four-team CFP format.

According to ESPN.com several Las Vegas sports books are reporting money being bet on Alabama over Clemson. Westgate Superbook assistant manager Ed Salmons told the site professional bettors are placing significant amounts of cash on the Crimson Tide.

“Alabama got some money from a group who moves numbers,” he said. “The public likes Clemson.”

CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal also told ESPN that Alabama was seeing a lot of action at his facilities.

“The most action, by far, on any bowl game is on Alabama-Clemson,” he said. “That could end up being the most-bet game of the year. It might end being more heavily bet than the championship game.”

Rematch of 2017 Championship Game

The two storied programs will face each other for the third time in as many years in the CFP. The previous match ups were for the national championship and Alabama won the first meeting, 45-40. Clemson won last year’s title game, 35-31.

Nick Saban’s team, which has been in all of the playoff games since its inception in 2014, is favored against the Tigers by 2 ½-points. The money coming in has influenced the line as it began at 1 1/2 points.

Clemson Coach Dabo Sweeney told a radio sports show that the two teams have developed a rivalry and a healthy respect for each other.

“I think Alabama people respect good football, and so do we here at Clemson,” he said. “It’s become a heck of a matchup. You look at the previous two games and the way the teams play. At the end of the day, someone’s going to win and lose, but you just love to see guys play with unbelievable effort, and that’s what’s happened in these last two games, and that’s what you’ll get this game.”

Alabama Trying to Get Back to Top

Alabama was ranked No. 1 before the season began and stayed at the top until it was upset by Auburn on Nov. 25, its last game of the season. They were a 5-point pick in the Iron Bowl.

With the loss the team fell to fifth in the CFP rankings and were in danger of not making the postseason event. The committee, however, chose them over Ohio State for the last spot.

The sports books never wavered in their support of the Crimson Tide. They began the season as the 3-1 favorite to win the national championship and despite being the fourth-ranked team are still the pick to win the title at 17-10. Clemson is next at 11-4 followed by Georgia at 3-1 and Oklahoma at 13-4.