Score one for the betting public against the sharps.
Louisiana State pulled away from Clemson for a 42-25 victory in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday in New Orleans. LSU covered as a 4½-point favorite on the closing line, with heavy betting support from the public, according to sportsbook directors.
Sharp bettors backed Clemson at plus 6, causing the line to move down in the past couple of days leading up to kickoff.
“A lot of late money showed up on Clemson, and that saved us from a bad day,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said via text message. “… We move on.”
The total went over the closing number of 66½ but stayed under for most bettors, who got it at 69½ to 67½ before a late dip Monday. LSU had the ball inside the Clemson 10-yard line in the final minutes, but knelt out the clock.
That was a boost for the book, Murray said, along with LSU covering the second-half line (pick ‘em) after taking a 28-17 lead into halftime, as many bettors reloaded on Clemson.
A big bettor at MGM Resorts who won more than $1 million over the weekend on NFL playoff games dropped $650,000 on Monday’s game. He put $220,000 each on Clemson plus 5½ for the game and plus 3½ in the first half. He also lost $50,000 each on the Clemson money line in the first half and for the game, as well as $110,000 on over 68½.
A William Hill bettor won $250,000 on LSU minus 5.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner, sailed over his player props in earning the victory. He threw for 463 yards (prop total 354½) with five touchdowns (prop total 3½) and also ran for 58 yards (prop total 33½).
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey contributed to this story.