Money has showed up on Clemson and the under for Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game.
After sitting at Louisiana State minus 6 for most of last week, the line was minus 5 on Monday morning, with a few sportsbooks at 5½.
The Westgate later became the first to go to minus 4½. Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay said Clemson money had been flowing in steadily over the weekend. He said the Westgate took a $70,000 bet on Clemson plus 5 around noon Monday.
The influx of Clemson money has turned the game from what was shaping up to be a massive decision for the sportsbook to a “mediocre one,” Kornegay said. He said that before the weekend, about 90 percent of the betting tickets and money were on LSU.
“That’s changed dramatically in the last couple of days,” he said.
Now, about 60 percent of the tickets were on LSU, but the money had mostly evened out, Kornegay said. He did say that the Westgate would still likely be rooting for Clemson because the it does well on futures if Clemson wins but would break even on futures if LSU prevails. (LSU had much longer odds to win the title for most of the season.)
Kornegay said he wouldn’t categorize the recent Clemson money as sharp, but as “educated” money that was following the sharps, who largely got their bets in at plus 6.
Kornegay said it was difficult to predict where the line would close, but that he “didn’t see it going back up.”
The total continued its downward trajectory, sitting mostly at 67 on Monday after being at 69½ at some books last week and at 68½ as late as Sunday.
Sportsbook directors have said the public has been heavily backing LSU (14-0) after its romp through the Southeastern Conference, followed by a 63-28 demolition of Oklahoma in the semifinals. The title game is also being played in New Orleans, giving LSU a quasi-home-field advantage.
Clemson (14-0) is the defending national champion and is on a 29-game winning streak, having not lost since falling to Alabama in the CFP semifinals after the 2017 season. However, it played in a weak Atlantic Coast Conference this season and fell behind Ohio State 16-0 in the semifinals before rallying for a 29-23 victory.