Sharp bettors pounce on Alabama, Georgia in CFP semifinals

Updated December 31, 2017 - 5:41 pm

The College Football Playoff games on Monday will double as showdowns between the Pros and Joes at Las Vegas sports books.

The sharp bettors are on short favorites Georgia and Alabama and the betting public is backing underdogs Oklahoma and Clemson on the money line.

No. 3 Georgia is a 2½-point favorite over No. 2 Oklahoma at 2 p.m. in the Rose Bowl.

No. 4 Alabama is a 3-point favorite over No. 1 Clemson at 5:45 p.m. in the Sugar Bowl.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if both ‘dogs receive more of the money,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “There’s so much money out there on these games.

“We’re getting a lot of Alabama minus-3 and Clemson on the money line, which is kind of normal for the big games. The public likes to bet the money line.”

Clemson, which is a 3½-point underdog at the Westgate, is plus-140 on the money line.

Oklahoma, which is a 3-point underdog at MGM Resorts sports books, is plus-125 on the money line.

There’s also a full menu of Super Bowl-style prop bets on each game at the Westgate and William Hill sports books, among others. For example, the total yards passing by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield is 315½ at William Hill and the total passing and rushing yards for Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant is 242½.

While William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on either game, he’s surprised that the Crimson Tide are favored over the Tigers.

“I don’t think Clemson should be the ‘dog. I think it’s a dead pick’em game,” he said. “The professionals are the ones betting (Alabama) so I’ve got to respect it. But I don’t understand it.”

Salmons likes Georgia and Alabama, which went 0-2 ATS while splitting the past two national title games with Clemson.

“When Alabama played Clemson the last two years, (Nick) Saban essentially had six days to game plan for it. This time, he’s had five weeks and Clemson doesn’t have Deshaun Watson back there,” he said.

Salmons sees the Bulldogs’ defense and running game wearing down the high-flying Sooners.

“Georgia’s physical enough up front that they’ll dominate Oklahoma there and if Oklahoma can’t get off the field, they’re going to have a hard time,” he said. “Georgia’s defense is really solid. I can’t see them giving up big plays in this game.

“If Oklahoma’s going to win, they’re going to have to stop the run and get the ball on three-and-out. I’d be shocked if that happens.”

The totals are 47 for Alabama-Clemson and 61 for Georgia-Oklahoma.

The vast majority of the action will pour in on New Year’s Day, but Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello said he’s already taken several “good-sized” five-figure bets on Georgia and Alabama.

“Having these games on New Year’s Day compared to New Year’s Eve (in 2016) is huge for the books,” Salmons said. “These games are going to have a tremendous handle.”

The Peach Bowl, scheduled for 9:30 a.m., also is a Pros versus Joes game as the sharps are on Auburn (-10) over Central Florida, a popular public underdog.

“Auburn’s just too big and too physical for them to last the whole game,” Salmons said.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL conference championships
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s conference championship games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL divisional playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL divisional playoffs.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football National Championship
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview Monday’s college football national championship.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Wild Card playoffs
Review-Journal sports betting columnist Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt preview the NFL’s Wild Card playoff weekend.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 17
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week 17 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week Three
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week three of the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Bowls Week 2
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview the college football bowls.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 16
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Bernie Fratto and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 16 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Bowl Edition
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for the college bowl games.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 15
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Las Vegas Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over their picks for week 15 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like