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Sharp money moves line on Alabama-Georgia CFP title game

As Georgia built a 27-3 lead over Michigan in the first half of Friday’s College Football Playoff semifinal in the Orange Bowl, the Westgate SuperBook made the Bulldogs 1½-point favorites over Alabama in Monday’s national championship game.

The number quickly climbed to 2½, despite the SuperBook taking a $185,000 money line wager Friday night on the Crimson Tide at +125.

Sharp money on Georgia on Saturday pushed the consensus Las Vegas line to 3, where it remained Monday.

“We went to three when one of our guys — he’s bet with us a couple years and we have him labeled a sharp — bet $40,000 on Georgia,” SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing bounces back and forth. I think there will be so much support on both sides.”

Before the CFP semifinals, Caesars Sportsbook took a six-figure wager on Georgia to win it all at +135 from a bettor that vice president of trading Craig Mucklow described as “a red hot customer.”

Mucklow said that same respected customer placed two $110,000 wagers to win $100,000 each Saturday on the Bulldogs -2½.

Station Casinos also reported early sharp action on Georgia -2½.

“They pushed us to three,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “We were on the high side. We opened it up at 2½ when 1½ was out there, and they pushed us to three.

“Just based on the eyeball test watching the college playoff games, though Alabama did win easily against Cincinnati, they weren’t nearly as impressive as Georgia’s performance against Michigan. I think we’ll be Alabama fans, to a degree, when the game kicks Monday. But I think they’ll bet Alabama on the money line.”

The Crimson Tide — who covered as 13-point favorites in their 27-6 win over Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl — crushed the Bulldogs 41-24 as 6½-point underdogs in the Dec. 4 Southeastern Conference title game.

“They bet Georgia in the first game,” Esposito said. “We were clearly Alabama fans in that game.”

Salmons said Georgia, which is on a seven-game losing streak to the Tide, has had a higher power rating than Alabama all season.

“That’s why Georgia opened as a favorite to begin with and why they pushed it up,” he said. “In the history of these repeat games, the team that loses Game 1 usually wins Game 2.”

Bengals believer

Cincinnati finished last in the AFC North the past three seasons. But that didn’t stop a Caesars bettor from placing two $10,000 wagers to win $200,000 each at 20-1 odds that the Bengals would win the division this season.

The gambler won his bets when Cincinnati thrice rallied from 14 points down to Kansas City en route to a 34-31 victory Sunday that clinched the Bengals’ first division title in six years.

Chase is on

Cincinnati wideout Ja’Marr Chase overtook Patriots quarterback Mac Jones as the favorite to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award after finishing with 11 catches for 266 yards and three TDs in the win over the Chiefs.

Chase is the -220 favorite at Boyd Gaming to win the award, while Jones is the +175 second choice.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow has closed the gap on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in the odds to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. After throwing for 971 yards and eight TDs (with no interceptions) the past two weeks, Burrow is now the +110 second choice at Boyd Gaming behind Prescott, the -150 favorite.

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

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