Alabama opens as rare underdog vs
David Purdum, ESPN Personnel WriterDec 3, 2023, 05:55 PM ET
- Joined ESPN in 2014
- Reporter covering betting industry since 2008
Sportsbooks have installed Michigan as a minor favorite over Alabama in their College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl.The Wolverines opened as 2-point favorites over the Crimson Tide on Sunday at ESPN BET. Michigan also was set up as the championship game favorite, at +175, followed carefully by Alabama( +200). Texas and Washington, who will satisfy in the other semifinal at the Sugar Bowl, opened at +275 and +700, respectively.If the point spread on the Rose Bowl holds with Michigan as the preferred, it would mark the first time in 77 games that the Crimson Tide would be an underdog vs. a non-SEC team( Clemson, 2008 ). The early line movement, though, was on Alabama, as the spread dipped to a consensus Michigan -1.5 on Sunday.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated For a while Sunday morning, the betting market didn’t think Alabama would even get in the field. At 9 a.m. ET Sunday, sportsbooks had Florida State as a strong preferred to make the College Football Playoff– upwards of -480 at FanDuel and -450 at DraftKings– with Alabama noted as a minor underdog. But over the next three hours, wagering was heavy, and the odds shifted towards the Crimson Tide, as Alabama went from underdog to preferred to make the playoff.A FanDuel trading group agent told ESPN in an e-mail that the banking on the odds to make the playoff on Sunday early morning was” insane”and”outshined expectations.” “Nine-five percent of bets were on FSU to miss out on, 87 %of money was on FSU to miss,”the FanDuel trader added.Bettors were correct, as Alabama got approval over Florida State, which
is without its star starting quarterback, Jordan Travis. The agreement amongst oddsmakers gotten in touch with by ESPN was that the Crimson Tide would be a double-digit preferred over the Seminoles without Travis.In the other semifinal, Texas opened as a 4-point preferred vs. Washington.