Ohio State-Alabama Action Report: Sharp Bettors Hit The Tide Early
Pro betting report, teasers, and parlay action headed into the National Championship game
The college football season comes to a conclusion Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium. That's where No. 1 Alabama will take on No. 3 Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Alabama is a big favorite based on the point spread, and by looking at the total, we should expect a ton of points.
Before you make your bets on the big game, it's worth knowing which sides are drawing sharp action.
To breakdown the betting markets, we talked to Andrew Mannino, PointsBet's Sr. Trading team member, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing the title game.
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The Crimson Tide have been the best team in college football all season long. Defensively, Alabama ranks fifth in SP+. Offensively, they are led by three players who finished in the top five of Heisman Trophy voting with the winner in wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
Smith, plus quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, and one of the best offensive lines in the country, spells bad news for defenses on a weekly basis. And, yes, they might even get star WR Jaylen Waddle back for the title game.
The Buckeyes, like the Crimson tide, also had an undefeated season. OSU’s bread and butter is their offense, especially their run game. Quarterback Justin Fields leads the show, although he is dealing with a rib injury. The QB said “he’ll be good by Monday,” but it is something to keep an eye on.
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It was also reported earlier in the week that OSU was dealing with COVID-19 issues that could leave them short-handed for this matchup. It isn't the first time this season the Buckeyes have dealt with such issues, as they had three games postponed due to COVID-19.
I asked Mannino about how his team handles the uncertainty surrounding the game. He said all they can do is monitor and put up lines based on what they know.
“This year of all years, we learned how to deal with uncertainty,” Mannino said. “We learned we can’t depend on what could be or should be, but that we have to look at what it is."
He said they will continue to monitor the COVID-19 news, and Fields and Waddle injuries, and then adjust as necessary.
When it comes to the spread, PointsBet opened the line at Alabama -7 and got hit by bettors immediately.
“The sharps hit us pretty fast at 7 and we moved it out to Alabama -8.5,” the oddsmaker said. “The line went back and forth from 7.5 to 8.5 earlier this week, and now it's sitting steady at 8.”
When it comes to the total, Mannino said they have steady, balanced action on it.
“The total has bounced between 75 and 76, but there’s two-way action,” he stated. “The public is slightly backing the over.
As for teasers and parlays? It’s all on Alabama.
“Short moneyline on ‘Bama, so we are seeing a lot of moneyline parlays,” the bookmaker said. “We have Alabama parlayed into multis with shorter NFL favorites.”
This should be a great game, so may the best team win.
Odds via PointsBet Sportsbook as of Saturday night.