The LSU-Alabama game lived up to its hype, but oddsmakers weren’t a fan of the outcome. The public bet the underdog, both against the spread and on the moneyline, and were rewarded for their faith in LSU.
The Tigers, who are ranked second in the College Football Playoff Rankings, opened as a 6.5-point underdog, but the line got to five by kickoff at most sportsbooks. The moneyline saw the most dramatic movement. LSU began as high as a +230, before closing at +170 to +180.
Alabama, who is third in the CFP rankings, opened at -270 on the moneyline, and dipped as low as -200 at some places.
Public Back Tigers in LSU-Alabama Game
The public never wavered in its support for LSU over Alabama. William Hill reported that 62 percent of the tickets were on LSU, as was 54 percent of the money.
It was worse at other places. Tony DiTomasso, CG Technology director of race and sports, told the Action Network that LSU’s 46-41 victory was “the worst result” possible for the sportsbook.
Bettors not only cleaned up on the spread and the moneyline, but on the first-half betting as well. Alabama was a 3.5-point favorite for the first half, but was down after the first 30 minutes, 33-13. The 20 point deficit was the largest halftime margin in Alabama coach Nick Saban’s career in Tuscaloosa. The previous biggest first-half margin was a 15-point margin against Clemson in last season’s championship game. The Crimson Tide lost that game, 44-16.
Trump Cheers at LSU-Alabama Game
Underdog supporters even won on the prop bet of whether President Donald Trump would be booed while attending the LSU-Alabama game. Bovada laid odds that Trump would hear the crowd voice its disapproval of him, much like when he attended the World Series in the nation’s capital.
Bovada had Trump at -135 to get booed, and +105 not to hear the boo birds. The university of Alabama threatened student groups and season ticket holders who were considering any verbal protests or disruptions with removal from block seating “instantly [and] for the remainder of the season.”
It worked, as the video below shows. The crowd cheered the president, and the “no” paid off for bettors.
Big Leads, Big Odds
Clemson is No. 5 in the CFP Rankings, and with No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Penn State losing, will probably move up. They certainly took care of their game.
The Tigers were 35-point favorites on the road at North Carolina State, and were leading 42-0 at halftime. That was the second largest halftime lead in an ACC game over the last 15 seasons. The biggest was Louisville in 2016, when they led NC State by 44.
The top-ranked team in the CFP, Ohio State, was also a big winner, and easily covered its 42.5-point spread. The Buckeyes nearly covered at halftime, 42-0, but went on to win, 73-14.
OSU gets another cream puff next Saturday. The Buckeyes are on the road at Rutgers, and are favored by 51.
Danger of Following Trends
The line for the UCF-Tulsa game opened at 12.5 points, and bettors thought it wasn’t nearly enough points, so they drove it up to 17. Going with the crowd wasn’t a good strategy in this game. The Knights lost outright to Tulsa, who outscored UCF 10-0 in the fourth quarter, and won, 34-31. The Hurricanes were as high as +600 on the moneyline.
Stat of the Week
In four previous meetings, LSU had scored a total of 26 points in four losses against Alabama. By halftime on Saturday, the Tigers had 33 points.
Bad Beat of the Week
TCU and Baylor backers of the under were ready to cash, then disaster struck. The over/under was set at 48, and with less than a minute remaining, TCU was readying for the upset, 9-6.
Then with 36 seconds left, Baylor kicker John Mayers drilled a 51-yard field goal to force overtime. Three overtime periods later, Baylor kept its undefeated record intact, but crushed under bettors with the 29-23 victory.