Heading into the College Football Playoff, many fans across the country feel that it is all but inevitable that the Alabama Crimson Tide will win their second straight national championship. Apparently, the FanDuel Sportsbook agrees, as the bookmaker has decided to mark bets made on Alabama to win the title as winners a month before a champion is actually declared.
The company made the announcement on Friday, saying that they would immediately pay out any bets made through the company’s online and mobile apps, and would honor any tickets on Alabama winning a championship this year at its physical location at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Parlay Bets Could Raise Price Tag for FanDuel
The payouts are essentially a promotional offer, similar to those often made by European bookmakers on events that appear likely to happen in order to drum up publicity. The deal only applies to bets made before 5 pm ET on Friday, meaning bettors can still make new wagers on Alabama to win the title, but the Crimson Tide will have to win on the field for those to pay out.
FanDuel hasn’t said just how much this move is costing the company up front, but the total could rise to as much as $400,000 depending on the results of other contests. That’s because many of the Alabama bets that were marked as winners are part of larger parlays that will only pay out if every bet included in the wager is a winner.
In a press release, FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger said that the move was designed to show how the company’s sportsbook could stand out from the crowd in the regulated sports betting industry in New Jersey and across the country.
“While the college football season has not had too many surprises, we wanted to surprise our customers today, thank them or their loyalty, and prove there are More Ways to Win on FanDuel,” Raffensperger said in the statement. “Even if Alabama loses its next game or doesn’t win the national title, this was something that we wanted to do to celebrate our customers and show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States.”
Alabama Remains Heavy Favorite After Georgia Scare
The best result for FanDuel would be if Alabama (13-0) won the CFP National Championship, as then the bookmaker would be giving away nothing: all the bets they just paid out would have been winners anyway. That’s a fairly likely outcome, as the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide were a -280 favorite to win the national title at FanDuel as of Friday.
Those odds may have taken a slight hit over the weekend, as Alabama had to come back from 14 points down to defeat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. At the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Alabama is listed as a -225 favorite to win it all.
That starts with a semifinal matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners, in which the Crimson Tide are a 14-point favorite. The winner of that game will play either Clemson (-11.5) or Notre Dame in the national championship game, which is scheduled for Jan. 7.