SLIPS: Big Lines in College Playoffs; Saints Suffer Blip

SLIPS: Big Lines in College Playoffs; Saints Suffer Blip

FanDuel Sportsbook is parlaying the seeming inevitability of an Alabama national championship into, essentially $400,000 in publicity and goodwill, announcing on Friday that it will pay out future wagers bets made on Alabama.

The actual national final – which the defending national champion Crimson Tide would reach by beating Oklahoma in the semifinals on Dec. 29 - will be played on Jan. 7.

FanDuel said online and mobile accounts had already been paid, but those holding winning slips must cash out where their bet was made. FanDuel will also count Alabama the winner on parlay tickets tabbing them as national champion. Only bets made before 5 p.m. Nov. 30 were eligible for the payout. The company estimated its expenditure at possibly in excess of $400,000.

Alabama was a –280 bet to win the national championship as of Monday and was favored by 13 points over the Sooners.

“Alabama’s historic and seemingly inevitable march to Levi’s Stadium deserved a history making gesture to our customers,” FanDuel Group chief marketing officer Mike Raffensperger said. “While the college football season has not had too many surprises, we wanted to surprise our customers today, thank them for their loyalty, and prove there are more ways to win on FanDuel.”

Bookmakers Do Not Expect Close College Semis

Both college football playoff semifinals will feature double-digit favorites after the phenomenon had happened just twice previously in the albeit brief history of the system.

First there was Alabama over Michigan State in 2015 and Washington in 2016.

At William Hill Race and Sports Book, the Southeastern Conference winner opened with a 13.5-point nod over Big 12 victor Oklahoma. Atlantic Coast Conference champion and playoff second seed Clemson is an 11-point pick over third-seeded Notre Dame.

'Dogs Will Not Have Their Day, But Bookmakers Show Respect

Georgia had its chance and couldn’t wedge itself into the College Football Playoff with a 35-32 loss to top-ranked Alabama in the SEC title game. While the Bulldogs lost the contest that mattered most this weekend, they cemented the yearly painful honor as the general public's most-aggrieved non-qualifier for the two game-tournament.

Social media was awash by Sunday with various lines of dubious origin about how Georgia, 11-2), and ranked fifth in the final playoff rankings, would be considered in a mythical grid reboot, particularly third-seeded Notre Dame and Oklahoma (4). Dan Patrick was mulling it over on his radio program.

Associated Press odd-provider RJ Bell tweeted that Vegas bookmakers unofficially consider Georgia the nation’s third-best team, citing aggregated point spreads against third-seeded, 12-0 Notre Dame (-4.5), 12-1 Oklahoma (-4) and 12-1 Ohio State (-.3.5), which finished sixth in the playoff rankings.

The debate will continue stronger if the early lines discounting the Fighting Irish and Sooners bear out. Either way, Georgia is locked in perpetuity – despite an ultimately devastating loss to LSU – as the unjustly discounted.

On Going Big or Going Home (With Less Money)

The Las Vegas Review-Journal documents an interesting trend of the season: high-dollar moneyline wagers on massive favorites. The benefit can be great, if a favorite does what a favorite is supposed to do, but it can also be costly. Hello, Falcons. But, as fishing is not called catching for a reason, betting is not called winning.

Among the notable hits and misses in the Review-Journal piece:

An MGM patron placed a $330,000 straight bet on Atlanta, whose lined moved from a three-point home underdog to a 2.5-point favorite against the visiting Ravens. Baltimore won, 26-16.

That bet, the largest of the football at MGM, was surpassed with a $400,000 wager on the Patriots, who covered a 6-point spread in a 24-10 win over Minnesota.

Odds, Ends, Underdogs Doing Well Yet Again

  • According to Team Rankings, deposed Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy was 123-92-7 against the spread in 13 seasons with the Packers. Only New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (132-92-7) was better has a better record against the spread during that time period.
  • The Saints dropped to 9-3 against the spread in having a 10-game win streak against Dallas on Thursday. The Cowboys improved to 7-5 ATS.
  • The Alabama-Georgia SEC final was the most popular bet of the week at SugarHouse Online Casino and Sportsbook.
  • Central Florida, the self-proclaimed 2017 national champions, provided bettors their collective biggest win of the week in a 56-41 comeback against Memphis. The Knights have won 25 consecutive games.
  • College football underdogs are 422-405-16 against the spread, according to, which cited The site reports “this is the consecutive season underdogs have covered the spread in more games than favorites.”
  • According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Warriors were involved in six of the 10 most bet games in November.
  • Most bet NBA teams in November: 1. Golden State 2. 76ers 3. Celtics 4. Raptors 5. Nets 6. Lakers 7. Thunder 8. Pelicans 9. Bucks 10. Rockets.

    Least Bet NBA Teams in November: 1. Cavaliers 2. Mavericks 3. Suns 4. Kings 5. Hawks 6. Bulls 7. Heat 8. Wizards 9. Hornets 10. Pistons