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College Football Betting: Analyzing the Point Spread and Total for Tonight’s National Championship

CFB

Assuming you’ve recovered from whatever the hell this was, there’s a college football game to bet on tonight. Yes, the National Championship is finally here with the Clemson Tigers squaring off against the LSU Tigers in New Orleans. Amazingly, the betting line has been up since December 28 and after an initial rush of back and forth action, the market has been rather quiet since the calendar flipped to 2020.

CRIS originally opened the game LSU -3; the only sportsbook on the planet to have offered that number at any time. After a wave of LSU support and the line moved off of -3, other sportsbooks began to post with most hanging -4 to -4.5. The point spread continued to climb with various offshore and Las Vegas sportsbooks peaking at LSU -6. Note that Pinnacle never went higher than -5.5.

The total has seen mostly under money. CRIS originally opened 68.5 and moved as high as 69.5 before being bet back to its current number of 66.5. Las Vegas’ Westgate was a little more aggressive — perhaps anticipating bettors would flock to the over after LSU beat Oklahoma 63-28 in the seminfinals — and opened 71.5 but has now fallen in line with the rest of the market at 67.

According to Don Best’s public percentages, 59% is on the over while 56% is backing the favorite, LSU. Las Vegas’ Caesars is showing and even stronger faction of LSU backers.

Twitter is reporting a strong “sharp/square” divide on the game with recreational bettors on LSU while the pros appear comfortable with the underdog. Speaking of underdogs, that’s been Clemson’s calling card in the title game. In 2016, the Tigers lost to Alabama but covered +6.5. And in 2017 and 2019, Clemson won outright as +6.5 and +5 underdogs, respectively.