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Undeserving? Public believing strongly in No. 4 Alabama

Dec 2, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) throws against Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Milroe was named the MVP. Alabama defeated Georgia 27-24 to claim the SEC Championship. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The debate between “most deserving” and “best team” continues to rage on days after Alabama was awarded a spot in the College Football Playoff over undefeated Florida State, but the betting public clearly believes the Crimson Tide are a serious title threat.

No. 4 Alabama will take on top-ranked Michigan in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

The Tide opened as 2.0-point underdogs at DraftKings, but the line had shifted to 1.5 by Thursday with the public backing Alabama with 77 percent of the spread-line bets and a whopping 88 percent of the money. Alabama’s +100 moneyline had drawn even more lopsided action at 82 and 93 percent, respectively.

The story has been similar at BetRivers, where Alabama has drawn 71.5 percent of the spread-line bets and 79 percent of the money at -1.5. The Tide’s +102 moneyline has also been backed by 81.7 and 88.6 percent of the action, respectively.

The book reported that Alabama’s moneyline has garnered 16.4 percent of all money wagered, more than twice that of the second-most wagered-on college football bowl game play. The Tide are 6-1 all-time in CFP semifinal games.

The other semifinal matchup has been a bit more split among the public.

No. 2 Washington is a 4.5-point underdog at DraftKings against No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The undefeated Huskies have been backed by 62 percent of the spread-line bets and 66 percent of the money, while their +160 moneyline has drawn 69 percent of the money. However, the Longhorns do have the edge with 54 percent of the total moneyline bets supporting them at -192.

The line is at Texas -4.0 at BetRivers, where the Longhorns have drawn just 33.6 percent of the bets but have been backed by 73.0 percent of the money. Their -186 moneyline has also been more popular with 74.2 percent of the bets and 56.1 percent of the money.

The book reported that the Texas-Washington Over of 64.0 points has drawn 3.8 percent of all tickets, making it the fourth-most popular CFB bowl game play.

Michigan remains the +160 national title favorite at BetRivers, followed by Alabama (+200), Texas (+300) and Washington (+700).

Alabama (+200) is the most popular title pick with 15 percent of the money at DraftKings, followed by Michigan (+185) with 12 percent, Washington (+750) with 7 percent and Texas (+265) with 6 percent.

–Field Level Media