The College Football Playoff National Championship will generate more money wagered than any game in college football history, according to Nick Bogdanovich of William Hill, the UK bookmaker.
William Hill spokesman Michael Grodsky says the Oregon-Ohio State matchup will surpass the record-setting gambling action set by the two semifinal games, which featured Florida State versus Oregon and Alabama versus Ohio State, as the most heavily bet-on college football game ever. As of Sunday, SportsInsights.com reported that more than half the number of bets placed on the semifinal games had already been placed on the title game.
The betting on the title game won’t approach the massive annual betting for the Super Bowl, but Bogdanovich told ESPN that William Hill expects that the title game should elicit 20% of the betting placed on last year’s Super Bowl, which totaled a record $119.4 million at Las Vegas sports books last year.
William Hill was joined by Nevada books, which also said they expected record betting on the title game. Ed Salmons, head football oddsmaker at the Westgate SuperBook, told ESPN, “To have as much as we’ve written before day of the game is pretty impressive.” MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood said that betting on the college title game would easily match the betting on the two NFL playoff games played Sunday, asserting, “We’ll be into the seven figures (on Ohio State-Oregon).”
The biggest bets already placed have been between $10,000 and $100,000, according to John Avello, executive director of the Wynn Race and Sports Book. The bookmakers believe that at least half of the bets on the title game will be placed in the last few hours before the game.
The spread between the two teams has fluctuated. Oregon was initially favored by seven points, but last week that dropped to five after heavy action on Ohio State. By Sunday the spread grew to six points; Las Vegas sports book operator CG Technology said bettors wagered a sizable amount on Oregon Sunday night.
Oregon has gone 9-0 against the spread since it lost to Arizona in October; Ohio State is 12-2 against the spread when its opponent is favored. In the last ten games in which Ohio State got 3.5 or more points, they have gone 10-0.
The online betting sites estimate the over-under at roughly 75 points. According to the betting sites, the Oregon-Ohio State money line looks like this: Bovada: Ohio State +165 … Oregon -190; Westgate: Ohio State +165 … Oregon -185; and BetOnline: Ohio State +170 … Oregon -195.