If You're The Betting Type, Can You Put Your Money On The Buckeyes?

Michigan fans will be forced to watch Ohio State compete for a national championship tonight.
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No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State will square off tonight in the College Football Playoff National Championship game in what should be an exciting matchup with a lot of fireworks. Since Michigan fans don't necessarily have a rooting interest, although that's a debate in and of itself, a lot of Wolverines are still going to put money on the game. For those U-M fans who do bet, will any be putting their hard-earned cash on the Buckeyes? If not, is it because Alabama is simply too good, or because they can't bring themselves to pull for the Bucks?

Before you get ready to place your bets, consider the following:


If you’re thinking about wagering on the game tonight, you may want to take a quick review of the betting results in this annual title clash.

Currently, Alabama is a 9-point favorite over Ohio State at Bovada, but history shows that you shouldn’t get too hung up on whatever the spread closes at before kickoff…

There have been 22 title showdowns since the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) first launched in 1998, with the CFP later replacing said format in 2014. Nevertheless, the spread has come into effect regarding the final score just THREE TIMES over this stretch. See below for a breakdown:

11 – Favorite wins and covers

8 – Underdog wins outright

3 – Favorite wins but doesn’t cover

Better yet… ready for this? In all three instances where the spread came into play, it was because of a touchdown in the closing seconds that swayed tons of money.

2017: Alabama (-3.5) wins 26-23 after Tua Tagovailoa’s overtime touchdown pass.

2015: Alabama (-6) wins 45-40 after Deshaun Watson throws a TD with 12 seconds left.

2013: Florida State (-12) wins 34-31 after Jameis Winston’s game-winning toss with 13 seconds left.

If you’re looking for the best risk-reward value when placing a bet on Monday night’s game, you may want to glance over this full list of spreads/final scores from each National Championship game since 1998. These trends suggest it’s probably not worth it to bet Alabama on the moneyline, and the better value would be to just forego the eight points and instead take the Buckeyes outright (at a price of roughly +230).

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As you can see above, the favorite held a 6-0 run against the spread from 2007-12 before the underdog recently went on its own 6-0 stretch. That ended last year when LSU covered as a 4.5-point favorite.

Underdogs are about even (12-10) against the number but, when the dog does cover, they typically win outright. Best of luck tonight and wager responsibly!


For more on the game and the betting trends head over to Buckeyes Now.