Despite potentially historic liability on LSU for Monday’s national championship game, sportsbooks around America are comfortable needing Clemson to not only cover the spread, but win outright as 5.5-point underdogs.
Ticket counts are 3:1 in favor of LSU at the Westgate SuperBook and CG Technology, while FanDuel has nearly 70% of tickets and 75% of dollars wagered on the SEC champions. While respected bettors across the market have taken the 6- and 6.5-point spreads off the board with bets on Clemson, books will still need Dabo Swinney’s team to pull the upset in order to win in the futures market as well.
“We are comfortable with needing Clemson,” CG Technology risk analyst Dave Sharapan told BetIndiana News. “Other than it being in the Superdome, the two teams look pretty even, Clemson’s track record, everything they have done I think most of the books are comfortable with needing the points and in the futures book.
“For us, Clemson win is great for futures book, really outstanding actually. LSU small win for the futures book, but not on the level of Clemson’s.”
At the Westgate SuperBook, there is no shortage of people betting 4-figure wagers on LSU.
“It is like non-stop,” vice president of risk management Ed Salmons told BetIndiana News. “But you’re starting to see Clemson money now. We are so high in needing Clemson money. It looks like the game is going to have decent two-way write come Monday, but the public is definitely on LSU.”
Clemson winning on Monday is a dream scenario for the SuperBook, especially in the futures market and a title prop that featured Alabama and Clemson against the field.
“In that prop we need the Alabama-Clemson side for a decent amount,” Salmons said. “And that decent amount basically eats up what we’d win on LSU to win it all. We win a lot on Clemson if they win as far as the future book and that prop.”
At the South Point, sportsbook director Chris Andrews told BetIndiana News’ Mike Roselli the ticket count is about 2:1 in favor of LSU.
“We’re high on Clemson plus the 6,” Andrews said on Friday before the line moved to 5.5. “Still far away from 7, that’s for sure.”
One big-pocketed public bettor at CG Technology put $110,000 on LSU -5.5, then put another $90,000 at -6.
“We were one of the first books to go to 6 and we got a sharp player take Clemson at that number to go to 5.5 before the $200,000 bet took us back to 6,” Sharapan said on Friday before the line dropped to 5.5 as of Sunday’s writing. “They are betting LSU –4 like they already know the outcome of the first 30 minutes, it’s all one-sided action there are well.”
FanDuel offered Clemson -1 vs. LSU before the semifinals began, and William Hill had LSU as the 1-point favorite. The drastic change in the point spread gives Clemson clear value and oddsmakers themselves are nearly unanimous in thinking LSU’s dominance over Oklahoma and Clemson’s struggles with Ohio State caused an overreaction in the betting market.
“People remember what they saw last and they saw LSU beat up on (an Oklahoma) JV team that didn’t belong,” Caesars senior trader Rex Beyers told BetIndiana News . “Burrow had a career game but against a bad team and it has over-hyped LSU to the point where there is no value. With all the adjustments I made the game LSU -2/-2.5. Taking anything more than 3 is a gift.”
OVER is 11-5-1 in LSU’s last 17 games dating back to last season, and similar to the ticket count, nearly three out of four tickets at CG Technology are expecting a high-scoring affair despite Clemson allowing the fewest points of any team in the country (11.5 per game) and the second-fewest yards (264.1).
“We’ve been between 69 and 70 this past week, but the bigger money is on the OVER,” Sharapan said.