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Silvia Pavlof January 2, 2024 2 min read
College Football Playoff Set to Spark Intense Betting Action
This year's games, scheduled for New Year's Day, are poised to draw massive crowds, unlike last season's matchups held on New Year's Eve
As college football enthusiasts eagerly await the kickoff of the much-anticipated College Football Playoff semifinals, all eyes are on the betting lines, with expectations of record-breaking wagers.
Westgate Executive Predicts Unprecedented Betting Surge for College Football Playoffs
Jay Kornegay, Westgate’s vice president of race and sports operations, anticipates a significant surge in betting activity not only at their Las Vegas location but also across their establishments in eight other states. Kornegay expressed that the volume level is expected to be raised to a degree not witnessed before, and they are indeed anticipating the potential for records during this year’s playoff games, reported the Associated Press.
The Rose Bowl features a showdown between top-seeded Michigan and fourth-ranked Alabama. Michigan initially opened as a 2 1/2-point favorite, but the betting tide has shifted as Alabama backers have shown their support.
According to Joey Feazel, heading college football betting for Caesars, the public heavily favors the Crimson Tide, despite some late significant wagers on the Wolverines.
Notably, media personality Dave Portnoy has garnered attention by placing a $1-million bet on Michigan winning the College Football Playoffs, particularly the Rose Bowl game against Alabama.
Expressing confidence in Michigan’s performance, Portnoy placed the bet with FanDuel at odds of -118, potentially securing a substantial payday, although he acknowledges his history of significant gambling losses.
Texas Challenges Washington’s Dominance in Sugar Bowl
The other semifinal, the Sugar Bowl, will witness second-seeded Washington facing off against third-seeded Texas. The Longhorns, making their first College Football Playoff appearance, are looking to upset the favored Huskies led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and coach Kalen DeBoer.
The controversies surrounding the selection of teams for the playoffs have only added fuel to the excitement. Alabama and Texas, both with one loss, made the cut over the undefeated Florida State. The committee’s decision to omit Florida State due to the absence of star quarterback Jordan Travis raised eyebrows, setting the stage for intense matchups and heated debates.
As the betting frenzy escalates, analysts predict a significant boost in wagering activity, with FanDuel Sportsbook reporting Michigan as the slight favorite in their matchup against Alabama. Meanwhile, the underdog Huskies are attracting the majority of bets and money against Texas in the Washington-Texas game.
The winners of these semifinals will advance to the national championship game in Houston on January 8, with FanDuel already providing early odds.