College Football Playoff Odds: Tickets, Money Lean Toward Michigan

Michigan running back Donovan Edwards scores a touchdown against Iowa during the second half of the 42-3 win over Iowa in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis.
Image Credit: Donovan Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff odds are on the board, as the two biggest games of the year take center stage. With little in the way of season-ending chaos, the four teams involved are no surprise.

Alabama, which upset Georgia in the SEC final, is the No. 1 seed and will face No. 4 Cincinnati. Michigan nabbed the No. 2 seed and will meet the No. 3 Bulldogs. Both matchups are on New Year’s Eve.

Multiple sportsbook insiders provided insights on opening/current lines and action in the College Football Playoff betting market. Check back throughout the month for action updates.

College Football Playoff Odds

Matchup Date Spread Over/Under
Alabama vs Cincinnati 3:30 p.m. ET Dec. 31 Alabama -13.5 57
Michigan vs Georgia 7:30 p.m. ET Dec. 31 Georgia -7.5 46

Odds via WynnBet and updated as of 5:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31

Orange Bowl

No. 2 Michigan vs No. 3 Georgia

Aidan Hutchinson #97 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with the trophy after the Michigan Wolverines beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 42-3 to win the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Image Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Opening line: Georgia -7.5, Over/Under 43.5

UPDATE 5:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 31: Georgia went from -7 to -7.5 within about 90 minutes when this matchup first hit DraftKings’ College Football Playoff odds board Dec. 5. And on Dec. 13, the Bulldogs jumped to -8.5, holding there for more than a week. On Dec. 21, the line returned to Georgia -7.5 and has seen only juice adjustments since, currently sitting at the flat -110.

Michigan is landing 64% of spread bets and 60% of spread money. The Wolverines are also getting the bulk of moneyline tickets, at 70%, currently priced at +235. But moneyline cash is much closer to two-way, with 54% on Michigan.

After opening at 43.5, the total reached 46 late Thursday night. The Over is netting 59% of bets and 72% of cash.

Previous Michigan vs Georgia Odds Updates

UPDATE 1 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 31: WynnBet posted Georgia at -7 on Dec. 5 and within 90 minutes hit -8, where the number stuck until going to -7.5 Dec. 21. There’s been no line movement since, with Michigan netting 58% of tickets and 63% of money on the spread. The total climbed from 43 to 46, with ticket count 3/1 and money 2/1 on the Over.

UPDATE 8 P.M. ET THURSDAY, DEC. 30: Georgia opened as a 7-point favorite Dec. 5 at Caesars books, quickly reached -7.5, then peaked at -8 Dec. 21. That lasted literally a couple of minutes before Georgia dipped to -7.5, where the line remains now.

Michigan is collecting 68% of bets/58% of money on the spread. And Michigan moneyline, currently +250, has been quite attractive to bettors, landing 94% of bets/93% of cash in that market.

“I’m not surprised that Michigan has been a big public underdog,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “I think the line is high, too. I was surprised that this was over a touchdown. Georgia is a great team, but [the Bulldogs] don’t provide the ‘wow’ factor, since they’re primarily a defensive team. Now they’re viewed as vulnerable, too, after Alabama put all of those points on them.

“That’s thrown a seed of doubt into [bettors]; they’re backing Michigan everywhere. More straight bets, more moneyline, more futures — Michigan’s now our biggest championship liability, when before it was Georgia.”

The total is up to 45.5 from a 43.5 opener, with 78% of bets and practically all the cash on the Over.

UPDATE 1 P.M. ET TUESDAY, DEC. 28: BetMGM opened Georgia as a 7.5-point chalk back on Dec. 5, and the line is currently up a tick to -8. However, the betting splits don’t reflect that move at all. Ticket count is 3/1 and money beyond 2/1 on underdog Michigan. But again, BetMGM stated that it’s not holding major liability to the Wolverines, since the strong majority of action hasn’t yet arrived on this game.

The total is up to 45.5 from a 43.5 opener, though it’s two-way action: 57% of bets on the Over/55% of money on the Under.

UPDATE 10:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY, DEC. 21: Georgia has been a stable 7.5-point favorite since this number first posted at TwinSpires, on Dec. 5. Underdog Michigan is collecting 65% of spread tickets and 62% of spread dollars.

“Michigan is a trendy ‘dog so far. We’ll likely need Georgia in this one,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total is up to 44.5 from a 43 opener, with 56% of tickets on the Under/70% of cash on the Over.

“Sharp money on Over 43,” Lucas said.

UPDATE 5 P.M. ET MONDAY, DEC. 13: On Dec. 5, Georgia opened as a 7.5-point chalk at PointsBet USA, moved to -8 within two hours and hasn’t moved since. Contrary to the move, early ticket count is 4/1 and early money almost 9/1 on Michigan.

PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn attributed they heavy action on the Wolverines to public bettors’ recency bias. Michigan looked great beating Ohio State and then Iowa in the Big Ten title game, while Georgia got dominated by Alabama in the SEC final.

“After Michigan closed out the season in dominating fashion, bettors are extremely high on the Wolverines,” Korn said. “On the contrary, the Bulldogs had an extremely disappointing end to their [regular] season. The loss last week to ‘Bama in the SEC title game was a crushing defeat for Georgia.”

The total is slightly more active, adjusting to 44.5 (Over -115) today, after opening 43 and reaching 44.5 flat (-110) on Dec. 7.

UPDATE 12:45 P.M. ET SUNDAY, DEC. 5: Michigan moved to No. 2 in the CFP rankings after upsetting Ohio State in Week 13 and stayed there with a Big Ten championship beatdown. The Wolverines (12-1 SU, 11-2 ATS) played the big hammer to Iowa’s little nail, rolling to a 42-3 victory as 11.5-point favorites.

Meanwhile, Georgia enters the CFP following its only loss of the season. The Bulldogs (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) were 6-point faves in the SEC title game vs. Alabama and jumped out to a 10-0 lead. But Georgia had no answer for ‘Bama the rest of the way, losing 41-24.

The College Football Playoff odds board was unchanged for this semifinal in the early going at The SuperBook.

“We haven’t moved anything. There are some 7s out there, and we’re at 7.5, so we’re seeing a few players take the 7.5 with Michigan,” Murray said. “I think Michigan will be a popular ‘dog, because the Wolverines are coming in on such a roll. People are gonna be poking holes in Georgia for the next month. People’s last impressions stick in their minds. What Alabama was able to do to Georgia was stunning.”

Cotton Bowl

No. 1 Alabama vs No. 4 Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell, left, and Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) celebrate the victory in the American Athletic Conference championship football game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bearcats defeated the Houston Cougars, 35-20. Houston Cougars At Cincinnati Bearcats Aac Championship Dec 4
Image Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Opening line: Alabama -13, Over/Under 59

UPDATE 1 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 31: On Dec. 5, WynnBet opened Alabama as a 13.5-point favorite, and the line stuck there until dipping to -13 Tuesday. On Thursday, the number returned to -13.5, where it sits right now. Ticket count is 2/1 and money beyond 4/1 on the Crimson Tide. The total fell from 58.5 to 57, reaching that point Thursday afternoon. The Over is drawing 73% of tickets, while 56% of money is on the Under.

Previous Alabama vs Cincinnati Odds Updates

UPDATE 8 P.M. ET THURSDAY, DEC. 30: Alabama hasn’t budged off -13.5 all month at Caesars, even with heavy Crimson Tide action. Nick Saban’s troops are nabbing 75% of spread tickets and 87% of spread money. So, will the line get to two touchdowns — or more?

“I don’t see it getting to 14, despite all the Alabama action. I think that would be too high and cause some people to jump on the dog,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “But you never know, the rash of public money is going to come in tomorrow, because of all these other bowl games going on.”

After opening at 59 and spending most of the month at 58.5, the total fell to 58 Monday and 57.5 Tuesday. The number remained at 57.5 on Thursday, with the Under drawing 57% of tickets and a hefty 94% of cash, largely due to a Nevada customer’s $110,000 bet on Under 58.

UPDATE 1 P.M. ET TUESDAY, DEC. 28: Three days before the semifinals, BetMGM has Alabama -13.5 in its College Football Playoff odds market. That’s where this line has been almost its entire lifespan, save for a very short stint at -14. And it’s all Crimson Tide at this point, with ticket count 3/1 and money beyond 9/1 on ‘Bama.

However, BetMGM noted that the liability isn’t too significant yet, with the large bulk of tickets and money still to come between now and New Year’s Eve.

The total fell from 59.5 to 57.5, with tickets 4/1 and money 9/1 on the Under.

UPDATE 10:30 P.M. ET TUESDAY, DEC. 21: Alabama went up as a 13-point chalk at TwinSpires and actually dipped to -12.5, but is currently at the -13 opener. Cincinnati is drawing 55% of spread tickets, while ‘Bama is taking 59% of spread money.

“Great two-way action so far. We’re already seeing a lot of handle for this one,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

TwinSpires opened the total at 56.5 and is up to 57.5, with 57% of tickets/68% of money on the Over.

“Sharp money on Over 56.5,” Lucas said.

UPDATE 5 P.M. ET MONDAY, DEC. 13: PointsBet USA went from Alabama -13.5 to -14, then back to -13.5, all within a few hours on Dec. 5. Since then, the line has stuck at -13.5, with just a couple of juice adjustments.

“Per usual, the book will be rooting heavily against ‘Bama,” PointsBet sports analyst Mike Korn said. “We are currently seeing 87% of the spread-bet count and 96% of the spread handle coming in on the Crimson Tide.”

The total hasn’t moved off of 58 in a week, after opening 58.5. Splits aren’t yet available, as action on the total is limited thus far.

UPDATE 12:45 P.M. ET SUNDAY, DEC. 5: Alabama jumped from No. 3 in last week’s CFP rankings to No. 1 today, thanks to an unexpected rout of Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The Crimson Tide (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS) entered the conference title tilt as 6-point underdogs and exited with a 41-24 victory.

Cincinnati got a key midseason victory at Notre Dame, then finished off its perfect season by winning the American Athletic Conference title game. The Bearcats (13-0 SU, 8-5 ATS) pulled away from Houston in the second half, winning 35-20 as 10.5-point favorites.

The line and total are unchanged early on at The SuperBook.

“We’ve seen a few bets come in on Alabama,” Murray said. “We’re a little shorter than the rest of the market, so it’s not a surprise that we’re seeing Alabama money. We actually think that number is a little on the high side. We’re not trying to get totally sideways on the game, but we do think the line is a little high.”

Murray added that there has been some early play on the Under, but “nothing that would prompt us to move the number.”