Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship will feature a highly anticipated rematch. The books, the bettors and fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs have wanted this for more than a month.
And they get it with Monday’s college football national championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
It’s the crowning moment of the college bowl season.
The title game, which takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, features the teams which met Dec. 4 as the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 ranked clubs. That’s when host Alabama bumped Georgia from the No. 1 rank with a 41-24 victory as a 6.5-point underdog.
Both teams stormed through their semifinals matchups, with Alabama crushing Cincinnati 27-6 and Georgia throttling Michigan 34-11.
That brings us here. The Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide, the nation’s top two teams, for a national championship.
The Bulldogs are a smaller favorite than last time across NJ online sportsbooks and the betting has intensified.
Here are five considerations for New Jersey bettors along with a recap of the first contest between these teams.
Georgia vs. Alabama odds at NJ online sportsbooks
1. College Football Playoff championship game could attract bonkers betting action
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayNJ he expects Monday’s game to be “one of the most heavily-bet college championship games of all time.”
The NFL regular season ends on Sunday, so there it will not be competing against Monday Night Football.
“All the ingredients are there. Both teams are 13-1. They are playing for the national championship,” said Avello.
“Georgia wants to prove that the first victory for Alabama was a fluke. Alabama has the best coach in Nick Saban and the best quarterback (Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young).”
Avello added that the loss of John Metchie, Alabama’s top receiver, most likely impacted the point spread. Metchie suffered an ACL injury during the first game between the teams and has missed the tournament championship campaign.
2. The spread is attractive on both sides
It’s been in the vicinity of a field goal since opening. Georgia bettors hunted down that -2.5 line and Alabama backers waited until it became +3. Bettors will gamble into that fluctuation until the wire.
DraftKings had Georgia -3 on Friday morning, while Caesars Sportsbook placed the game at Georgia -2.5. That’s a good range for whatever team bettors seek to play.
At Caesars, both sides are -110 on the spread and an Alabama moneyline triumph is +115
At DraftKings, Georgia -3 was -105 and Alabama +3 was -115. The price nuance matters significantly to large bettors. Most gamblers will be enticed by the point spread.
Alabama bettors pocket +120 on the DraftKings moneyline and +115 at Caesars.
Betting action has been significant enough to nudge the moneyline market. Alabama went from +125 to +120 Thursday night.
More changes could occur with heavier betting closer to kickoff.
Overall, this is a strong gambling menu.
3. The totals line is significantly less than the first-game total
Gamblers considering the over/under line likely recall how the first game was a bettor’s delight. The teams delivered 65 points and 985 yards. They hammered the over of 49.5.
At 52, it’s practically two touchdowns less than the 65 total points scored. That likely takes into account the improving Alabama defense, which has yielded just 13 points in the last six quarters. It may also reflect the doubt that either team notches a Pick 6 in this game, as Alabama did in the opener.
At DraftKings, Alabama took 70% of the handle at + 3 by Thursday night.
The total prompted 70 % of the gamblers to take the over.
Alabama notched 83% of the moneyline bet.
4. Big Names hit College Football Playoff championship prop board
Here’s the first list that went up from DraftKings regarding touchdown scorers:
- Jameson Williams: +650 to score first or last, -155 anytime
- Brock Bowers: +700 first or last, -130 anytime
- Brian Robinson Jr.: +750 first or last, -125 anytime
- Zamir White: +900 first or last, +110 anytime
- George Pickens: +1000 first or last, +120 anytime
- James Cook: +1000 first or last, +120 anytime
Then there is Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey, who scored a TD in the first game. He is +2200 to score first or last, +300 anytime.
5. Alabama and Georgia players to watch
Bowers, a formidable tight end, was a force for Georgia. He produced 10 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown for which he broke four tackles. He was quarterback Stetson Bennett’s favorite target in clutch situations. Bowers showed good size, strength and determination. He has a Rob Gronkowski-type effect as a go-to receiver.
Williams delivered a huge game for Alabama with 184 receiving yards and two touchdowns. One was a 67-yard bomb in which he slipped between two defenders and Young hit him with a beautiful touch pass.
Metchie, Alabama’s leading receiver to this point, suffered a first-half injury and did not return.
In his absence, Jacoby Brooks had 66 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati. He could pick up the slack.
College Football Playoff intangibles for NJ sports bettors to consider
The Alabama defense notched a Pick 6, an interception to stave off points near its end zone and a stop that made Georgia bypass a field goal because it trailed by 14 points.
The Crimson Tide defense accounted for at least a 12-point swing in this contest. That led to a 17-point difference in a game that was closer than it looked.
The first game was played in Atlanta. This will be in a neutral site.
Young is reluctant to run, for bettors considering any yardage prop, but he made some critical first downs with scrambles to keep drives alive.
Both teams have excellent offensive lines and both quarterbacks had extraordinary time to throw. Both teams use the middle of the field well and are not afraid to throw deep for the big one. Consider that for any prop regarding the yardage for the longest touchdown.
The quarterbacks, Young and Bennett, can probably hit big numbers.
The chief running backs, Robinson for Alabama, White and Cook for Georgia, have strong offensive lines to amass yardage behind.
Don’t be afraid to tease the total down and go over. You can get it as low as 46 points and -220 at DraftKings before combining it with another couple of bets to produce bets in the plus figures.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson