How Pros Are Betting Clemson-Alabama Spread, Over/Under

How Pros Are Betting Clemson-Alabama Spread, Over/Under article feature image

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

  • Sharps are betting both the spread and over for tonight's college football national championship game between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide (8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN).
  • Using The Action Network's betting tools, we examine how professionals are playing Clemson-Alabama.

High-profile matchups, like tonight’s college football national championship game between Clemson and Alabama, drive massive interest from fans, plenty of coverage from mainstream sports media and monster television ratings.

With the entire sports world focused on just one game, casual bettors come out of the woodwork to bet on a contest that everyone will be watching. But just because a game is “big” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s also a smart bet.

This is one of the key differences between recreational bettors and professionals — also known as “sharps” — who consistently win over the long haul.

Casual bettors overwhelmingly wager for “action,” while sharps only bet if a line is offering value, even in a game as big as the college football national championship.

As a result, championship matchups are often devoid of money from professional bettors, even if a game is attracting plenty of action overall.

However, tonight’s Clemson-Alabama showdown has been a very popular target of professional bettors, who have taken positions on both the spread and over/under.

Clemson-Alabama Spread: Sharp Action 

Oddsmakers at market-setting sportsbooks — those that accept high-limit wagers from respected bettors — opened the point spread for the national championship game at Alabama -6.5.

According to The Action Network’s public betting data, 59% of bets have taken the Crimson Tide, yet the line has dropped to Alabama -5.5 at most sportsbooks across the market.

Situations in which betting lines move in the opposite directions of betting percentages are referred to as reverse line movement (RLM). In this scenario, the slight majority (59%) of bettors are laying the points with Alabama, but the Tide have actually dropped from 6.5-point to 5.5-point favorites.

This indicates that the bigger bets, or those from respected professional bettors, have taken Clemson and forced oddsmakers to offer the Tigers at a less attractive price.

It is important to note that this line bottomed out at Alabama -5 a couple of times throughout the week, but in each instance Crimson Tide money quickly showed up to kick the line back up to -5.5.

This is referred as “two-way action” — when sharps are betting both sides of the same game, based on the line value at the time.

At the time of writing, it’s fair to say that some professional bettors have taken Clemson +6.5, while others grabbed the value of Alabama -5.

While the betting action on the spread has been interesting, there’s no clear consensus among sharp bettors regarding the correct side of this line.

However, The Action Network’s betting tools reveal that professionals are aligned on how they’re betting the Clemson-Alabama over/under.

Clemson-Alabama Sharp: Over/Under

As I wrote about on Friday, sharp money finally hit this over/under following a very quiet week of betting activity.

According to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals — which track and report professional betting action in real-time — sharps steamed the under when the total sat at 59.

Since Friday, professionals have continued to bet the under, driving it down to 57 as of this morning.

Our betting data tells a similar story as 59% of bets have come in on the over, while 52% of actual money wagered is backing the under.