Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

College Football Playoff Championship Odds, Cheat Sheet, Trends

The College Football Playoff championship is set and the Alabama Crimson Tide will meet the Ohio State Buckeyes in the title game on Monday Jan. 11, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium from Miami Gardens, Florida.

Inside the Odds

Line Movements

Current odds subject to change

Opening Line: Alabama -7
Current Line: Alabama -8

The Circa in Las Vegas sent out the Crimson Tide as a seven-point favorite over the Buckeyes while the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened Alabama -7.5.

FanDuel sent out Alabama -6.5.

As of Sunday Jan. 3, eight days before kickoff, Alabama is sitting at -8 at the majority of sportsbooks.

Opening Money-Line: Alabama -260, Ohio State +220
Current Money-Line: Alabama -295, Ohio State +250

A few sportsbooks in Las Vegas are holding Alabama as high as -340 (Bet $100 to win $29) while the largest return on Ohio State is +280 (Bet $100 to win $280).

Opening Total: 77
Current Total: 75

Circa sent out 77 after Friday’s semifinal outcomes and the number has dropped down to 75 at the property that operates out of both Nevada and Colorado.

A couple shops are holding 76 but most are in the neighborhood of 75 to 75.5.

Betting Numbers

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • SU: 12-0
  • ATS: 8-4
  • O/U: 7-5

Head coach Nick Saban and his talented squad improved to 12-0 after the school defeated Notre Dame 31-14 in the first College Football Playoff semifinal in the Rose Bowl, which took place from Arlington, Texas this season.

The Crimson Tide failed to cover as a 19-point favorite as the Fighting Irish scored a late touchdown for its backers. Including that result, Alabama closed the season with back-to-back non-covers after winning seven straight games for bettors.

The 31 points scored against Notre Dame was the lowest offensive output of the season for Alabama. The 14 points allowed, could’ve been 7, was a great rebound game for the Tide after the school allowed 46 points to Florida in the SEC Championship win.

Alabama’s last four games have come outside of Tuscaloosa and the school has outscored opponents by 27.5 points per game (47.5 to 20).

The Crimson Tide have been favored in every game this season. Prior to this number, the shortest point-spread that Alabama was laying came on Oct. 17 when the Tide were six-point home favorites over Georgia.

The Bulldogs held a 24-20 lead at halftime before Alabama outscored them 21-0 in the second-half for the 41-24 win and cover.

Ohio State Buckeyes

  • SU: 7-0
  • ATS: 4-3
  • O/U: 5-1-1

The Buckeyes finished 5-0 in the Big Ten regular season, failing to complete their eight-game schedule as three games were cancelled.

Despite not playing six conference games, Ohio State was afforded the opportunity to play in the Big Ten Championship and it defeated Northwestern 22-10 but failed to cover as a 17-point favorite.

The 22 points scored was the lowest output by the offense all season but the 10 allowed was the best effort by the defense.

In their College Football Playoff semifinal match against Clemson, the Buckeyes were listed as underdogs (+7) for the first time this season.

Ohio State fell behind early 7-0 and 14-7 early before scoring 21 points and taking a 35-14 lead into halftime. The two teams exchanged a pair of touchdowns in the second-half and the Buckeyes held on for a 49-28 upset victory in the Sugar Bowl.

Including that win, Ohio State went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS outside of Columbus this season and the offense traveled well, averaging 40.4 PPG.

Head-to-Head

This will be the fifth all-time meeting between the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes. Alabama has won three of the first four encounters but Ohio State claimed the most recent meeting.

The Buckeyes defeated the Tide 42-35 in the inaugural College Football Playoff in the 2014-15 season. Ohio State won as a 9.5-point underdog and the ‘over’ (57.5) was never in doubt.

Ohio State went on to win the championship a little more than a week later as it pulled off another surprise, defeating Oregon (-6.5) 42-20 in the title game.

Conference Notes

Alabama has gone 7-1 both SU and ATS in its last eight meetings against Big Ten schools, which included a 35-16 victory over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl last year. The lone loss during this stretch was the aforementioned setback to the Buckeyes.

Outside of the win versus Ohio State, the Buckeyes haven’t had many recent matchups versus the SEC or much success either. OSU is 2-5 both SU and ATS in its last 7 versus the SEC, all of the games played in the postseason.

Postseason Notes

Alabama has gone 8-2 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in its last 10 postseason matchups.

The Crimson Tide have been favored in every game during this span.

In the two losses, Alabama has allowed 44 and 35 points. Both of those games went ‘over’ the number.

In the four games that the Tide have covered during this stretch, the defense allowed a combined 27 points and that led to an easy 4-0 ‘under’ mark.

Going back to 2012, Ohio State is 6-4 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 postseason contests.

The 49 points scored in the Sugar Bowl versus Clemson was the highest offensive effort during this span.

The Buckeyes have been underdogs five times in this stretch and the school has gone 3-2 both SU and ATS.

In the wins, Ohio State posted 42, 42, and 49 points while being held to 17 and 23 in losses.

College Playoff Trends

This will be the 7th College Football Playoff Championship game and including the semifinal matchups, we’ve seen 20 games played so far.

Underdogs have gone 11-9 ATS so far and that includes the wins (Ohio State) and covers (Notre Dame) in this year’s semifinals.

In the Championship Game, ‘dogs have proven to be a great investment for bettors prior to last year’s dominating win by LSU.

  • 2019 - LSU 42 Clemson 25, Tigers -4.5, Over 66.5
  • 2018 - Clemson 44 Alabama 16, Tigers +5.5, Over 57.5
  • 2017 - Alabama 26 Georgia 23 (OT), Crimson Tide -3.5, Over 45.5
  • 2016 - Clemson 35 Alabama 31, Tigers +6.5, Over 51.5
  • 2015 - Alabama 45 Clemson 40, Crimson Tide -6.5, Over 53.5
  • 2014 - Ohio State 42 Oregon 20, Buckeyes +6.5, Under 72.5

Overall, underdogs have gone 3-3 SU and 5-1 ATS.

Alabama has never covered the point-spread in any of its four CFB final appearances despite going 2-2 in the title game. Ohio State is 1-0.

The ‘over’ has gone 5-1 in the six title games.

This year’s ‘over/under’ of 75 will likely be the highest closing total in the championship game.

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