Michigan vs Alabama Betting Splits & What They Could Mean For Michigan Sportsbooks

The College Football Playoffs starts with a Rose Bowl showdown between No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama on New Year’s Day. Bettors currently favor the Crimson Tide, which could bode well for Michigan sportsbooks.

Betting Public Backs The Tide

The line on this year’s Rose Bowl between Michigan and Alabama game opened at 2.5 points and is now down to 1.5 points, and even just one point at BetMGM. Michigan is a -120 moneyline favorite and Alabama is currently a narrow +102 moneyline underdog. While the odds are still in Michigan’s favor, bettors may not be.

According to the New York Post, almost 80% of the money bet on BetMGM’s one point spread is taking Alabama and 93% of BetMGM’s moneyline bets have also backed Alabama. The Crimson Tide may become the favorite by game time on Jan. 1, depending on how betting trends change over the next few weeks.

Implications on Michigan Sports Betting Revenue

This signals that — if current trends hold — Michigan sportsbooks may actually stand to gain from a Wolverines victory..

While most Michiganders may be waiting until closer to gametime to put money down, the lack of bets on the Wolverines is contrary to what one might expect. Generally, when a team in a state with legal betting is playing a team in a state without legal betting, the percent of bets on one team to favor the team located in a legal state.

A prime example is the state of Pennsylvania when the Philadelphia Eagles were playing the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. During the month of the Super Bowl, sportsbooks saw a record number of bets on the Eagles, and registered a record amount of revenue when they lost.

If trends do change to ultimately favor Michigan, the state could see record handle and revenue as a result. That does not, however, appear to be the case at the current moment and local sportsbooks — such as BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel —. Could actually be rooting for a Tide victory.

Dave Portnoy Vows to Place $1 Million Wager on Wolverines

One thing that could swing the handle pendulum in Michigan’s favor is a wager by one of their more notable fans. Dave Portnoy — founder of Barstool Sports and passionate Michigan alum — stated on X this past week that he would be wagering $1 million on Michigan.

While his post may be more of a means to pump up the Michigan fanbase than an actual statement of fact, Portnoy has placed several large wagers throughout his career. His standard unit for a game is $25,000 and he’s admitted to placing bets over $150,000.

Given the most common bet sizes in the US are $10 and $25, a single $1 million wager on the Wolverines could be equivalent to 100,000 individual bets on the Tide.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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