On January 9, 2024, the Michigan Wolverines (15-0, Big Ten) clinched the college football championship title for the first time since 1997. However, the 34-13 victory delivered mixed results for U.S. sportsbooks before Monday night’s College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship.

Reports from oddsmakers with BetMGM, DraftKings, and BetRivers showed that there was a relatively even split in wagers between Michigan and No. 2 Washington (14-1, Pac-12) for the championship game. Despite more money being placed on the Wolverines, the preseason futures markets balanced the liability.

BetMGM reported that 53% of title game bets and 56% of the money was on Michigan, making it a “bookmaker’s dream scenario,” but with the hope that Michigan would not cover the spread. Ultimately, Michigan did cover the spread, marking the second-best outcome for the sportsbook.

FanDuel, on the other hand, saw more action on Washington, with 55% of the tickets and 51% of the money on the underdogs, resulting in the book keeping all of that action.

BetMGM also retained a $100,000 spread bet placed on Washington and won big on bets against Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., as well as popular player props such as the first touchdown scorer.

DraftKings reported a $20,000 futures bet placed in September on Washington winning the CFP National Championship at 18/1 odds, which would have won $380,000, but the bettor reportedly didn’t hedge.

Additionally, sportsbooks fared well on the over/under, with 60% of the bets and 69% of the money being placed on the over, but the 34-13 outcome easily stayed under.

Following the victory, there was speculation that Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan head coach, had coached his final game with the team. Harbaugh was questioned about this, and his response indicated a desire to enjoy the current moment without constant speculation about the future. He also defended his team against cheating allegations, stating that “These guys are innocent.”

By admin

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