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College Football Playoff Semifinal Betting Trends – See Who the Public is Betting in Alabama vs Cincinnati & Michigan vs Georgia

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Dec 30, 2021 · 8:50 PM PST

Saban celebrates SEC title
Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Georgia and Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Alabama won 41-24. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
  • The 2021-22 College Football Playoff Semifinals will be played on Friday, December 31st
  • Alabama and Michigan are being heavily backed in their respective CFP Semifinal games
  • Read below for CFP Semifinal betting trends and money percentages

The 2021-22 College Football Playoff Semifinals have arrived, and there’s two great matchups on tap for Friday, December 31st. Alabama and Cincinnati faceoff in the first CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl (3:30 PM EST), while Georgia and Michigan occupy the primetime slot at the Orange Bowl.

Despite the SEC owning a 7-1 record in CFP Semifinal games, only one SEC team is being heavily backed in the 2021-22 CFP Semifinals. The two matchups also have a different outlook pertaining to game total.

We’ve disclosed the breakdown of College Football bet and money percentages for all three bet types (against the spread, moneyline, and totals) below so you can decide whether you want to tail or fade the public.

Alabama vs Cincinnati Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Cincinnati Bearcats 24% / 10% 19% / 31% Ov 79% / 56%
Alabama Crimson Tide 76% / 90% 81% / 69% Un 21% / 44%

All data via DraftKings

Public Backing Crimson Tide

Alabama opened as 13.5-point favorites over Cincinnati in the CFP Semifinal odds for the Cotton Bowl. The public has been slamming the Crimson Tide to cover the spread, but oddsmakers are yet to move the line. This would indicate they’re very confident in their number.

Alabama is 7-6-0 against the spread this season, while Cincinnati is 8-5-0 ATS. Luke Fickell’s team is listed as the betting underdog for the first time this season in the Cotton Bowl odds. The Bearcats are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as an underdog.

Alabama is being heavily backed to cover the Cotton Bowl spread, but the moneyline is different. Money distribution for the Cotton Bowl shows 19% of bets but 31% of money is on Cincinnati (+385). This is typical for a marquee game when the favorite (Alabama -525) is priced so heavily.

If you like Alabama but don’t want to lay such a heavy price, there’s plenty of Alabama vs Cincinnati player props you can spray your wagers on.

Sharps Love Under in Cotton Bowl

The public loves betting the “over” in primetime college football matchups, but there’s often sharp money on the “under” due to inflated lines. That appears to be the case in the Cotton Bowl odds with data showing that 21% of bets but 44% of money is on the under.

The Cincinnati vs Alabama total opened at 59, but has since been bet down two points to 57. While Alabama clearly played a tougher schedule in the SEC than Cincinnati did in the AAC, both the Tide and Bearcats rank top-10 nationally in total defense entering the Cotton Bowl.

Alabama went 7-6 over/under this season, while Cincinnati went 6-7. An interesting betting trend to note is that the under has hit in each of the Crimson Tide’s last five Bowl Semifinal games. Nick Saban is one of the best defensive minds in college football and always has his team well prepared.

Michigan vs Georgia Betting Trends

Team % of ATS Bets / % of ATS Money % of ML Bets / % of ML Money % of Totals Bets / % of Totals Money
Georgia Bulldogs 32% / 32% 49% / 21% Ov 86% / 84%
Michigan Wolverines 67% / 66% 51% / 79% Un 14% / 16%

Wolverines Are Popular Underdog

Michigan opened as a 7 or 7.5-point underdog vs Georgia in the Orange Bowl odds depending on which sportsbook you use. The betting line has yet to shift despite plenty of money pouring in on the Wolverines. Oddsmakers likely anticipated some SEC bias for UGA and inflated the original line.

Michigan was one of the most profitable teams against the spread this season, covering in all but two of their 13 games. Jim Harbaugh’s team was listed as the underdog twice, and they won outright both times. It’s easy to see why the Michigan moneyline (+240) is also a popular wager vs Georgia.

Michigan is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 bowl games, although this is their first-ever CFP appearance. Georgia has made 25 consecutive bowl appearances, including one CFP Semifinal appearance in 2018. UGA covered the +2.5 spread vs Oklahoma in the 2018 Rose Bowl.

Over Slammed in Orange Bowl

Despite Michigan and Georgia both boasting top-15 defenses, the over has been slammed in the Orange Bowl odds. The total for Michigan vs Georgia opened at 43.5, but has been bet up to 45 over the past few weeks. The average total points scored in the past five CFP Semifinal games has been 59.6.

Michigan is 7-6 to the over this season, while Georgia is 6-7. A betting trend to note is that the under is 6-1 in the Bulldogs last seven bowl games as a favorite. UGA typically relies on its elite defense to win games, and that becomes relevant this year with game-manager Stetson Bennett expected to start at QB.

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