Sports

Bulldogs roll past Tide as national title favorites

After an upset-filled first half of the college football season, there’s a new top dog in the odds to win the College Football Playoff National Championship — Georgia.

The undefeated and top-ranked Bulldogs catapulted past Alabama this week and are now the consensus favorites to win the national championship at U.S. sportsbooks. Georgia is 7-5 at Caesars Sportsbook, followed by Alabama at 2-1. Ohio State is next at 9-1, followed by Oklahoma (14-1), Iowa (20-1), Cincinnati (25-1) and Michigan (30-1).

The Bulldogs also climbed to the top of the AP Top 25 after rolling past Auburn over the weekend. Georgia hosts unbeaten Kentucky on Saturday. The Bulldogs opened as 22-point favorites over the Wildcats.

The Crimson Tide had been the favorites since the season kicked off but dropped back after being upset at Texas A&M as 19-point favorites on Saturday. Alabama’s loss at Texas A&M was the second-largest upset of Nick Saban’s coaching career. The Crimson Tide lost to Louisiana-Monroe as 24.5-point favorites in 2007, Saban’s first season at Alabama.

Alabama’s loss was a boon for sportsbooks. The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas said Texas A&M knocking off the Crimson Tide produced its biggest win of the college football season so far. Caesars Sportsbook vice president of trading Craig Mucklow said A&M beating Alabama outright Saturday produced multimillion-dollar decisions in favor of the house. Among the big bets on the Crimson Tide was a $569,738.60 three-team money-line parlay on Ohio State (-1,600), Cincinnati (-7,000) and Alabama (-1,000). The bet, which was the largest college football wager this season reported by Caesars, would have paid a net $105,656.

The Crimson Tide were the 40th ranked team to lose this season, the most ever through six weeks in the history of the AP poll, according to ESPN Stats & Information. If the upsets continue, some long shots could get back into the mix. Oregon is 50-1 to win the national title at Caesars. Michigan State is 60-1, and Penn State is 80-1.

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