Ohio State’s loss to Michigan and subsequent fall to No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings has not deterred bettors from putting money down on the Buckeyes to win the national title.
In fact, a wave of new money has come in on OSU — some of it at lengthy odds — at Caesars Sportsbook.
According to Caesars, Ohio State has received nearly twice as much money as any other team to win the national title since the Michigan loss.
Sports betting in Ohio launches on Jan. 1, meaning Ohioans will not be able to bet on the CFB semifinals Dec. 30 but will be able to bet on the Buckeyes in the title game on Jan. 9 — if they make it there.
Ohio State odds swelled ton 50/1, and bettors pounced
The point spread for the Ohio-Michigan game had fallen to around a touchdown by game time after OSU had been as much as 14.5-point favorites when sportsbooks first posted odds.
Ohio State was +210 at Caesars Sportsbook to win the national title before the game, the second-lowest odds behind Georgia at -130.
After losing big to Michigan, 45-23, the Buckeyes odds to win the national title initially swelled to 50/1. That same day the odds had fallen to 40/1 when a Colorado bettor dropped $4,000 on OSU.
An Illinois bettor followed with $5,000 on OSU at 30/1, and a Pennsylvania bettor put down $3,333.33 at the same odds.
By Saturday night, the Buckeyes’ odds had come back to Earth at 14/1 — just 5.5 hours after posting at 50/1.
“Moving Ohio State to 50/1 was a combination of a couple things,” said Joey Feazel, lead college football trader at Caesars Sportsbook. “If Clemson got up there, we thought that Clemson would have jumped Ohio State, but they lost to South Carolina. It was also a question of whether Alabama would be in the mix or not. The LSU loss [to Texas A&M] played a role in it too. So it was an assumption that Ohio State would be pretty much out of it, and it was a really bad loss. But Ohio State was able to stick in there because of those other losses, and the committee had them in front of Alabama last night to put them in solid position.”
More OSU bets came in over the weekend and after No. 5 CFB ranking
Bettors continued to back the Buckeyes on Sunday and Monday, and then two $10,000 bets came in on Tuesday. The team’s odds dropped to 10/1 after that.
Then came the Tuesday night CFB rankings, where the Buckeyes came in at No. 5, ahead of Alabama. That sets OSU up to snag a spot should TCU or USC falter in their conference title games this weekend.
The No. 5 CFB ranking pushed the Buckeyes’ national title odds all the way down to +750.
“I wasn’t surprised to see those big bets on Ohio State,” Feazel said. “If they get in the Playoff, they’d have even lower title odds, so I understand the potential value. Those were two well-respected bettors who bet it pretty close together yesterday. But it’s out of Ohio State’s hands at this point, it’s in Caleb Williams’ hands. It all depends on how USC does this week. I still think if TCU loses but keeps it pretty close that they’d still be in.”
Despite currently being on the outside of the playoff, Ohio State’s odds are actually lower than TCU (12/1) and USC (12/1). Bettors clearly believe that the Buckeyes are more likely to win the title than those schools should they get the chance.
Since Michigan loss, 39.3% of handle is on Buckeyes
The wave of huge bets on Ohio State since Saturday puts OSU way ahead in total handle at Caesars since then.
The Buckeyes have received 39.3% of national title handle since Saturday, followed by Georgia (20.2%) and USC (12.4%). Michigan has received 11%.