The Alabama Crimson Tide weren’t the only ones who suffered a historic loss Monday night.
College Football’s defending national champions, of course, suffered a heartbreaking 35-31 upset loss to the Clemson Tigers in a rematch from last year’s title game. But the Tide, 14-0 entering Monday’s matchup, were heavily favored to repeat as national champions — which actually led to a landslide of money placed against them.
With the final line set as Clemson +6 and the over/under set at 51 points, many people were betting Clemson and taking the over, according to ESPN. In fact, at Westgate SuperBook, of the first $11,020 moneyline bets placed on the national title game, $11,000 of it was bet on Clemson, per ESPN.
The trend continued until right before kickoff, when money poured in for Alabama, per ESPN. But it was too late to hedge the bets for the house, and Hunter Renfrow’s last-second touchdown reception from star quarterback Deshaun Watson was a crushing blow both to Alabama and Vegas alike.
“It was as bad as a result as humanly possible,” Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook, told ESPN on Tuesday. Per William Hill vice president of marketing Michael Grodsky, more money was bet on Monday’s title game at William Hill than any in history.
That also seemed to be the trend statewide. There was twice as much money placed on the College Football Playoff championship than on Sunday’s New York Giants-Green Bay Packers NFC Wild Card playoff game, per ESPN, and Nevada bookmakers estimated between $15-$20 million were bet on the national championship in Nevada alone. That led to huge losses for all of the sportsbooks, who most often took Alabama and the under.
Bill Sattler, director of specialty games for Caesars Entertainment, told ESPN that Clemson winning with the over produced “the worst loss in any college football game I can remember.”
Said another bookmaker in the moments after the game-winning Clemson TD: “ouch.”
That pretty much says everything you need to know.