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Public backing chalk for New Year’s Day bowl games

We get four bowl games on New Year’s Day, including Michigan vs. Alabama in the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl. We break down the public betting splits.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Alabama head coach Nick Saban pose with the Citrus Bowl trophy Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fl. Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Happy New Year! 2020 has dawned and with it comes the first football of the year! College football brings with it the New Year’s tradition unlike any other. Things have changed with the College Football Playoffs before and after the New Year’s Day games, but the Rose Bowl and others still hold a special place in the hearts of college fans.

This year, we get four bowl games on the big day. We open with a pair of games at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Auburn Tigers and Minnesota Golden Gophers square off in the Outback Bowl, while the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines meet in the Citrus Bowl. At 5:00 p.m., the Wisconsin Badgers and Oregon Ducks face off in the Rose Bowl. The evening concludes with the Baylor Bears and Georgia Bulldogs matching up in the Sugar Bowl.

The betting public is heavily backing all four favorites in these matchups at DraftKings Sportsbook. Alabama opened as a touchdown favorite over Michigan, but enters game day at -7.5. 79 percent of tickets bet and handle bet on the point spread is backing the Tide. Considering Michigan’s overall lack of success in big games, it’s not surprising, even if Alabama might not have quite as much motivation as they normally have in their national title games.

Auburn opened as an eight point favorite over Minnesota. It’s notably that while 77 percent of handle and 73 percent of tickets bet have been on Auburn, the line has come down half a point.

In the grand-daddy of them all, Wisconsin is a field goal favorite against Wisconsin. The public is backing the Badgers to the tune of 61 percent of handle and 53 percent of tickets bet, but the line is the same as it was when it opened.

The day concludes with the Sugar Bowl featuring the biggest line movement. Georgia opened as a 7.5-point favorite over Baylor, but the line is now -4. 73 percent of handle and 78 percent of tickets bet are on the Bulldogs. Considering the reverse line movement, that is something to note.

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